The founder and CEO of Hunters, a popular Russian gay hookup and dating app that’s similar to Grindr, told Web publication Towleroad that it has been hacked.
Dmitry T. (his last name is being withheld for security reasons), the founder and CEO of the app, reports that on the morning of February 2, just a few days before the opening of the Olympic Games, “users trying to open this gay app in Sochi were greeted with an alert saying that their profile was blocked for the next 38 days.”
The following anonymous message was sent to all Hunters users in Russia, including those in Sochi, before they could no longer access their profiles:
You will be arrested and jailed for gay propaganda in Sochi according to Russian Federal Law #135 Sektion 6
Here is an image of that threat coming through on the Hunters app:
Some 72,000 user profiles were deleted throughout Russia in this hacking, which the CEO and founder believes came from the Russian government.
Homosexuality has been a hot-button topic as athletes from all over the world plan to compete in Sochi, a city in Russia where anti-gay laws stand in place, despite protest.
In a statement to Towleroad, Dmitry writes:
Our [Hunters] team was able to restore 24% of the profiles after 12 long hours. All other profiles were unable to be restored. In order to protect our users from future injustice, we have started moving our servers from Russia to Europe and are planning to finish this process within the next 3-5 days. Therefore, Hunters users may face further disruptions in the coming days.
Further, Dmitry is urging that people boycott Russian vodka as well as anything else that is linked to the Olympics.
“This attack should be looked at as an attack on the worldwide gay community,” Dmitry stated.