Teen Phone Monitoring App Leaked Thousands of User Passwords

Zack Whittaker, reporting for ZDNet:

The mobile app, TeenSafe, bills itself as a “secure” monitoring app for iOS and Android, which lets parents view their child’s text messages and location, monitor who they’re calling and when, access their web browsing history, and find out which apps they have installed.[…]

But the Los Angeles, Calif.-based company left its servers, hosted on Amazon’s cloud, unprotected and accessible by anyone without a password. […]

The database stores the parent’s email address associated with TeenSafe, as well as their corresponding child’s Apple ID email address. It also includes the child’s device name — which is often just their name — and their device’s unique identifier. The data contains the plaintext passwords for the child’s Apple ID. Because the app requires that two-factor authentication is turned off, a malicious actor viewing this data only needs to use the credentials to break into the child’s account to access their personal content data.

As was noted by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, it seems like the app extracts it’s data from a device’s iCloud backups, which is why they require two-factor authentication turned off. Setting aside the discussion about whether an application / service like this is actually useful / necessary, if a company is going to ask you to trust them with your child’s personal information, I would hope they’d do better than storing the information in plaintext on a server without a password.