Dear Nearby user,

I created Nearby (at the time, Who’s Near Me) ten years ago alongside my best friend, Robert Gerleman. Since those early late nights of coding from my parents’ garage, I’ve watched Nearby grow from a mere idea to a vibrant community of over 13 million users. I’m very proud that over the past ten years Nearby has helped hatch thousands of marriages and millions of friendships. I’m humbled that so many people have allowed our app to play such a meaningful role in their lives.

Protecting your data has always been a responsibility that I've taken very seriously. Regrettably, I recently learned that despite best efforts, a data breach took place and user data was accessed by an unauthorized actor (details below). In the last few years, we’ve seen how even the most secure platforms are still vulnerable to hackers, but that does not excuse what has happened. I had a responsibility to protect your data.

This decision has not been easy, but I have decided to shut down Nearby, completing this ten-year journey. Just like many businesses, we too have been hit by COVID-19. We have seen rapidly dwindling usage for the last year. While I had already been contemplating this decision for a while now, I’ve taken this recent data breach as a sign that it is time to shut things down.

I want to thank you for your part in creating such a unique and vibrant online community. For those intrested in staying connected, there is a subreddit on Reddit for you here: https://www.reddit.com/r/NearbyApp.

Anyone who would like to stay connected and see what I am working on next can follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brianhamachek.

Sincerely,
Brian Hamachek

Brian P. Hamachek
Founder & CEO
Social Foundry

Notice of Data Breach: September 21, 2021

What Happened?

Sometime in 2017 an unauthorized person or persons gained access to one of Nearby's storage accounts. They had access to this storage account from 2017 until early 2021. This storage account was used to store backups of the Nearby database. It also stored uploaded photos, videos, and voice messages for Nearby.

Social Foundry was notified in September 2021 by the United States FBI that the Nearby database had been breached. It is highly unlikely that your photos, videos, or voice messages were obtained by the attackers.

What Information Was Involved?

This breach potentially included the following types of personal data:

  • Email addresses
  • Profile information
  • Device identifiers
  • Location data
  • Messaages
  • Posts and comments
  • Potentially, but very unlikely: uploaded images, videos, and voice messages

Payment information was not included in this breach. User passwords were stored salted and hashed using a secure hashing algorithm; therefore, your password is likely safe, but we recommend changing your password on any other services you might have used it anyways.

What We Are Doing

We have made the decision to shut down the Nearby social network. Furthermore, we have removed all photos, video, and voice messages from our servers as to prevent further access to them by any party. We will remove all other user data at the conclusion of any forensic investigation regarding this data breach. We are working with data protection regulators and law enforcement.

What You Can Do

There is no evidence that any sort of fraud or identity theft has taken place as a result of this data breach. You should change your password for any services where you reused your password for Nearby.

For More Information

You can reach us at breach@wnmlive.com if you have any questions about this incident. We will update the www.wnmlive.com website with any developments that might happen.