Are dating apps safe? be it a lifelong relationship or perhaps an one-night stand

Are dating apps safe? be it a lifelong relationship or perhaps an one-night stand

Our company is accustomed entrusting dating apps with your secrets that are innermost. just just exactly How carefully do this information is treated by them?

Looking for one’s destiny online — be it a one-night stand — has been pretty common for quite a while. Dating apps are now actually section of our daily life. To get the partner that is ideal users of these apps are quite ready to expose their name, career, office, where they choose to spend time, and much more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of a fairly intimate nature, like the periodic nude picture. But exactly exactly how very very very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab made a decision to place them through their protection paces.

Our specialists learned the most used mobile internet dating apps (Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Mamba, Zoosk, Happn, WeChat, Paktor), and identified the primary threats for users. We informed the designers ahead of time about all of the weaknesses detected, and also by the full time this text premiered some had recently been fixed, as well as others had been slated for modification within the future that is near. Nevertheless, not all designer promised to patch every one of the flaws.

Threat 1. Who you really are?

Our scientists found that four of this nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential find out who’s hiding behind a nickname considering information given by users on their own. As an example, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody see a user’s specified destination of work or research. By using this information, it is feasible to get their social media marketing records and find out their genuine names. Happn, in specific, utilizes Facebook is the reason information change with all the host. With reduced work, everyone can find the names out and surnames of Happn users along with other information from their Facebook pages.

Of course somebody intercepts traffic from a device that is personal Paktor installed, they could be astonished to find out that they could start to see the email addresses of other application users.

Ends up you’re able to recognize Happn and Paktor users various other media that are social% of times, having a 60% rate of success for Tinder and 50% for Bumble.

Threat 2. Where have you been?

If some body desires to understand your whereabouts, six associated with the nine apps will help. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under lock and key. All the other apps suggest the exact distance between you and the person you’re interested in. By getting around and signing information in regards to the distance between your both of you, it is an easy task to figure out the precise located area of the “prey.”

Happn perhaps not only shows exactly exactly just just how meters that are many you against another individual, but additionally how many times your paths have actually intersected, which makes it also simpler to monitor some body down. That’s really the app’s primary function, since unbelievable as we think it is.

Threat 3. Unprotected data transfer

Most apps transfer information to your host over A ssl-encrypted channel, but you can find exceptions.

As our scientists learned, perhaps one of the most apps that are insecure this respect is Mamba. The analytics module utilized in the Android os variation will not encrypt information in regards to the unit (model, serial quantity, etc.), together with iOS variation links to your host over HTTP and transfers all information unencrypted (and therefore unprotected), communications included. Such information is not just viewable, but additionally modifiable. As an example, it is easy for a party that is third alter “How’s it going?” into a demand for cash.

Mamba isn’t truly the only software that lets you manage someone else’s account from the straight straight back of a connection that is insecure. So does Zoosk. But, our scientists could actually intercept Zoosk information just whenever uploading brand new pictures or videos — and following our notification, the designers immediately fixed the issue.

Tinder, Paktor, Bumble for Android os, and Badoo for iOS also upload photos via HTTP, that allows an assailant to locate down which profiles their prospective target is searching.

With all the Android variations of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — for instance, GPS information and device information — can end in the incorrect arms.

Threat 4. Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack

Almost all internet dating app servers use the HTTPS protocol, meaning that, by checking certification authenticity, it’s possible to shield against MITM assaults, where the victim’s traffic passes via a rogue host on its solution to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to learn in the event that apps would check always its authenticity; should they didn’t, they certainly were in place assisting spying on other people’s traffic.

It ended up that many apps (five away from nine) are susceptible to MITM assaults as they do not confirm the authenticity of certificates. And the vast majority of the apps authorize through Facebook, so that the shortage of certificate verification can result in the theft regarding the short-term authorization key by means of a token. Tokens are legitimate for 2–3 days, throughout which time crooks get access to a few of the victim’s social media account information along with complete usage of their profile from the dating application.

Threat 5. Superuser liberties

Whatever the precise form of information the application shops in the unit, such information may be accessed with superuser liberties. This issues just Android-based devices; spyware in a position to gain root access in iOS is just a rarity.

Caused by the analysis is not as much as encouraging: Eight associated with the nine applications for Android os are quite ready to offer information that is too much cybercriminals with superuser access legal rights. As a result, the scientists could actually get authorization tokens for social media marketing from almost all of the apps under consideration. The qualifications had been encrypted, however the decryption key ended up being effortlessly extractable through the software it self.

Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Happn, and Paktor all store messaging history and pictures of users as well as their tokens. Therefore, the owner of superuser access privileges can very quickly access private information.


The analysis revealed that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps not handle users’ delicate information with enough care. That’s no reason at all not to ever make use of such services — you just need to comprehend the problems and, where feasible, reduce the potential risks.

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