Are dating apps safe? Looking for one’s destiny online — be it a one-night stand — has been pretty typical for a long time. Dating apps are now actually element of our daily life.

Are dating apps safe? Looking for one’s destiny online — be it a one-night stand — has been pretty typical for a long time. Dating apps are now actually element of our daily life.

Our company is accustomed entrusting dating apps with your innermost secrets. just exactly How carefully do they view this information?

October 25, 2017

To get the partner that is ideal users of such apps are prepared to reveal their name, career, workplace, where they prefer to spend time, and substantially more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of an extremely intimate nature, such as the periodic photo that is nude. But exactly just how very very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab made a decision to place them through their safety paces.

Our experts learned the most used mobile dating that is online (Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Mamba, Zoosk, Happn, WeChat, Paktor), and identified the primary threats for users. We informed the designers beforehand about all of the weaknesses detected, and also by the full time this text was launched some had been already fixed, among others had been slated for modification when you look at the forseeable future. But, its not all designer promised to patch all the flaws.

Threat 1. who you really are?

Our scientists unearthed that four of this nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential find out who’s hiding behind a nickname according to information supplied by users on their own. As an example, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody view a user’s specified spot of work or research. Applying this information, it is feasible to locate their social media marketing accounts and see their genuine names. Happn, in specific, makes use of Facebook is the reason information trade utilizing the server. With reduced work, anybody can find out of the names and surnames of Happn users along with other information from their Facebook pages.

And when somebody intercepts traffic from the device that is personal Paktor installed, they may be astonished to find out that they could begin to see the email addresses of other software users.

Ends up you’re able to determine Happn and Paktor users various other social networking 100% of that time, having a 60% rate of success for Tinder and 50% for Bumble.

Threat 2. Where will you be?

If some body would like to understand your whereabouts, six regarding the nine apps will help. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under key and lock. 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 simple to figure out the exact precise location of the “prey.”

Happn perhaps not only shows exactly just how numerous meters split up you against another individual, but in addition the sheer number of times your paths have actually intersected, which makes it also more straightforward to monitor some body down. That’s really the app’s primary function, because unbelievable as we think it is.

Threat 3. Unprotected data transfer

Most apps transfer information towards the host over a channel that is ssl-encrypted but you will find exceptions.

As our scientists learned, probably the most apps that are insecure this respect is Mamba. The analytics module utilized in the Android os variation will not encrypt data in regards to the unit (model, serial quantity, etc.), and also the iOS variation links towards the host over HTTP and transfers all data unencrypted (and therefore unprotected), communications included. Such information is not just viewable, but additionally modifiable. For instance, it is feasible for a 3rd party to alter “How’s it going?” into a demand for cash.

Mamba just isn’t the only real software that lets you manage someone else’s account in the straight straight back of an insecure connection. Therefore does Zoosk. Nevertheless, our scientists could actually intercept Zoosk information just whenever uploading brand new pictures or videos — and following our notification, the developers quickly fixed the issue.

Tinder, Paktor, Bumble for Android os, and Badoo for iOS also upload photos via HTTP, that allows an attacker to find down which profiles their possible target is browsing.

With all the Android os versions of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — for instance, GPS information and device information — can end in the hands that are wrong.

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

Almost all online dating app servers use the HTTPS protocol, which means, by checking certification authenticity, one could shield against MITM assaults, where the victim’s traffic passes through a rogue host on its solution to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to learn if the apps would always check its authenticity; they were in effect facilitating spying on other people’s traffic if they didn’t.

It ended up that a lot of 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, and so the shortage of certificate verification can result in the theft regarding the authorization that is temporary in the shape of a token. Tokens are legitimate for 2–3 days, throughout which time crooks get access to a number of the victim’s social media account information along with complete use of their profile from the dating application.

Threat 5. Superuser liberties

No matter what the precise sorts of information the application shops from the unit, such information could be accessed with superuser liberties. This issues just Android-based devices; spyware in a position to gain root access in iOS is a rarity.

Caused by the analysis is lower than encouraging: Eight of this nine applications for Android os are quite ready to offer information that is too much cybercriminals with superuser access liberties. As a result, the scientists had the ability to get authorization tokens for social media marketing from the vast majority of the apps under consideration. The qualifications had been encrypted, but the decryption key had been easily extractable through the application it self.

Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Happn, and Paktor all shop messaging history and pictures of users along with their tokens. Therefore, the owner of superuser access privileges can very quickly access information that is confidential.


The research indicated that many dating apps do perhaps not handle users’ delicate information with enough care. That’s no reason at all never to utilize services that are such you just need to comprehend the difficulties and, where feasible, minmise the potential risks.

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