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

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

Our company is accustomed entrusting dating apps with this secrets that are innermost. Just exactly 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 typical for quite a while. Dating apps are now actually element of our daily life. To obtain the partner that is ideal users of these apps are quite ready to expose their title, career, office, where they love to go out, and substantially more besides. Dating apps in many cases are privy to things of a fairly intimate nature, like the periodic photo that is nude. But just exactly how very very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab chose to place them through their protection paces.

Our specialists learned the most famous 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 ahead of time about all of the weaknesses detected, and also by enough time this text premiered some had recently been fixed, as well as others had been slated for modification within the future that is near. But, don’t assume all developer promised to patch most of the flaws.

Threat 1. who you really are?

Our scientists unearthed that four for the nine apps they investigated allow potential crooks to find out who’s hiding behind a nickname considering information supplied by users by themselves. For instance, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody view a user’s specified spot of work or research. By using this information, it is feasible to locate their social networking records and see their genuine names. Happn, in specific, makes use of Facebook is the reason information trade with all the host. With reduced work, anybody can find the names out and surnames of Happn users along with other information from their Facebook pages.

Of course somebody intercepts traffic from the device that is personal Paktor installed, they could be astonished to discover that they are able to begin to see the email addresses of other application users.

Ends up you can 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 will you be?

If some body really wants to understand your whereabouts, six for the nine apps will assist. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under lock and key. Every one of the other apps suggest the exact distance you’re interested in between you and the person. By getting around and signing information concerning the distance between your both of you, it is very easy to figure out the precise located area of the “prey.”

Happn perhaps perhaps not only shows just exactly exactly just how numerous meters split up you against another individual, but in addition how many times your paths have actually intersected, rendering it also more straightforward to monitor somebody down. That’s really the app’s primary function, since unbelievable as we believe it is.

Threat 3. Unprotected data transfer

Many apps transfer information towards the host over A ssl-encrypted channel, but you can find exceptions.

As our scientists learned, probably one of the most apps that are insecure this respect is Mamba. The analytics module found in the Android os variation will not encrypt information concerning the unit (model, serial quantity, etc.), in addition to iOS variation links into the host over HTTP and transfers all information unencrypted (and therefore unprotected), communications included. Such information is not merely viewable, but additionally modifiable. As an example, it is easy for a 3rd party to alter “How’s it going?” in to a demand for cash.

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

Tinder, Paktor, Bumble for Android, and Badoo for iOS also upload photos via HTTP, makes it possible for an attacker to locate down which profiles their victim that is potential is.

While using the Android os 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, which means, by checking certification authenticity, it’s possible to shield against MITM assaults, when the victim’s traffic passes via a rogue host on its method to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to learn in the event that apps would always check its authenticity; when they didn’t, these were in effect assisting spying on other people’s traffic.

It proved that a lot of apps (five away from nine) are susceptible to MITM assaults as they do not validate the authenticity of certificates. And almost all of the apps authorize through Facebook, so that the shortage of certificate verification can cause the theft for 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 usage of their profile in the app that is dating.

Threat 5. Superuser liberties

No matter what the kind that is exact of the software shops regarding 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 really a rarity.

caused by the analysis is not as much as encouraging: Eight of this nine applications for Android os are prepared 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 the vast majority of the apps under consideration. The credentials had been encrypted, nevertheless the decryption key was effortlessly extractable through the application it self.

Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Happn, and Paktor all shop history that is messaging pictures of users as well as their tokens. Hence, the owner of superuser access privileges can simply access private information.


The analysis indicated that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps perhaps not handle users’ sensitive and painful information with enough care. That’s no reason at all not to ever utilize such services — you merely have to comprehend the difficulties and, where feasible, reduce the risks.