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

We’re accustomed entrusting dating apps with your secrets that are innermost. Just exactly exactly exactly How carefully do they view this information?

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 section of our daily life. To obtain the partner that is ideal users of these apps are quite ready to reveal their title, career, office, where they prefer to spend time, and much more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of a fairly intimate nature, such as the periodic photo that is nude. But just exactly how very very very very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab chose to place them through their protection paces.

Our professionals 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 fixed, among others had been slated for modification when you look at the future that is near. Nevertheless, don’t assume all designer promised to patch every one of the flaws.

Threat 1. Who you really are?

Our scientists found that four regarding the nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential find out who’s hiding behind a nickname centered on information supplied by users by themselves. For instance, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody view a user’s specified spot of study or work. By using this information, it is possible to get their social media marketing records and see their genuine names. Happn, in specific, utilizes Facebook is the reason information change aided by the server. With reduced work, everyone can find the names out and surnames of Happn users as well as other information from their Facebook pages.

Of course somebody intercepts traffic from the device that is personal Paktor installed, they may be amazed to discover that they could start to see the email addresses of other software users.

Works out you’ll be able to recognize Happn and Paktor users various other media that are social% of that time period, with 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 assist. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under lock and key. All the other apps suggest the length between both you and the person you’re interested in. By getting around and signing information concerning the distance between your both of you, it is an easy task to figure out the location that is exact of “prey.”

Happn perhaps perhaps perhaps not only shows just exactly exactly how numerous meters divide you against another individual, but in addition the sheer number of times your paths have actually intersected, rendering it also more straightforward to monitor some one down. That’s really the app’s feature that is main because unbelievable as we believe it is.

Threat 3. Unprotected data transfer

Many apps transfer information to your host over a channel that is ssl-encrypted but you can find exceptions.

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

Mamba isn’t the actual only real software that lets you manage someone else’s account in the straight straight back of an connection that is insecure. Therefore does Zoosk. Nonetheless, our scientists were able to intercept Zoosk information just whenever uploading photos that are new videos — and following our notification, the designers promptly fixed the situation.

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 possible target is searching.

While using the Android os variations of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — for instance, GPS information and device information — can result 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 certificate authenticity, one could shield against MITM assaults, where the victim’s traffic passes via a rogue host on its option to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to discover in the event that apps would check always 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 vulnerable 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 regarding the authorization that is temporary by means of a token. Tokens are legitimate for 2–3 months, throughout which time crooks get access to a number of the victim’s social media account data as well as complete use of their profile regarding the dating application.

Threat 5. Superuser legal rights

No matter what the precise types of information the software shops from 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 really a rarity.

the consequence of the analysis is lower than encouraging: Eight for the nine applications for Android are quite ready to provide way too much information to cybercriminals with superuser access liberties. As a result, the scientists had the ability to get authorization tokens for social networking from the majority of the apps at issue. The qualifications had been encrypted, however the decryption key ended up being effortlessly extractable through the software itself.

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


The research revealed that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps not handle users’ delicate information with adequate care. That’s no explanation to not utilize services that are such you merely have to comprehend the difficulties and, where feasible, minmise the potential risks.