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

We have been familiar with entrusting dating apps with this secrets that are innermost. Just just exactly 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 a long time. Dating apps are actually section of our day to day life. To get the perfect partner, users of these apps are prepared to expose their name, career, office, where they love to go out, and substantially more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of an extremely intimate nature, like the periodic nude picture. But just just exactly how very very very very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab chose to place them through their safety paces.

Our professionals learned the most famous mobile dating that is online (Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Mamba, Zoosk, Happn, WeChat, Paktor), and identified the key threats for users. We informed the designers ahead of time about all of the weaknesses detected, and also by the full time this text was launched some had been already fixed, yet others had been slated for modification into the forseeable future. Nonetheless, not all designer promised to patch most of the flaws.

Threat 1. Who you are?

Our scientists unearthed that four associated with nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential find out who’s hiding behind a nickname according to information given by users on their own. As an example, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody see a user’s specified destination of study or work. Applying this information, it is feasible to get their social networking records and find out their genuine names. Happn, in specific, makes use of Facebook is the reason information trade using the host. With just minimal work, anybody can find out of the names and surnames of Happn users as well as other information from their Facebook pages.

If somebody intercepts traffic from a individual unit with Paktor installed, they may be amazed to find out that they could begin to see the email addresses of other application users.

Ends up you are 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 are you currently?

If somebody 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 exact distance between you and the person you’re interested in. By getting around and signing information in regards to the distance involving the 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 exactly how numerous meters divide you against another individual, but additionally the sheer number of times your paths have actually intersected, rendering it even much easier to monitor some body 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 towards the server over A ssl-encrypted channel, but you can find exceptions.

As our scientists learned, probably 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.), together with 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 feasible for a party that is third alter “How’s it going?” as a demand for cash.

Mamba isn’t the sole software that lets you manage someone else’s account regarding the straight straight straight straight back of an insecure connection. Therefore does Zoosk. But, our scientists had the ability to intercept Zoosk information just whenever uploading photos that are new videos — and following our notification, the designers quickly fixed the situation.

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

With all the Android os variations of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — as an example, GPS information and device information — can result in the incorrect fingers.

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

Almost all internet dating app servers use the HTTPS protocol, meaning that, by checking certification authenticity, one could shield against MITM attacks, where the victim’s traffic passes via a rogue server on its method 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 in danger of MITM assaults as they do not confirm the authenticity of certificates. And the majority of the apps authorize through Facebook, so that the shortage of certificate verification can result in the theft of this authorization that is temporary in the shape of a token. Tokens are legitimate for 2–3 days, throughout which time crooks gain access to a few of the victim’s social media account information as well as complete usage of their profile in the app that is dating.

Threat 5. Superuser liberties

Whatever the kind that is exact of the application shops regarding the unit, such information could be accessed with superuser liberties. This issues just Android-based devices; spyware able to gain root access in iOS is just a rarity.

caused by the analysis is significantly less than encouraging: Eight for the nine applications for Android os will be 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 networking from the vast majority of the apps at issue. 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 shop history that is messaging pictures of users along with their tokens. Hence, the owner of superuser access privileges can simply access private information.


The analysis revealed that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps not handle users’ sensitive and painful information with adequate care. That’s no explanation not to ever utilize such services — you merely have to comprehend the problems and, where feasible, reduce the potential risks.

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