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

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

We’re accustomed entrusting dating apps with this innermost secrets. Exactly exactly exactly How carefully do they regard this information?

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 section of our daily life. To obtain the perfect partner, users of these apps are quite ready to expose their title, career, office, where they prefer to go out, and much 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 carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab chose to put them through their protection paces.

Our specialists 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 ahead of time about most 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 into the not too distant future. Nonetheless, not all designer promised to patch every one of the flaws.

Threat 1. Who you really are?

Our scientists unearthed that four associated with the nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential figure out who’s hiding behind a nickname according to information given by users on their own. For instance, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody see a user’s specified destination of study or work. Making use of 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 data change because of the host. With just minimal work, anybody can find the names out and surnames of Happn users as well as other information from their Facebook pages.

If somebody intercepts traffic from the individual unit with Paktor installed, they could be astonished to discover that they are able to begin to see the email addresses of other software users.

Ends up you are able to recognize Happn and Paktor users various other social media marketing 100% of that time period, by having a 60% rate of success for Tinder and 50% for Bumble.

Threat 2. Where have you been?

If somebody really wants to understand your whereabouts, six for the nine apps will help. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location data under key and lock. All the other apps suggest the length between you and the person you’re interested in. By getting around and signing information in regards to the distance involving the two of you, it is simple to figure out the location that is exact of “prey.”

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

Threat 3. Unprotected data transfer

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

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

Mamba isn’t truly the only application that lets you manage someone else’s account in the straight straight back of a 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 issue.

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

With all zinvolle hyperlink the Android os variations of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — as an example, GPS information and device information — can land in the hands that are wrong.

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 assaults, when the victim’s traffic passes through a rogue host on its method to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to discover in the event that apps would always check its authenticity; they were in effect facilitating spying on other people’s traffic if they didn’t.

It proved that many apps (five away from nine) are susceptible to MITM assaults as they do not validate the authenticity of certificates. And the majority of the apps authorize through Facebook, therefore the shortage of certificate verification can cause the theft associated with short-term authorization key in the shape 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 in the dating application.

Threat 5. Superuser liberties

No matter what the precise style of data the application shops regarding 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 a rarity.

Caused by the analysis is lower than encouraging: Eight associated with the nine applications for Android os are prepared to offer excessively information to 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 application it self.

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


The research revealed that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps not handle users’ sensitive and painful information with adequate 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 potential risks.