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

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

We have been familiar with entrusting dating apps with your innermost secrets. 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 section of our day to day life. To get the partner that is ideal users of these apps are quite ready to expose their title, career, workplace, where they want to spend time, and much more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of an extremely intimate nature, such as the periodic nude picture. But exactly how 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 most of the weaknesses detected, and also by enough time this text was launched some had been already fixed, yet others had been slated for modification within the not too distant future. But, don’t assume all designer promised to patch all the flaws.

Threat 1. Who you really are?

Our scientists found that four of this nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential find out who’s hiding behind a nickname according to information given by users by themselves. For instance, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody view a user’s specified destination of work or research. Applying this information, it is feasible to locate their social networking records and see their names that are real. Happn, in particular, makes use of Facebook is the reason information trade utilizing the host. With just minimal 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 a individual unit with Paktor installed, they could be amazed to discover that they are able to understand email addresses of other software users.

Ends up you can easily recognize Happn and Paktor users in other media that are social% of times, with 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 of this nine apps will assist. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under lock and key. Most of the other apps suggest the length you’re interested in between you and the person. By getting around and logging information in regards to the distance involving the both of you, it is an easy task to figure out the precise located area of the “prey.”

Happn perhaps perhaps not only shows exactly exactly how meters that are many you against another individual, but additionally the sheer number of times your paths have actually intersected, rendering it also simpler to monitor some one down. That’s really the app’s primary function, because unbelievable as we think 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 learned, probably one of the most insecure apps in this respect is Mamba. The analytics module found in the Android os variation will not encrypt information in regards to the unit (model, serial quantity, etc.), as well as the iOS variation links to your 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 alternative party to alter “How’s it going?” right into a demand for cash.

Mamba isn’t truly the only application that lets you manage someone else’s account in the straight back of a insecure connection. Therefore does Zoosk. But, our scientists could actually intercept Zoosk information just whenever uploading brand new pictures or 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, makes it possible for an attacker to find down which profiles their prospective target is searching.

While using the Android os variations of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — as an example, GPS information and device information — can result 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, it’s possible to shield against MITM assaults, when the victim’s traffic passes through 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; when they didn’t, they certainly were in place assisting spying on other people’s traffic.

It ended up that many apps (five away from nine) are in danger of MITM assaults as they do not confirm the authenticity of certificates. And almost all of the apps authorize through Facebook, and so the shortage of certificate verification can result in the theft of this temporary authorization key by means 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 as well as complete use of their profile regarding the app that is dating.

Threat 5. Superuser legal rights

Regardless of precise types of information 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 just a rarity.

Caused by the analysis is lower than encouraging: Eight regarding the nine applications for Android os are prepared to offer information that is too much cybercriminals with superuser access liberties. As a result, the scientists could actually get authorization tokens for social media marketing from the vast majority of the apps under consideration. The qualifications had been encrypted, however the decryption key had been easily 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. Therefore, the owner of superuser access privileges can simply access private information.


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