Dating apps like Grindr could pose a national security risk, experts warn

An online dating application is an online dating service presented through a mobile phone application , often taking advantage of a smartphone’s GPS location capabilities, always on-hand presence, and easy access to digital photo galleries and mobile wallets to enhance the traditional nature of online dating. These apps can simplify and speed the process of sifting through potential dating partners, chatting, flirting, and potentially meeting or becoming romantically involved over traditional online dating services. The launch of Tinder in led to a growth of online dating applications, both by new providers and by traditional online dating services that expanded into the mobile app market. Tinder was the application that led the surge in mobile dating applications. Although, other sources state that the founders are Mateen, Rad, and Badeen only. Online dating applications target a young demographic group.

Why dating app security flaws should concern enterprises

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Even with so many singles keeping life close to home, dating apps have. particularly as some have experienced security issues as of late.

Researchers from Check Point detailed the three-step attack method which would have enabled a hacker to target users:. OkCupid is one of the largest online dating service providers in the world, with an average of 50, dates arranged per week from around 90 million annual connections. As is the case in many other arenas, online dating services have become more of a target since the pandemic began, and the nature of the service means there are troves of private user data ripe for picking.

Once discovered, Check Point researchers promptly disclosed their findings to OkCupid. OkCupid acknowledged and fixed the security flaws in its servers, so users do not need to take any action. OkCupid website and app found to have significant security flaws. Radware issues security alert, warning of global rise of DDoS -for-hire.

Online dating security issues

It’s a match! Online dating is continuing to grow in popularity and constantly evolve. In previous years, websites like eHarmony, Match. Now, with mobile apps like Tinder, Bumble. As a matter of fact, online dating has become so popular that, according to Match.

– Focusing on Security Issues While Online Dating. Dating Profile. Online Dating Tips just for the Newcomer If you have fed up of the local scene.

We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. When combined, the researchers say, the vulnerabilities give hackers a way to see which profile photos a user is looking at and how he or she reacts to those images—swiping right to show interest or left to reject a chance to connect. They spotlight a problem shared by many apps. Tinder released a statement saying that it takes the privacy of its users seriously, and noting that profile images on the platform can be widely viewed by legitimate users.

Tinder, which operates in countries, claims to have matched more than 20 billion people since its launch. The platform does that by sending users pictures and mini profiles of people they might like to meet. The attacker also could feasibly replace an image with a different photo, a rogue advertisement, or even a link to a website that contains malware or a call to action designed to steal personal information, Checkmarx says.

In its statement, Tinder noted that its desktop and mobile web platforms do encrypt profile images and that the company is now working toward encrypting the images on its apps, too. The data is encrypted, but the researchers could tell the difference between the two responses by the length of the encrypted text. By exploiting the two flaws, an attacker could therefore see the images the user is looking at and the direction of the swipe that followed.

For the attack to work, though, the hacker and victim must both be on the same WiFi network. That means it would require the public, unsecured network of, say, a coffee shop or a WiFi hot spot set up by the attacker to lure people in with free service. To show how easily the two Tinder flaws can be exploited, Checkmarx researchers created an app that merges the captured data shown below , illustrating how quickly a hacker could view the information.

How to Use Online Dating Apps Safely

We protect you from the start with our monitoring technology and alert notifications. If fraud occurs, we work on your behalf to restore your identity, saving you time and frustration. Online dating has the potential to compromise your privacy, your reputation, and even your personal safety. But an online dating app will ask you for details, and then their software decides who that information will be shared with.

Dating apps experiencing a surge in users or requests for new Point Research informed OkCupid of its findings and the security issues have.

The introduction of dating applications has revolutionized the dating scene across the globe. With each passing year, the percentage of men and women who are bypassing the perceived hassles of regular in-person dates and have moved to dating applications has multiplied significantly. We have departed from the traditional avenue and are no longer going on causal dates to find our perfect significant other.

While these data applications are a fun way to socialize and meet new people, they are disguised hosts to danger. No dating application has a perfected algorithm to filter out fake accounts that are a major source of privacy and security issues for other users. Behind every swipe and matches, several hidden truths guide the game of dating fueling privacy risks in mobile dating applications. As with many other online platforms these days, sharing your personal data on dating applications is a risk-driven choice.

Several dating applications are known for monitoring your user journey on the app, allowing them to conveniently store your data.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Privacy on Dating Apps

It is the hope of some dating app users that the connections they form online will last a lifetime. When NBC News showed Demers the kind of data collected by dating apps — everything from drug use to preferred sexual position — he said he feared that the information could be weaponized by individuals and even foreign intelligence agencies. Demers said an individual’s personal information on a dating app is the type of data a foreign intelligence service “would want to paint a picture of your life.

The Justice Department declined to discuss any specific apps. It has, however, expressed concerns about Chinese-owned apps.

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Researchers exploring OkCupid for security holes have found a way for hackers to pillage the sensitive data of users. OkCupid has catered to over 50 million registered users since its launch. As one of the most popular options out there for dating — alongside rivals such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Match, and Grindr — the online dating platform is used to organize roughly 50, dates per week.

In a time where the novel coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures make meeting new people in a bar or other public space more difficult, many of us have turned to online dating and virtual meetups as an alternative. Dating apps experiencing a surge in users or requests for new features — such as video chats — began changing the way their platforms worked , and OkCupid was no exception.

With an expanding user base, however, there comes additional risk to personal data when security is not up to scratch. On Wednesday, Check Point Research disclosed a set of vulnerabilities in OkCupid that could lead to the exposure of sensitive profile data on the OkCupid app, the hijack of user accounts to perform various actions without their permission, and the theft of user authentication tokens, IDs, and email addresses.

The app in question is OkCupid on Android, with version The cybersecurity researchers reverse-engineered the mobile software and discovered “deep link” functionality, which meant that it could be possible for attackers to send custom, malicious links to open the mobile app. Reflected Cross-Site Scripting XSS attack vectors were also discovered due to coding issues in the app’s user settings functionality, which opened up a path for the deployment of JavaScript code.

If a victim clicks on a crafted link — potentially sent personally through the app or posted on a public forum — PII, profile data, user characteristics — such as those submitted when profiles are created — preferences, email addresses, IDs, and authentication tokens could all be compromised and exfiltrated to the attacker’s command-and-control server C2. As the vulnerabilities could be used to steal IDs and tokens, this could also lead to attackers executing actions on their behalf, such as sending messages.

However, a full account takeover is not possible due to existing cookie protections.

Online Dating and Cybercrime: Be Aware of These Potential Dangers

Singles looking for love using mobile dating apps could be putting their device security at risk, experts have warned. An investigation into many of the world’s most popular dating apps by Kaspersky Labs has found that many services are not providing sufficient levels of data protection, with hackers able to potentially identify users and steal personal information. The Kaspersky Labs team investigated nine of the leading dating apps, and discovered that many fail to protect users from criminals, who could identify customers through finding out details on social media profiles, or even track them down in the real world using geolocation data.

Kaspersky Labs’ research found that many apps shared a common security risk linked to the token-based authentication process used to register new users.

Millions of people are using online dating sites to search for love or connection, or serious security flaws, users of online dating profiles risk their privacy and that content to the web at large, raises a host of privacy issues.

We use cookies and similar technologies to recognize your repeat visits and preferences, to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, and improve our websites. For settings and more information about cookies, view our Cookie Policy. From setting up IRL dates to choosing a privacy-friendly selfie, we’ve got you covered. This latter event occurred thanks to a misconfigured and open Amazon S3 storage bucket.

Thankfully, the owner of the account quickly moved to secure it properly when they heard from security researchers. These data breaches have put online dating sites back in the spotlight, but these sites have other security issues, such as the big business that attracts scammers. The FBI reports that romance fraud was the seventh most popular scam in terms of total money lost by victims. One series of scams has recently been a focus, and that concerns using artificial intelligence AI and other modern automation tools to take advantage of the dating algorithms.

Mashable describes how these tools can leverage the dating apps here. And Shelly Palmer has also written about using AI tools to create deepfake images that are posted on dating apps. Caveat emptor.

10 Tips for Staying Safe with Online Dating

Before continuing, we ask you to review our Privacy Policy which includes how we use Cookies to help us improve the quality of your vist to Get Safe Online. The vast majority of people using dating sites are sincere and honest in the information they provide and in their reasons for joining. However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself – and your bank account and savings – protected while meeting people online. Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.

Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious. Keep it that way with a few simple precautions.

And a person can become a problem without having a record. Therefore, don’t get a false sense of security because you’re on a dating site; do your own.

How do you manage your privacy in online dating? And more recently, researchers have revealed security vulnerabilities in a number of online dating apps , including ways that users may be vulnerable due to sensitive information they disclose on the site. To understand how users reason about privacy risks they can potentially control through decision making, Lab Ph. Privacy in Online Dating. Users described balancing privacy considerations including the risk of feeling awkward, screenshots and data breaches, stalking, and their profile being seen by a friend or co-worker, with goals like getting successful matches, preserving information that may be sentimental if the match is successful, safety, and avoiding scams.

Beyond the name they used, users also experienced tradeoffs around the amount of information to include in their profile. These could include restricting the number of screenshots a user can take per day, allowing users to disallow remove matches, and, more broadly, implementing privacy awareness campaigns for users. Toggle navigation.

Contexts Cities Home Individuals. Back How do you manage your privacy in online dating?

Online Dating #FromHome

Dating app security flaws could jeopardize more than just users’ personal information. By hosting personal information and private conversations, dating apps put users in a vulnerable position. But enterprises with BYOD models may also be at risk. Several cybersecurity vendors have noted in recent years that many popular data apps have glaring weaknesses and vulnerabilities. For example, in a study conducted by Kaspersky examined nine such apps and found they were susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks and put private messages and access tokens at risk.

Dating apps pose particular privacy concerns due to the massive mobile app categories, dating apps have security and privacy risks — some.

A number of online dating apps that lure users into a sense of complacency with promises of ensuring anonymity, feature several vulnerabilities that may expose personally identifiable information of millions of users, the National Cyber Security has warned. In its Threat Report dated 10th November, the Centre warned that professional hackers are looking to use personal data ‘for a variety of malicious purposes’ and may target online dating apps that feature several exploitable vulnerabilities.

By exploiting such vulnerabilities, hackers can destroy your anonymity by obtaining your personally identifiable information from such apps, and therafter blackmail you into paying up to prevent your data from bing shared on the Internet. As such, the country’s cyber security watchdog has warned users to urge caution while choosing online dating apps and to limit the amount of personal information they share. The lesser the information, the lesser the chances hackers will have of tracking such users.

A number of news websites have claimed that the NCSC has singled out Tinder for featuring the said vulnerabilities and that it is a favourite hunting ground for Russian hackers.

OkCupid: Hackers want your data, not a relationship

And a person can become a problem without having a record. Therefore, don’t get a false sense of security because you’re on a dating site; do your own. Table of contents. So, if one-in-three people out there are doing it, who is the typical online dater? Although such a large number of people are dating online, our study has found that if you decide to take part, you are most likely to be in the company of users that meet the following criteria.

Security and privacy➝Social aspects of security and privacy. Keywords. Privacy; online dating; Tinder; privacy concerns.

Your next partner could be just a swipe away! Online dating, while certainly more popular and acceptable now than it was a decade ago, can be risky. Could this person be a predator? What, if anything, do your dating apps and sites do to protect your personal data? Granted, these are just a few examples, but they paint a concerning picture.

The fact is, dating sites and apps have a history of being hacked. The following year, BeautifulPeople.

Security issues on dating websites