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

Our company is used to entrusting dating apps with your secrets that are innermost. Just 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 element of our day to day life. To obtain the partner that is ideal users of these apps will be ready to expose their title, career, office, where they want to go out, and much more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of a fairly intimate nature, like the periodic photo that is nude. But how very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab made a decision to place them through their protection paces.

Our professionals learned the most famous 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 all of the weaknesses detected, and also by enough time this text was launched some had been fixed, among others were slated for modification into the not too distant future. But, don’t assume all designer promised to patch most of the flaws.

Threat 1. who you really are?

Our scientists found that four associated with nine apps they investigated allow criminals that are potential find out who’s hiding behind a nickname according to information supplied by users by themselves. For instance, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody see a user’s specified spot of study or work. Applying this information, it is feasible to get their social networking records and see their names that are real. Happn, in specific, makes use of Facebook is the reason information trade aided by the host. With just minimal work, everyone can find out of the names and surnames of Happn users along with other information from their Facebook pages.

And when somebody intercepts traffic from a device that is personal Paktor installed, they could be amazed to find out that they could begin to see the email addresses of other application users.

Ends up you can easily determine Happn and Paktor users in other media that are social% of that time, with a 60% rate of success for Tinder and 50% for Bumble.

Threat 2. Where have you been?

If somebody would like to know your whereabouts, six associated with nine apps will assist. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under key and lock. Most of the other apps suggest the exact distance between 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 perhaps not only shows exactly exactly just how meters that are many you against another individual, but additionally the amount of times your paths have actually intersected, which makes it also better to monitor somebody 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 host over A ssl-encrypted channel, but you will find exceptions.

As our scientists learned, the most insecure apps in this respect is Mamba. The analytics module utilized in the Android os variation will not encrypt data in regards to the device (model, serial quantity, etc.), and also the 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 easy for a alternative party to change “How’s it going?” in to a demand for cash.

Mamba just isn’t the sole app that lets you manage someone else’s account from the straight straight straight back of a connection that is insecure. Therefore does Zoosk. But, our scientists could actually intercept Zoosk information just when 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, that allows an attacker to locate 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 info — 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, which means, by checking certification authenticity, one could shield against MITM assaults, where the victim’s traffic passes via a rogue host on its solution to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to learn in the event that apps would always check its authenticity; should they didn’t, these were in place assisting spying on other people’s traffic.

It ended up that a lot of apps (five away from nine) are susceptible to MITM attacks as they do not validate the authenticity of certificates. And the majority of the apps authorize through Facebook, and so the shortage of certificate verification can cause the theft for the short-term authorization key in the shape of a token. Tokens are legitimate for 2–3 months, throughout which time crooks gain access to a number of the victim’s social media account information as well as complete use of their profile in the dating application.

Threat 5. Superuser legal rights

No matter what the precise sort of information the application shops from the unit, such information is accessed with superuser liberties. This issues just Android-based devices; spyware in a position to gain root access in iOS is a rarity.

The consequence of the analysis is lower than encouraging: Eight regarding the nine applications for Android os are prepared to offer way too much information to cybercriminals with superuser access legal rights. As a result, the scientists had the ability to get authorization tokens for social media marketing from the majority of the apps under consideration. The qualifications had been encrypted, however the decryption key was effortlessly extractable through the application it self.

Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Happn, and Paktor all shop history that is messaging pictures of users along with their tokens. Therefore, the holder of superuser access privileges can certainly access information that is confidential.


The research revealed that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps not handle users’ sensitive and painful information with enough care. That’s no explanation to not make use of services that are such you just need to comprehend the difficulties and, where feasible, minmise the potential risks.