Dating apps attract hackers; Kaspersky Lab

A team of Kaspersky Lab researchers examined how secure popular dating apps actually are

Tags: Cloud computingCyber crimeKaspersky Lab
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Dating apps attract hackers; Kaspersky Lab Many dating apps lack proper security measures. (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  November 3, 2017

As more and more dating apps come to market, researchers from Kaspersky Lab have discovered a host of vulnerabilities within the apps.

Kaspersky Lab found that many popular dating apps lack sufficient security for data protection, which could ultimately lead to personal information exposed.  

The company's report ‘Dangerous Liaisons: is everyone doing it online?' revealed that one-in-three people use such apps, enticing Kaspersky Lab to investigate further. The research found that hackers can easily identify a user's name and surname from social network profiles, which in turn can offer geolocation data.

Another risk found was related to token-based authentication methods which are used by dating apps for new registration and sign-up processes. This is when a token is created, typically via Facebook, and it then provides general user information, including an email address and profile picture. This process however is usually unsecure enabling hackers to gain access to the account.

Kaspersky Lab also states that message data stored on the device can also be accessed, plus this is commonly seen on Android devices due to outdated software.

Roman Unuchek, security expert at Kaspersky Lab, said: "Our research demonstrates that users of dating apps should care very much about cybersecurity, because many such services are not protected against several different kinds of attacks.

"Besides this, users are putting themselves at risk by sharing sensitive personal information in their profiles such as their place of education and work. Armed with this information, intruders can easily find victims' real accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn networks. It also opens possibilities for stalking - to harass users and track their movements in real life. Therefore, users should be sure to carefully monitor their privacy, security and data protection when dating online."

 

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