Dating apps are particularly vulnerable to as many as three different types of cyberattacks that can track and reveal users’ locations, their identities and their employers.
The researchers first set out to see if the dating apps could be cross-referenced with social media websites in an effort to pinpoint the identity of people using them. Through this digital avenue, researchers found users’ jobs and education information. According to the report, in dating apps like Tinder, Happn and Bumble, users have the option to include those details, which is, unfortunately, valuable information for bad guys. Using that consumer data, researchers were able to identify a person’s social media pages 60 percent of the time. Facebook and LinkedIn were among the social sites Kaspersky researchers were able to track down with the least amount of information.
The researchers also looked at location tracking in the dating apps and found that the distance between a dating site member and a hacker could be used to figure out the person’s location. Although it would require the target to stay in one place, the math can be done easily, thanks to the services themselves.
According to the report, a hacker can stay in one place and feed the app fake coordinates, which, in turn, will provide them with data about their distance to the person on the dating app, which can help them locate the targeted person.
The researchers at Kaspersky Lab also found that a lot of the popular dating apps do not encrypt all communications. In order to benefit from all the information on the mobile app that is not encrypted, the hacker would have to launch a man-in-the-middle cyberattack, whereby they intercept the consumer data via a fake Wi-Fi hotspot, noted the report.