Dating apps are vulnerable to leak location data, says security experts
If you are using the mobile dating apps, then you need to be careful. Security experts warn that many of the mobile dating apps can be easily hacked to find details about the exact location of the users. This might lead to users being victims of stalking, prosecution or harassment.
Researchers have revealed that some of the popular mobile dating apps used by millions of users worldwide give away the precise location of the members to hackers. The researchers were able to spoof requests to servers of some of the dating apps and by doing so, they were able to track the location of the people and their movements during the day. The researchers said that one if the app maker was able to fix the loopholes in the app in some countries, but most of the users are still at risk of being tracked by hackers.
Colby Moore and Patrick Wardle of Synack, a cyber security firm, focused all their attention on Grindr, a gay dating app. They were able to exploit one feature of Grindr app that gives information to the user as to how far they are from other signed users. The app makes use of several data sources to pinpoint the precise distance. The researchers sent many requests to servers behind the app from different locations. This allowed them to find multiple estimates of the distance of the targeted user from these separate locations.
By using triangulation, the researchers were able to easily point the exact location of the user. Colby also showed how he was able to map Grindr users in the Bay Area, San Francisco. He said that there was enough evidence to show that a few dating users in Egypt were harassed. Synack has already informed Grindr about this vulnerability and the firm was quick to update the versions of its app.