How much are you sharing when you swipe?

A new report reveals major vulnerabilities on Tinder, which make it easy for a hacker on a shared wifi network to “look over your shoulder” as you swipe.


January 24, 2018

A new report from security researchers at Checkmarx revealed a couple of major vulnerabilities on Tinder that make it fairly simple for an attacker using the same wifi network as a user (AKA, someone at your local coffee shop) to monitor their every swipe and control the profiles a user sees.

It’s not a matter of credit theft or financial threat. We’re talking about the kind of stuff that’s used for blackmail: people cheating on their significant others, sexual orientation, even *hushed voice* nuuudeees

You down with HTTP?

One of the main weaknesses stems from the insecure, unencrypted “HTTP” connection Tinder uses to load profile pictures.

This makes it possible for a hacker to essentially “look over your shoulder” at who you’re seeing and how you’re swiping — and allows them to swap in images of their choice, like ads or other inappropriate content.

Implementing a basic HTTPS encryption for Tinder’s platform isn’t exactly “cutting-edge” security technology, it’s standard fare (75% of Google Chrome’s web traffic on Mac is encrypted).

Yet, other dating apps have the same issues

Turns out, popular gay dating app Grindr has the same security flaw with its images, plus one that allows third parties to track the app users’ location down to the foot, even if they opt out of location sharing in the user settings.

Grindr’s case is particularly concerning given its $254m buyout by Chinese technology firm the Kunlun Group. The Chinese government is notorious for stealing data from its citizens and businesses — and Grindr isn’t exactly making it hard for them.

You know who doesn’t have that problem? Pornhub.

That’s right folks, the adult streaming site takes their position as the 36th most visited site in the world preeetty seriously — as of last March, all their pages (and those of sister company YouPorn) are encrypted by default.

“It is our duty to ensure the confidentiality and safety of our users,” said Brad Burns, VP of YouPorn. That’ll do Brad, that’ll do.

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