Friday, 23 August, 2019

Tinder privacy vulnerable to hackers via Wi-Fi - white paper

Tinder privacy vulnerable to hackers via Wi-Fi - white paper Tinder privacy vulnerable to hackers via Wi-Fi - white paper
Emmett Howard | 25 January, 2018, 02:41

A report coming from a security researcher claims that your friend or even a stranger can actually log-in to your Tinder profile, swipe left or right on behalf of you, also check on all your activities - or the read the messages you had sent to your matches, and surprisingly, you'll won't even know about it.

As reported by Wired, researchers from Tel Aviv-based app security firm Checkmarx showed that by not using HTTPS for photos, users were vulnerable to snooping.

The researchers also detailed use cases and attack scenarios in the white paper, indicating Tinder lacks even basic HTTPS encryption for users' photos. This means that Tinder users who care about their privacy would be smart not to connect to the app when on a public WiFi network.

Because photos are not encrypted, it's possible for eavesdroppers on the same Wi-Fi network to monitor a user's behavior on the dating app and see photos of a user and potential matches. Though no passwords or other sensitive data is leaking, researchers said this tactic could potentially be used to blackmail someone.

To demonstrate how these vulnerabilities could be exploited, Checkmarx built a piece of software dubbed TinderDrift, which let them intercept the non-HTTPS encrypted photos.

You'd therefore like to think that Tinder takes the usual basic precautions to keep all those images secure in transit - both when other people's images are being sent to you, and yours to other people.

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According to the cyber security firm Checkmarx, there are two security flaws in both the iOS and android versions of the app. Swiping left, for instance, is 278 bytes, while swiping right is 374 bytes.

"If the length is a specific size, I know it was a swipe left, if it was another length, I know it was swipe right", Yalon said.

"It's the combination of two simple vulnerabilities that create a major privacy issue."
In tests, the researchers were able to discern which is which because the file sizes of the said user operations are not encrypted. "We employ a network of tools and systems to protect the integrity of our platform", a Tinder spokesperson told ZDNet.

They also said that Tinder profile pictures are public to begin with and added: "We are working towards encrypting images on our app experience as well".

'The answers will ultimately determine the amount of effort companies such as Tinder, EA games and even Uber put into ensuring their apps are released vulnerability free (or as close to that as humanly possible)', researchers wrote.

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