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Majority of mobile dating apps are prone to cyber attacks: IBM Study

Over 60% of leading dating mobile apps are vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a study conducted by IBM Security.

The results of the survey bring serious concerns for the CIOs as the study says that 50 percent of organizations analyzed have at least one of these popular dating apps installed on mobile devices of their employees.

Over 60% of leading dating mobile apps are vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a study conducted by IBM Security.

The results of the survey bring serious concerns for the CIOs as the study says that 50 percent of organizations analyzed have at least one of these popular dating apps installed on mobile devices of their employees.

“Many of these dating applications have access to additional features on mobile devices such as the camera, microphone, storage, GPS location and mobile wallet billing information,” the study says.

IBM Security identified that 26 of the 41 dating apps they analyzed on the Android mobile platform had either medium or high severity vulnerabilities.

The analysis was done based on apps available in the Google Play app store in October 2014.

The vulnerabilities offer significant advantage to a hacker to gather valuable personal information about a user.

“Some of the vulnerable apps could be reprogrammed by hackers to send an alert that asks users to click for an update or to retrieve a message that, in reality, is just a ploy to download malware onto their device,” the study said.

Hackers could intercept cookies from the app via a Wi-Fi connection or rogue access point, and then tap into other device features such as the camera, GPS, and microphone that the app has permission to access, said IBM.

IBM found 73 percent of the 41 popular dating apps analyzed have access to current and past GPS location information. Hackers can capture a user’s current and past GPS location information to find out where a user lives, works, or spends most of their time.

48 percent of the 41 popular dating apps analyzed have access to a user’s billing information saved on their device.

All the vulnerabilities can allow a hacker to gain access to a phone’s camera or microphone even if the user is not logged into the app. This means an attacker can spy and eavesdrop on users or tap into confidential business meetings.

The study said a hacker can change content and images on the dating profile, impersonate the user and communicate with other app users, or leak personal information externally to affect the reputation of a user’s identity.

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