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The first stage of our research seeks to answer these main questions: In almost all of the online dating networks we explored, we found that if we were looking for a target we knew had a profile, it was easy to find them.That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as online dating networks allow you to filter people using a wide range of factors—age, location, education, profession, salary, not to mention physical attributes like height and hair color.We narrowed the scope of our research down to Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, and Jdate, which we selected because of the amount of personal information shown, the kind of interaction that transpires, and the lack of initial fees.
Tinder, for instance, retrieves the user’s information on Facebook and shows this in the Tinder profile without the user’s knowledge.
This data, which could’ve been private on Facebook, can be displayed to other users, malicious or otherwise.
The kind (and amount) of information divulged—about the users themselves, the places they work, visit or live—are not only useful for people looking for a date, but also to attackers who leverage this information to gain a foothold into your organization.
To bear out the risks, we delved into various online dating networks, which initially included Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Jdate, OKCupid, Grindr, Coffee meets Bagel, and Love Struck.
With a little bit of social engineering, it’s easy enough to dupe the user into clicking on a link.
It can be as vanilla as a classic phishing page for the dating app itself or the network the attacker is sending them to.
Location can be placed right on the target company’s address, setting the radius for matching profiles as small as possible.
Conversely, we were able to find a given profile’s corresponding identity outside the online dating network through classic Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) profiling. Many were just too eager to share more sensitive information than necessary (a goldmine for attackers).
Romance scams are also nothing new—but how much of these are done on online dating networks?Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating