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Bleeding hearts: Dating apps ooze out user and corporate data

More than 60 per cent of mobile dating apps are potentially vulnerable which could put personal user information and corporate data at risk.

A study by IBM of the top 41 dating apps available on Android devices found that many have access to additional features on mobile devices such as the camera, microphone, storage, GPS location and mobile wallet billing information. IBM also found that nearly 50 per cent of organisations analysed have at least one of these popular dating apps installed on mobile devices used to access business information.

“Many consumers use and trust their mobile phones for a variety of applications. It is this trust that gives hackers the opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities like the ones we found in these dating apps,” said Caleb Barlow, vice president at IBM Security.

“Consumers need to be careful not to reveal too much personal information on these sites as they look to build a relationship. Our research demonstrates that some users may be engaged in a dangerous tradeoff – with increased sharing resulting in decreased personal security and privacy.”

IBM found that of the 41 dating apps they analysed on the Android mobile platform, 26 had either medium or high severity vulnerabilities. This included the ability to access current and past GPS information on 73 per cent of the apps, while 48 per cent have access to a user’s billing information saved on their device.

It recommended enterprises leverage mobility management tools and define downloadable apps to only allow employees to download applications from authorised app stores.

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