Still bound, he listens with delight to her rhythmic breathing and carefully reaches over to caress her velvety skin and places a chaste kiss on her forehead. “Happy Valentine’s Day, honey,” he whispers in her ear. They will spend the morning in bed, taking the aforementioned day as an excuse. Although there are many who will celebrate the Valentine’s Day similarly to that described, it is clear that singles will not.
However, many of them will take advantage of these days to try to find their better half (or at least to seek company). Yes, because according to experts, the use of dating apps and specific websites increases by up to 48% during these dates. A figure that has led Seworks analysts to wonder if it is totally safe tools.
The results of the analysis
In this way and according to its founder, Min Pyo Hong a Venture Beat, his team has carried out a in-depth review one of the most popular in the Google Play Store. Specifically, they have chosen, at random, five from the top 10 downloads. Although their names have not transcended (we understand that to avoid problems), the entity assures that they have been installed between 10 and 100 million times and that they are “extremely well known”.
Unfortunately, the results have revealed that all of them are vulnerable, as it has not only been very simple access private data of its users, but it has been detected that they even contain exploits that allow attacks similar to the one that Snapchat suffered in 2014 – and that it leaked intimate photos and videos that had been stored on third-party websites.
In addition, researchers have found that they lack tools for protection to prevent or delay decompilation, that they do not use secure communications, and that the source code is written in plain text, which makes it very easy to read. Min Pyo Hong, in fact, assures that it only took a few minutes to decompile each application.
Vulnerabilities that, in general terms, expose users to numerous threats, including Man in The Middle attacks –which can intercept messages and files shared between several users without their knowledge, among others-, and that provide the opportunity to cybercriminals of creating fake versions of the official app to fool the service regulars.
In any case, Seworks indicates that the quotation utilities are not the exception but rather that the security flaws they are prevalent in at least 85% of the most popular free applications. A reality that he attributes to the speed with which this market is growing and the pressure to meet investors’ dates.
However, it is not the first time that this kind of problem has been discussed, but rather a year ago, IBM researchers discovered that 63% of applications to seek love on the Internet were vulnerable to hackers who, to more inri, they could access the camera and microphones of our devices, know our Location and other kinds of “sensitive” information.
On that occasion, the study analyzed the 41 most used tools for Android, concluding that 26 of them had serious errors. Although he did not reveal which ones, he warned the corresponding companies so that they could solve them and gave users a series of guidelines – such as to be cautious with the data they reveal, use secure connections and choose unique passwords for those pages.
Some measures, unfortunately, insufficient if the responsible developers do not take action on the matter, and that could lead to cases as controversial as that of Ashley Madison, which occurred at the end of August and which leaked the data of 39 million users of this website dating for adulterers. A hack that also released the descriptions of what they were looking for and all kinds of details that earned the community a barrage of criticism and that had not a little media impact.
Images | Pixabay
In Genbeta | Five apps (and some more tools) to spark your Valentine’s Day