Risk
2/20/2014
09:49 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Vulnerability In Tinder Dating App Exposed Users' Location

Security flaw made it possible to pinpoint users of Tinder online dating app within 100 feet, researchers say

Imagine a woman using a popular mobile dating application to chat with a stranger. She's not sure she wants to meet him -- he seems a little creepy.

Now imagine he's found her, and is walking her way.

Such a situation might have occurred just a few months ago to users of Tinder, a popular dating application that enables single people to find other singles who live or work in the same community. According to a report by researchers at security consulting firm Include Security, a vulnerability in Tinder's geo-location feature might have allowed a computer-savvy user to determine the location of another user within 100 feet.

"We were able to collect very precise location data from the server which, combined with the user's own location data, made it possible for any user to find the location of any other user," says Erik Cabetas, founder of Include. "It wasn't hard -- it was simple trigonometry."

Cabetas, who worked with Include researcher Max Veytsman to verify and report the vulnerability to Tinder, says the problem has now been fixed, and that Tinder's servers now give only a general area of another user, rather than a precise location.

The researchers could not say exactly how long the vulnerability existed, but they suspect it has been an issue since July of 2013, when Tinder fixed a similar vulnerability that had been disclosed by other researchers. "Tinder's fix for that first vulnerability was incomplete," Cabetas says.

In his blog about the vulnerability, Veytsman describes a small application he wrote which exposed the vulnerability and made it a simple task to geo-locate a simulated Tinder user using the data exposed by the server. Such vulnerabilities are not unique to Tinder and could be found in any other distance-aware mobile application that gives away too much location data, Veytsman says.

"Mobile applications are often the victims of bad designs, copycat applications, and malware," Cabetas says. "There are some mobile apps that are pretty solid, but for a lot of them, it's the wild west out there."

Include, a startup company that is now becoming more public after two years of quiet operations, is made up primarily of security researchers from all over the globe who help assess and find vulnerabilities in Web applications.

"We're doing a lot of work with mobile apps, and in general, we find that the more interaction involved in the app, the greater the attack surface," Cabetas says. "You can build interactive applications right if you see the security implications first, but it is a lot harder if you're going back and trying to fix an app that's already out there."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3409
Published: 2014-10-25
The Ethernet Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) handling feature in Cisco IOS 12.2(33)SRE9a and earlier and IOS XE 3.13S and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via malformed CFM packets, aka Bug ID CSCuq93406.

CVE-2014-4620
Published: 2014-10-25
The EMC NetWorker Module for MEDITECH (aka NMMEDI) 3.0 build 87 through 90, when EMC RecoverPoint and Plink are used, stores cleartext RecoverPoint Appliance credentials in nsrmedisv.raw log files, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading these files.

CVE-2014-4623
Published: 2014-10-25
EMC Avamar 6.0.x, 6.1.x, and 7.0.x in Avamar Data Store (ADS) GEN4(S) and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE), when Password Hardening before 2.0.0.4 is enabled, uses UNIX DES crypt for password hashing, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to obtain cleartext passwords via a brute-force a...

CVE-2014-4624
Published: 2014-10-25
EMC Avamar Data Store (ADS) and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) 6.x and 7.0.x through 7.0.2-43 do not require authentication for Java API calls, which allows remote attackers to discover grid MCUser and GSAN passwords via a crafted call.

CVE-2014-6151
Published: 2014-10-25
CRLF injection vulnerability in IBM Tivoli Integrated Portal (TIP) 2.2.x allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via unspecified vectors.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.