Tinder Cyber Attack exposes 70K female photos for Catfishing


According to research carried out by Cybersecurity firm White Ops, hackers launched a cyberattack at some time last year to access images of over 70,000 females from the dating app which can be used for fraudulent cyber scams like Catfishing.


Note 1– Catfishing is an online activity where fraudsters use images of people (mostly females) to trap other people (mostly males) via fraudulent relationships online. And to do so, they launch cyberattacks on various platforms like cloud storage sites and dating platforms to access photos of users of that respective platform and then start using them for malevolent activities like creating profiles on Facebook and other dating sites.


Gizmodo which happens to be the first resource to reveal the cyber-attack details of Tinder to the world said that the researchers from White Ops have also discovered a text file containing over 16k Tinder user Ids- claiming the incident to be deadly serious.


Security researchers say that images gained from cyber attacks could be used for many malevolent projects such as the creation of deep fake videos or to tarnish the image of many political leaders during their election campaigns. Often such pictures land up on the dark web where anyone can purchase them and train a product with machine learning algorithms without the consent of users.


Tinder has condemned this activity and said that the use of any of the photos published or stored on its platform is prohibited and strictly punishable. And as the stolen data is available online for purchase, the dating app officials will do everything to get the data removed from the unofficial servers.


Note 2- According to European Data Privacy Law any dating app which is caught leaking its user information to hackers or ad companies will be penalized heavily.


Note 3- Earlier, Tinder only allowed users to sign-up on its platform via their respective Facebook accounts. However, this rule has changed since 2019 as users are now being allowed to sign-up for the dating services only with their phone number. On an average over 50 million users are reported to be using the app every month with an average matching score of 12 matches per day for each individual. Since its inception in 2012 the dating app which can be accessed via the web, iOS and Android is said to have made over 8 billion matches- having a success score of 78%.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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