It’s a match! Dating Apps and hacking

Thursday February 13 2020

Dating Apps connect people who are looking for love, but all is not red roses and cuddly bears online. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By The EastAfrican


With Valentine’s Day this Friday, dating Apps are busy connecting people who are looking for love. But all is not red roses and cuddly bears online.

There are 1,486 cyber threats in circulation under the guise of over 20 popular dating applications in Africa, with 7,734 attacks on 2,548 users detected. The countries attacked most often were South Africa, accounting for 58 percent of all attacks in the region, Kenya (10 percent) and Nigeria (4 percent).

Popular dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble or Zoosk, often become a bait used to spread mobile malware or retrieve personal data to later bombard the users with unwanted ads or even spend their money on expensive paid subscriptions. Such files have nothing to do with legitimate apps, as they only use a name and sometimes copy a design of authentic dating services.

Cybercriminals would most often choose Tinder and those who specialise in phishing also do not miss the chance to feed on those seeking to find love and flood the internet with fake copies of popular dating applications and websites, such as

Users are required to leave their personal data or connect to the applications via their social media account. The result is not surprising: the data will later be used or sold by cybercriminals, while the user will be left with nothing.


To use dating apps safely, Kaspersky recommends:

  • Avoiding sharing too much personal information with strangers
  • Making sure that the person you are meeting is real, as fraudsters often use fake profiles for scams