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Tinder-like apps are a security risk to businesses, says IBM [Update]

IBM has warned in a new report that millions of people who use dating apps on company smartphones are exposing themselves and their employers to hackers.

In recent years, apps such as Tinder and OkCupid have become hugely popular with an estimated 31 million Americans having used a dating site or app, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study.

In the new report, IBM security researchers analyzed 41 dating apps on Google's Android platform and found 26 of them had medium or high severity vulnerabilities. The vulnerable apps was not named in the report, but the app publishers were alerted to issues.

Use of vulnerable dating apps were found in nearly 50 percent of the companies sampled. The researchers blamed employees using the same phone for work and play, they said "if not managed properly, the organizations might be leaking sensitive corporate data" via the devices.

The security researchers warned that the camera or microphone on the smartphones could be remotely turned on by hackers through the vulnerable apps, which then could be used to eavesdrop on personal conversations or record confidential business meetings.

The researchers also warned that employees using the dating apps are more likely to let their guard down and be vulnerable to phishing messages, which hackers can used to trick lovesick employees into giving up sensitive business information or to install malware.

Update: An IAC spokesman has issued the following statement to Neowin:

IBM tested IAC’s dating apps - including Match, OkCupid, and Tinder - and they were not among the apps found to exhibit the cited vulnerabilities. We are confident in the continuing security measures we take to make sure our products meet the highest security standards.

Source: Reuters | Exploding heart via Shutterstock

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