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Thu 13 Feb 2020 01:49 PM

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Dating apps a hotbed for cyber threats in UAE, says Kaspersky

Dating services such as Tinder, Bumble or Zoosk are often used as bait to spread malware of retrieve personal data

Dating apps a hotbed for cyber threats in UAE, says Kaspersky

The UAE accounts for 17 percent of cyber-attacks disguised as dating apps in the region, according to new research from cyber security firm Kaspersky.

According to Kaspersky’s analysis of threats in the region, there were 658 threats under the guise of more than 20 popular dating applications, with 2,082 attacks on 1,352 users detected.

The countries attacked more often were Egypt (31 percent), Saudi Arabia (18 percent) and the UAE (17 percent).

Dating services such as Tinder, Bumble or Zoosk are often used as bait to spread malware of retrieve personal data.

Tinder, for example, accounted for 693 percent of the attacks detected in the region, while 13 percent came from apps disguised as local services for solely Arab matchmaking.

Kaspersky noted that malicious files spread through dating apps including adware and Trojans that can download other malware.

In one example, an app that appears to be Tinder was found to be a banking Trojan that constantly requests Accessibility service rights, and upon getting them, grants itself all rights necessary to steal money from the user.

Another names itself as ‘Settings’ right after installation, shows a fake ‘error’ message and later disappears, with a high likelihood it will return with unwanted ads a few days later.

“Love is one of those topics that interests people universally, and, of course, that means that cybercriminals are also there,” said Vladimir Kuskov, head of advanced research and software classification at Kaspersky. “Online dating has made our lives easier and yet uncovered new risks on the path to love.”

“We advise users to stay attentive and use legal versions of applications that are available in official application stores,” he added.

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