Aaron DeVera, a member of Cyber Sexual Assault in New York’s Task Force reported the discovery of more than 70,000 user photos of Tinder was just dumped in an online cybercrime forum, which is primarily meant for trading malicious softwares. The issue is yet unknown whether Tinder had a data breach or someone internally had scraped the data. Somehow, they reached the dark forum and is ready to be exploited.
The Grand Dump
Gizmodo reported this as the first source when they contacted Aaron DeVara about this database. The dump in the forum is said to be having 70,000+ user photos of around 16,000 unique users, learned from the user ID metadata accompanied by those leaked photos.
Tinder, as any other company, opposes this situation of scraping someone’s data without consent and publishing. The company spokesperson to Gizmodo reveals that it will take severe action on those who did it. Tinder has its platform open for everyone. Though it made profile photos of users publicly available, it’s only on app but not as whole as now.
This isn’t the first time an incident of such happened for Tinder. The platform’s API was abused by a researcher in 2017 to scrape around 40,000 profiles photos of specific area users, which led Tinder to consider strict policies for using its API and following preventive actions. Yet, here’s another such issue arisen.
The Potential Harm
While the reason of such collection was still unknown, analysts predict the exploitation of such a database could be critical. Those who obtained can use it for harassing the victims, creating fake profiles on other social groups etc. Even with just a photo, the exploitation could be endless.
Aside this, potential usage of this data could be training AI for facial recognition, which in turn make the exploitation hard and dangerous. A big data company or a developer could use facial recognition technology for a number of reasons. And the dataset containing most of the women photos makes it more intriguing. Other clues as timestamps, phone models and photo’s metadata reveal the pictures were taken recently.