With Valentines Day approaching, dating sites are soft targets for cyber-attacks
February 9, 2016
by Chemi Katz
In 2015, we saw cyber attacks dominating the news in unprecedented numbers. One of the industries facing a growing number of cyber-threats is online dating. Tinder, Match.com and PlentyofFish all faced assaults in 2015. PlentyofFish’s advertising network served up fake ads to its users and Match.com was forced to suspend its UK advertising in September after an attack threatened to steal customer information.
Dating sites are particularly vulnerable to such attacks because they have databases where people have store their payment details and share intimate and personal details about themselves. This information is extremely attractive to hackers – compromised credentials have currency in underground markets where personal information is bought and sold.
It’s a worrying issue for dating sites that not only rely on advertising and subscription for revenue, but trade on customer trust and confidence. It can take years for a business to build customer trust, but only a single malware attack to destroy it completely. Once a customer’s confidence in a site has been compromised, the damage in brand reputation has been done.
Some types of malware are impossible to monitor or control by traditional server-side security measures. Why? Because it’s downloaded directly by users, together with free software and browser extensions that may seem legit, and runs invisibly on their browser or device. This new but growing threat is called Client-Side Injected Malware, or CISM, and can literally make sales, profit and your brand reputation disappear.
There are over 50,000 types of CSIM, including unauthorised ads, inappropriate content and various types of spyware designed to collect private data for unscrupulous uses. The scale of the problem is huge – anywhere between 15%-30% of online users are infected with some kind of malware threat on their browsers. A client-side script that sits within a user’s browser can literally do anything: steal personal data and payment information and completely change the online experience. It’s also alarmingly effective at luring customers away to competitors, injected ads and other content to seduce customers to rival sites.
Dating sites need to think seriously about the way they protect their digital assets and their customer-base in 2016. Namogoo works with enterprises worldwide to protect their online brand and provide a safe and distraction-free customer journey with their patented anti-CSIM solution.