DATING APPLICATIONS

Online dating may be more popular among younger populations than other methods of forming romantic relationships. Nearly 10 million users swipe on Tinder every day, 4 million users check Bumble or Plenty of Fish (PoF) daily, and 2.5 million users use Grindr. Other applications, like Badoo or Tagged, claim 45 million and 25 million users per month, respectively. Adversaries can engineer profile details to attract specific demographic suitors according to spiral dynamic tier or socionic profile. Additionally, they can hyper-focus their profile details or images to mesh with a specific movement or tribe. Memes such as images, T-shirts, slogans, and even fake news links can be communicated to viewers. The goal of profile weaponization is not necessarily propagation or mutation of the meme; in this case, it is normalization aimed at leveraging the target’s attraction to the fake profile to make them want to change their views to be compatible with that individual; to make the viewer feel overwhelmed or entrenched in an accepting or opposing community, likely populated by bots; or to make the suitor feel isolated or ostracized due to their views. After unbalancing the viewer and normalizing the meme, the threat actor can leverage any of a number of psychological vectors to influence the behaviors and beliefs of members of that online community. In more personalized campaigns, threat actors can attempt to cat-phish specific people or public officials and then weaponize the messages or images exchanged. They can even employ chatbots to automate and expand the process.

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