With alarming frequency, companies disclose data breaches or hack attacks that compromise the personal data of their consumers. Yet a new fear that may keep company executives up at night may not be from hackers, but the risks posed by their own client base.
A new study from Bluebox found that popular mobile applications like Hulu and Tinder have major security holes that allow hackers to fool the system into believing they obtained a premium account, when, in fact, they hadn't actually paid. The study suggested these apps have flaws that lack basic defense capabilities that guard against tampering.
Considering their large user bases, it could mean these popular apps could end up losing money, especially as the landscape becomes increasingly competitive and premium subscriptions become a revenue driver for developers. Hulu, for instance has a commercial-free option for $4/month in addition to its regular $7.99 subscription fee. It is estimated that the company's earned around $1.6 billion from both subscriber and advertising revenue in 2015.
"The mobile app ecosystem is still in the very early stage of security," Andrew Blaich, lead security analyst at Bluebox Security told CNBC. "Most of them are not protected and not secured."