Mobile App Security testing is a continuous improvement process which is beneficial to the app development firm as well as the app user.
Protect application data from hackers
Protect application data from other ill-behaving apps
Protect application data if the device is stolen
Prevent monetory loss
Prevent reputational loss
Induce confidence in customer
Increased ROI for IT investments
Mobile App Penetration Testing
Performing vulnerability assessment of Mobile applications, either Android apps security or iOS app security, there is a set of benefits as an outcome. Below points outline why we perform a security scan for the apps. Both business and public organizations today are using mobile apps in new and compelling ways, from banking applications to healthcare platforms. Managing security risk is a growing challenge on these platforms, with new vulnerabilities found every day. Is your mobile app safe from attackers?
Internet usage via mobile has surpassed fixed Internet access. This is largely due to the emergence of hybrid and HTML5 mobile applications. Application servers that form the backbone of these applications must be secured on their own.
The OWASP top 10 web application project defines the most prevalent vulnerabilities in this realm. Vulnerabilities such as injections, insecure direct object reference, insecure communication, and so on may lead to a complete compromise of the application server, and adversaries who have gained control over the compromised servers can push malicious content to all the application users and compromise user devices as well.
Insecure Data Storage, as the name says, is about the protection of the data in storage. Mobile applications are used for all kinds of tasks, such as playing games, fitness monitors, online banking, stock trading and so on, and most of the data used by these applications is stored in the device itself inside SQLite files, XML data stores, log files, and so on. Or, they are pushed on to cloud storage.
The types of sensitive data stored by these applications may range from location information to bank account details. Application programming interfaces (APIs) that handle the storage of this data must securely implement encryption/hashing techniques so that an adversary with direct access to these data stores via theft or malware will not be able to decipher the sensitive information stored in them.
All the hybrid and HTML 5 apps work on the client-server architecture; emphasis for data in motion is a must as the data will have to traverse through various channels and will be susceptible to eavesdropping and tampering by adversaries. Controls such as SSL/TLS, which enforce confidentiality and integrity of the data, must be verified for correct implementations on the communication channel from the mobile application and its server.
Certain functionalities of mobile applications may place sensitive data of the users in locations where it can be accessed by other applications or even by malware. These functionalities may be there in order to enhance usability or user experience but may have adverse effects in the long run.
Actions such as OS data caching, key press logging, copy/paste buffer caching, and implementations of web beacons or analytics cookies for advertisement delivery can be misused by adversaries to gain information about victims.
As mobile devices are the most personal devices, developers utilize this to store important data such as credentials locally in the device itself and come up with specific mechanisms to authenticate and authorize users locally for the services that the user is requesting via the application.
If these mechanisms are poorly developed, adversaries may circumvent these controls and unauthorized actions can be performed. As the code is available to adversaries, they can perform binary attacks and recompile the code to access authorized content directly.
This relates to weak controls that are used to protect the data. The usage of weak cryptographic algorithms, such as RC2, MD5, and so on, that can be cracked by adversaries will lead to encryption failure.
Improper encryption key management when the key is stored in locations accessible to other applications or the use of a predictable key generation technique will also break the implemented cryptography techniques.
Injection vulnerabilities are the most common web vulnerabilities according to OWASP web top 10. These are due to malformed inputs that cause unintended actions, such as altering database queries, command execution, and so on. In the case of mobile applications, malformed inputs can be serious threat at the local application level and on the server side as well (such as the risk of Weak Server Side Controls).
Injections at the local application level that mainly target data stores may result in conditions such as access of paid content locked for trial users or file inclusions, which may lead to abusing functionalities such as SMS, and so on.
The implementation of certain functionalities such as use of hidden variables to check the authorization status can be bypassed by tampering them during transit via web service calls or inter-process communication calls. This may lead to privilege escalations and unintended behavior of the mobile application.
The application server sends back the session token on successful authentication with the mobile application. These session tokens are used by the mobile applications to request for services.
If these session tokens remain active for a longer duration and adversaries obtain them via malware or theft, the user account can be hijacked.
Mobile application source code is available to everyone. An attacker can reverse engineer the application and insert malicious code components and recompile them.
If these tampered applications are installed by a user, they would be susceptible to data theft, become victims of unintended actions, and so on. Most of the applications do not ship with mechanisms such as checksum controls, which help in deducing whether the application is tampered or not.
Security is one of the prominent concerns of almost every mobile app owner in the present times. Reportedly, 80 percent of users are more likely to uninstall an app due to security issues. Therefore, it is highly essential to focus on security testing for mobile apps. Certain applications such as travel apps require the personal information of users for different transactions. If your app demands something similar, then it is essential that you provide the guarantee of confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the app. So, the Security testing companies or QA testing team should also focus on data security and app behavior in the case of different device permission schemes.
a. A Test Plan is a document that describes the scope of testing, test strategy, objectives, effort, schedule, and resources required. It serves as a guide to testing throughout the development process.
Most of us are not be aware that JMeter can also be used for performance testing of Android/iOS apps. It is similar to recording scripts like in the case of web apps.
Performance test addresses the performance bottlenecks before making an application go live. Bottlenecks are the processes within the overall functions of systems that slow down or stall the overall performance. The common types of performance tests include load testing, volume testing, soak testing, spike testing, and stress testing. A/B testing is the process of running a controlled experiment comparing one or more variations of an iOS app against the original, with the goal of improving a specific metric, such as taps, engagement or in-app purchases. The experiment is delivered to a selected percentage of the application's install base.
The Functional Testing of Mobile Application is a process of testing functionalities of mobile applications like user interactions as well as testing the transactions that users might perform.
There are mainly seven types:
The goal of security testing is to: Identify threats in the system, measure the potential vulnerabilities of the system, help in detecting possible security risks in the system and help the developers in fixing these problems.
The OWASP top 10 for mobile apps are:
Mobile security framework (MobSF) is an automated, all-in-one mobile application pen-testing, malware analysis and security assessment framework capable of performing static and dynamic analysis.
In the context of native apps, XSS risks are far less prevalent for the simple reason these kinds of applications do not rely on a web browser. However, apps using WebView components, such as WKWebView or the deprecated UIWebView on iOS and WebView on Android, are potentially vulnerable to such attacks.
Vulnerability scans look for known vulnerabilities in your systems and report potential exposures. Penetration tests are intended to exploit weaknesses in the architecture of your IT network and determine the degree to which a malicious attacker can gain unauthorized access to your assets.
a. Black Box Testing is a software testing method in which the functionalities of software applications are tested without having knowledge of internal code structure, implementation details and internal paths. Black Box Testing mainly focuses on input and output of software applications and it is entirely based on software requirements and specifications. It is also known as Behavioural Testing.
b. There are mainly three types:
For a mobile API testing, it is generally recommended to perform grey box testing to enable the pentesters to handle the API correctly and to save time in identifying the most important security flaws. For tests aimed at ensuring the highest level of security, white box testing enables a deeper investigation, which requires providing the pentesters with access to the mobile application’s source code and server infrastructure.
Using the Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) approach gives an organization a more detailed view of the threats facing its applications, enabling the business to better protect its systems and data from malicious attacks.
Some of the examples would be:
One of the most popular web application security testing frameworks that are also developed using Python is W3af. The tool allows testers to find over 200 types of security issues in web applications, including: Blind SQL injection
a. Injection attacks refer to a broad class of attack vectors. In an injection attack, an attacker supplies untrusted input to a program. This input gets processed by an interpreter as part of a command or query. In turn, this alters the execution of that program.
b. Injections are amongst the oldest and most dangerous attacks aimed at web applications. They can lead to data theft, data loss, loss of data integrity, denial of service, as well as full system compromise. The primary reason for injection vulnerabilities is usually insufficient user input validation.
a. The best way to prevent server-side template injection is to not allow any users to modify or submit new templates. However, this is sometimes unavoidable due to business requirements.
b. One of the simplest ways to avoid introducing server-side template injection vulnerabilities is to always use a "logic-less" template engine, such as Mustache, unless absolutely necessary. Separating the logic from presentation as much as possible can greatly reduce your exposure to the most dangerous template-based attacks.
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