How to test android app security

At the device level, there are 2 ways in which the application shall be tested.

  • With Android device running in a factory default or normal mode
  • With Android device running in a rooted mode

At the application level, there are 2 ways in which it shall be tested

  • Application running on the device (to take benefits of touch related features)
  • Application running on the emulator (to ease the task of testing using wider screen of desktop or laptop)

When your Android app is uploaded decompiles it, and tests the client layer of the app against a rules based engine that uses static analysis to find the security vulnerabilities and flaws of the app.

The android app checklist is split into five different fields:

Store specific checks.

App User interface checks.

Network specific checks

Device specific characteristics. These are characteristics that are related to the device on which the app is installed.

App checks. These are things to check that have to do with functionality that is frequently used in an app.

The fundamental objective of android app security testing is to ensure that the application's data and networking security requirements are met as per guidelines. The effective test planning in Mobile Application testing makes helps to improve the quality of Mobile Apps. In this article we are exploring how to achieve the mobile application quality and get better competence on mobile testing.

Android Mobile app security risks

  • Mobile Data Encryption at Rest
  • Mobile Data Encryption in Transit
  • Mobile Application Back-ends

    Mobile app source code analyzers, tools that sandbox the apps to check for flaws and, then the good old-fashioned manual analysis.

Mobile Security Testing Process

  • Intelligence Gathering (gather as much as possible information about the app)

  • Threat Modeling (identify threats for the app - specific or prepared)

  • Vulnerability Analysis (identify vulnerabilities in the app with the previous created test cases using Dynamic methods (Passive network monitoring and analyzing), Runtime analysis (analyzing the communicating process for internal components (Android: Intents; iOS: objc_msgSend calls), and Forensic methods (Timeline analysis)

The specific activities to be performed while testing the Security of Mobile Applications are

  • Automated security testing of mobile applications for multiple mobile devices across multiple platforms over diverse networks
  • Use of a cloud-based mobile Testing Lab that enables uploading locations or the actual apps themselves for testing
  • Performance of a huge variety of automated security tests for identifying embedded spywares, viruses, Trojans, data privacy, data leakage, unsolicited network connections, etc.
  • Dynamic analyses and testing of apps in labs providing the required environment to verify security issues such as insecure file system, insecure data transmission, unsafe data storage, privilege access violations, etc.
  • Analysis of results for each mobile application
  • Assessment of automated code that helps IT teams secure mobile apps in agile-based environments.
  • Inspection of all features of the apps in real-time in controlled environments, and comparison of the results against a plethora of known applications.
  • Assessment of the apps using binary static analysis that expose malicious capabilities and vulnerabilities such as leakage of information
  • Assessment of whether or not an app has been built according to the peculiar demands of compliance in your industry, as it is vital to follow the right standards for regulations and mandates
  • Last - but definitely very important - keep checking and testing for the new security threats that keep surfacing ever so often.
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