Android Application Hacking – Security Boulevard

Android Application Hacking – Security Boulevard

The most widely used consumer alternative to desktop software has evolved into Android apps. Sensitive data is often processed by mobile applications, and this makes them a prime target for cybercriminals. Developers must make every effort to ensure the preservation of such data when working with it, and must have a minimum of basic knowledge required to test and reverse engineer Android apps to uncover vulnerabilities in the application code.

Do you know that companies often spend a significant amount of money on critical infrastructure to stop serious data breaches and find systemic errors and flaws? Nevertheless, the privacy and security of Android users are vulnerable to untrusted applications. The openness of the Android ecosystem is the primary reason for this.

Application security is strengthened with reverse engineering

The OWASP TOP 10 mobile vulnerabilities, Application Security using Reverse Engineering and Android Application PenTesting will all be covered in detail in this blog. Ensuring a high level of data security when working with Android applications is one of the top priorities. Reverse engineering is the practice of taking the knowledge that can be used to improve any product. The following frameworks and tools are involved in this:

  • Dex2year– It is a freely available tool that transforms bytecode from the .dex format into Java class files.
  • Java de-compiler (JD-GUI) – Java code is rendered as java class files by this program, making it readable.
  • Akptool– One of the most popular open source tools to decompile binary, proprietary and third-party Android apps.
  • Apk Analyzer – File sizes and their proportional percentage of the total APK size are provided to the file browser by APK Analyzer.

Android apps today are used for a variety of things, including mobile, banking, shopping, and sharing personal information, and are vulnerable to cyberattacks using a variety of tactics, including malware, code injection, and reverse engineering. Pen testing is the process of attacking your own or a client’s IT systems in such a way that a hacker can identify security vulnerabilities.

Some of the benefits from Android Application Pentesting are listed below –

  • Make the application more efficient.
  • The cost of a data breach is reduced.
  • Gain the customer’s trust.
  • Discover the security vulnerabilities in Android apps.


Both web applications and security barriers used to stop software development have multiple risks. The top 10 list of mobile vulnerabilities from OWASP includes some of the common security issues that a user may encounter:

  • Vulnerabilities are related to login authentication.
  • Generating a weak password.
  • Injection of malicious code.
  • Hard-coded cryptographic keys.

The top 10 security threats are listed below according to the level of risk they pose. To review certain details, see below:

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  1. Wrong platform usage – The risk is associated with incorrect implementation of platform security controls or misuse of a function in the operating system. Platforms such as iOS, Android or Windows features that are well documented and fully understood fall under the category of dangers associated with this. The methods by which mobile apps face these dangers
    1. Breaking accepted norms.
    2. Unintentional misuse of functionality.
    3. Best practices are violated by the app.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are the ways to avoid such attacks –

  • Never attempt to gain access control through client applications.
  • The customer is not to be trusted.
  • Server-side controls should be thoroughly thought through.

2. Insecure data storage – Data security is the protection provided for all data that is stored or delivered. Android application data is stored on servers, mobile devices and cloud storage, among other things. These sites are all vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are the ways to avoid such attacks –

  • Prevent critical data from being stored on iOS devices.
  • Adds an encryption layer.
  • Avoid using encryption or decryption keys that are hard-coded.

3. Insecure communication – Sensitive information can be sent through insecure channels through insecure communication. Such data can be captured by anyone with access to the channel. When application developers do not take any precautions to defend against network traffic, there is a vulnerability known as insufficient transport layer protection. Testing is done in this for wrong SSL version, weak negotiation and lack of certification inspection.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are the ways to avoid such attacks –

  • Uses a separate layer of encryption.
  • Avoid sending sensitive data.
  • Prefer industry standard string cipher suites.
  • Remove the codes after the development cycle.

4. Insecure authentication – Any attacker can use the app or the backend server used by the web application to perform functions without their knowledge. One of the main causes of many security problems is weak authentication. Typical examples of insecure authentication include attack vectors including authentication bypass, information leakage via debug messages, and session invalidation.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are the ways to avoid such attacks –

  • Implement two-factor authorization.
  • Ensure that authentication requests are performed on the server side.
  • Always use an encrypted database.
  • Any false values ​​shall not be used.

5. Inadequate cryptography – Data security can be improved by using cryptography. Weak encryption and decryption techniques can lead to insufficient cryptography. An attacker can still obtain private information if a flaw in the cryptography implementation is discovered.

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Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are the ways to avoid such attacks –

  • Use modern algorithms recognized by experts.
  • Use white box encryption for high security requirements.
  • The application’s native chain to use.

6. Insufficient Authorization -The authorization procedure ensures that the access operation is performed only by persons who have been granted access to the data. The authorization component of the CIA triad is crucial. Due to the wrong implementation of permissions in many mobile applications, low-level users gain access to all high-privileged users’ information. Attackers can access the mobile application’s functionality as a user with fewer privileges thanks to inferior or absent authorization methods. The following indicators show you if a mobile endpoint has insecure authorization. –

  • Unknown endpoints.
  • Role or permission transfer for the user.
  • vulnerability in indirect object references is present.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are ways to avoid such attacks

  • Avoid being dependent on information coming from mobile devices.
  • Verification of the roles and permissions of the user authenticated for backend information.

7. Client Code Quality – Poor code quality is a major contributor to the increasing frequency of security incidents and data breaches. Buffer overflows, format string errors and other dangers such as these contribute to poor code quality. The most important element to ensure the quality of the finished product is the application code.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are ways to avoid such attacks

  • The code must be well written and documented
  • Different code patterns should be there so that everyone can agree on them.
  • Always check that the length of incoming data should not exceed one buffer.

8. Code tampering – In the process of “code manipulation”, hackers or attackers use an application’s existing source code by modifying it with malicious payloads. This can result in business interruption, financial loss and loss of intellectual property. Technically, code manipulation is possible on all mobile devices. It often follows reverse development and has negative commercial effects, such as lost income or damage to reputation.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are ways to avoid such attacks

  • With code integrity violations, the application must be able to respond appropriately.
  • The app will run in a jailbroken or rooted environment after the modification.
  • The application must be able to detect that the code has been added or changed.

9. Reverse Construction – Reverse engineering is the practice of dismantling a mobile application to discover its logic. Due to the complex structure of the code and whether the attacker is able to perform the following tasks:

  • Derive an accurate reconstruction of the source code,
  • Accurate execution of cross-functional analysis.
  • The contents of the binary string table are understood.
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Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are ways to avoid such attacks

  • Should be able to withstand deobfuscation.
  • Fuzzy string tables.
  • List the method segments to be obfuscated.

10. External functionality – Bad actors like cybercriminals or hackers strive to understand the additional features of the mobile application. Understanding and investigating the backend framework’s hidden capabilities is the main goal. It is best to avoid including information about backend tests, staging, or UAT environments in a product phase because some helper functions can be very useful to an attacker.

Few preventive measures will be taken to prevent the risk. Below are ways to avoid such attacks

  • All API endpoints should be checked and verified.
  • Discover any hidden switches going through the app’s configuration setting.
  • Perform manual code review with the SMBs.

Consider your organization’s Android penetration testing with Kratikal

Testing for vulnerabilities in Android apps is a challenging but crucial phase of creating mobile applications. For their apps to function properly, developers must guarantee that sensitive data will always be protected.

Developers need to be able to examine their apps from the inside out to uncover obscure bugs and vulnerabilities. The OWASP MSTG CrackMe exercises can help you develop the basic reverse engineering skills necessary for this.

As CERT-In empaneled organization, we have skilled teams of Android developers, testers, reverse engineers and quality assurance experts who know how to make your mobile apps reliable and secure. With the use of our human and automatic VAPT services, which identify, detect and analyze the vulnerabilities inherent in your IT framework, Kratikal can help you become more aware of these risks. To help your business comply with the rules and legislation established by many authorities, we also offer security audits for compliance, including ISO/IEC 27001, GDPR, PCI DSS and many more.

Contact us if you want to test your Android app and make it more secure.

The post Android Application Hacking appeared first on Kratikal Blogs.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Kratikal Blogs written by Deepti Sachdeva. Read the original post at:

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