Almost all the organizations today use mobile applications in new and effective ways, from banking systems to health platforms. Managing security risks is a growing challenge on these platforms, with new risks emerging on a daily basis. Is your mobile app safe from attackers?
The number of Android users is constantly growing and exceeding the number of computer users far away. Android supports many test tools within it to enable IT analysts to update tests to perform tests from mobile devices themselves. Well, if the test is possible using Android Smartphones, then who cares to manage multiple apps in different locations to do your test.
Contents of an APK File
Activities:- Activities are the basic application components that provide an interface to the user – a single screen that can host UI elements. An application usually provides one or more activities and allows the user to navigate between each of them.
Services:- Services are application components that are mostly used for background processing tasks, for example, playing music, downloading files, or performing some time-consuming computation.
Broadcast Receivers:- Broadcast receivers allow to exchange events between app components or even between different apps. With broadcast receivers, events can be delivered even to apps that aren’t currently running (for example app can listen to system events). Android uses Intents to deliver these events to broadcast receivers.
Content Providers:- Content providers allow an Android app to manage and share data. They provide a unified interface for managing app’s data which allows to use an URI scheme to map URI to data items.
Requested Permissions:- When an app wants to access resources or various device capabilities, it often has to request permissions from the user to do so. Some permissions are granted by the user when installing the app and some need to be additionally confirmed while an app is running. The requested permissions are declared in app’s Android Manifest.xml file.
Android Manifest.xml:- Android manifest contains important information about the app that is used by the development tools, Android system, and app stores. It contains app’s package name, version information, declarations of app components, requested permissions, and other important things. It is serialized into a binary xml format and bundled inside app’s APK file.
APK Signature:- Valid Android APK files contain a signature which allows to identify the author of the APK file. This is especially useful when installing updates to already installed apps because it allows you to verify that the updated version comes from the same author.
Important areas for Android mobile app security in 2022
Many mobile app test providers have their background in network and web login testing, the most important quality in mobile app testing. Almost every mobile app communicates with a back-up service, and those services are prone to the same types of attacks that we are accustomed to in web applications on desktop machines.
Mobile applications differ in that there is less room for attack so additional security for injections and similar attacks. Instead, we should prioritize data protection on the device and network to increase mobile security.
Reasons for Android vulnerability
Risk can occur at any time during the app production. That’s why apps are updated regularly. Users who do not update their apps regularly risk exposing their data. Let’s take a look at what mistakes lead to a risk.
Architectural flaws are one of the most common reasons for risk, especially for large projects with a large asset code. If the new features were not originally planned and the construction was not ready for consistent growth, the whole system would eventually be in jeopardy.
Insecure Connectivity protocols: If the connection between the software and the hardware is faulty, this will inevitably lead to a lack of security. This is why security issues are common in the Internet of Things applications: many different devices use the same software connected to the same backend, and one unsafe application can open a hacker door on all other devices.
Weak passwords are a good way for hackers to access personal data. Encourage your users to come up with complex passwords and use two-factor authentication.
Network connection issues. The insecure network allows for all kinds of malware attacks, so communication between client and server needs to be protected with a few layers of security.
Human error: An error made by the engineer or the team as a whole during product planning, storage, or development may result in a risk.
Business logic errors. Sometimes the business logic errors make way for attackers exploit the Android app with ease by identifying the application architecture.
User Access controls. Each user must be assigned with proper roles and permissions.
Lack of security technology. This applies to the development team and the client team that can look for updated plugins and other trusted third- party libraries.
Android App Pentesting Checklist: Based on Detox’s Methodology
Recon (a.k.a) Reconnaissance
The first section sets out a list of high-risk areas that need to be explored. The pentesting team therefore needs to identify the primary features and working of the application. In addition to learning the full scope of application performance, it is important to assess the flow of data to potentially vulnerable areas and libraries that do not have undocumented libraries or functions.
In addition to performing scanning, it is also important to collect important information from publicly available information, such as Google Search, WHOIS, sub-domain search / bruteforce and sources from Open-source Intelligence (OSINT)
In a statistical analysis, the app source code needs to be examined so that the tester can understand whether there are static data stored in the APK that can be used to violate system security or extend the attack vector. This is done by decompiling and disassembling the binary and APK from the raw source code.
Our team analyses Code Obfuscation, JailBreak Detection and Prevention mechanism, SSL Pinning Mechanism, Levels of access to other applications, Confidentiality of sensitive and transparent application on the phone.
Dynamic analysis helps detect vulnerability while the app is running in real time. This often involves encountering functions / calls (via Frida or Drozer) in real-time traffic restrictions via proxies. Common runtime constraints are to check for authentication and authorization, memory leaks, insufficient transport layer protection, logic application errors, and app privacy restrictions.
Once all the risks have been identified, they should be eligible for risk with CVSS v3 and documented in the report, which will come up with corrective recommendations and clear objectives.
Identifying the results of the business and the level of risk of each risk helps the internal team to prioritize the areas and it will be addressed first.
Documentation and reporting are key to the success of the pentest mobile app. We include high-quality summaries and technical details to meet the needs of a good quality report.
Remediation can be made by an internal team or security vendor and will be consistent with the recommendations in the findings report. Consistent monitoring of these issues is necessary to ensure that risks are addressed.
The organization needs to be aware of the risks involved before making a decision to proceed with a major app update
Configure Android (Virtually) for Mobile PenTest 2022
Setting up your mobile app test environment can be a daunting task, especially if you run into problems getting your device to send mobile app traffic via your Proxy Proxy. At least for Android applications, we are fortunate that the software development kit (SDK) is easily available that can be used to host applications for testing purposes.
Step 1: Install the Android SDK
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have the Android SDK installed and up to date. The easiest option here is to install Android Studio, or you can install the SDK directly or with other tools (VS Code, for example). Here we are using Android Studio, which is available for download from the top menu at https://developer.android.com.
If this is your first time setting up the Android SDK, then for your convenience you will want to make sure the tools are available on your way.
To do this: Install $ Android_SDK / platform tools in your path, where $ ANDROID_SDK is:
~ / Library / Android / sdk on Mac
c: \ Users \ username \ AppData \ Local \ Android \ Sdk on Windows
You can check that you did this right by opening the last window and simply typing the command adb to see the help of Android Debug Bridge.
Step:2. Create a Virtual Android Device
Now, install the device you want from the list of options available. There will be pre-installed devices available.
Choose the image size, display resolution and other details as per your need.
Step:3. Setting up the Proxy
Once you are in the Proxy menu, choose Manual proxy configuration and set up the host name and port number to match those of your proxy (e.g., 127.0.0.1 and 8080).
For detailed explanation of AVD installation, you can refer the official site here – https://developer.android.com/studio/run/managing-avds
To make a pentest in the Android app there are three important things that a pentester has to do.
Below is a list of Android pentesting tools. These tools are used to determine if the android mobile app is safe or is at risk.
List of pentest applications for Android OS- Networking Testing Applications for Android
Fing: Fing is a network analysis technology application. A simple and intuitive interface helps you check security levels, find intruders and resolve network issues. It helps you to find out which devices are connected to your Wi-Fi network, in just a few seconds.
TPacketCapture: tPacketCapture performs packet capture without using root permissions. TPacketCapture uses VpnService provided by Android OS. Captured data is stored as PCAP file format in external storage.
Droidsheep: The Droidsheep Android app was written by Andrew Koch. It works as a session hacker for anonymous sites and allows you to save cookie files / sessions for later analysis. It is no longer available from the developer site i.e. droidsheep.de, however you can still find it on free hosting sites uploaded to groups. Download and install at your own will.
FaceNiff: FaceNiff is an app that lets you inhale and disconnect web session profiles over WiFi your mobile phone is connected to. You may only hijack sessions when WiFi does not use EAP, but it should work on any private network.
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Conclusion of the Post
In this Article, we Can Discuss about that What is Android App Pentesting Testing Methodology in 2022. Android App Pentesting Testing is an important part of safety testing – perhaps the most important. Security testing allows you to see your product from an attacker’s perspective to find out how to keep it secure.
The best way to test your product is to use the grey box method, automatically and manually. This will help you to achieve the best results in the short term.
While security is important for all applications that have access to user data (in our world, 99% of software), pentesting is necessary especially for any products that store and user’s PII details and financial data.
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