MOBILE PENETRATION TESTING

Our mobile application pen testing services are designed to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities before it’s too late. Mobile applications have changed the way we work and communicate. Our tailored approach checks for flaws or exploits that could lead to your data being compromised. 

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What is mobile application penetration testing? Why is it important?

A mobile app penetration test is performed to identify any mobile application vulnerabilities that could lead to data loss. This security assessment, also known as mobile security testing, is dynamic in nature, meaning it is conducted while the application is functioning. 

Our thorough security services concentrate on four key areas of the mobile attack surface i.e. Reverse engineering, Data at rest, Data in transit, web services/APIs.

Mobile Penetration Testing

What are the biggest mobile security threats?

Mobile Application Testing

For a mobile application to support confidentiality, integrity and availability of a system and its data, a mobile application has to ensure cyber hygiene on many fronts. 

  1. Weak Server Side Controls are primary target because any communication outside the mobile devices occurs via server. 
  2. Insecure Data Storage as sometimes developers depend upon the client storage for data.
  3. Transport Layer Protection includes encrypted routes through which the data is transferred/received to/from the server. 
  4. A threat actor who can easily reverse the application code to find flaws that can be exploited, or injecting malware is a serious concern. Binary Protection is important to secure the applications installed on phones.
  5. Data Leakage due to application bugs, residual data on the device or lack of secure coding practices.

Most importantly, don’t forget to get your mobile application independently validated against application controls.

Benefits of Mobile Penetration Testing

A trusted partner, not a 'report and run' consultancy

Types of Mobile Security Testing

Mobile Application Penetration Testing

Mobile pen test aims to identify flaws that would avoid data leakage or theft. We ensure that different phases such as static analysis, network traffic analysis, authentication architectures, tampering, storage mechanisms, APIs are reviewed thoroughly.

Secure Code Review

Secure Code review is the process of manually reviewing the mobile application source code that would highlight issues missed during a black box pentest. A code review is a final go-ahead for an application just before the release. This assures that the code is secure and all dependencies are functioning as intended.

Mobile Device Security Review

Device security test includes areas such as the management of the device, policies implemented, device configuration, and the applications used on the device. Based on whether BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), or company owned device, reviews are performed to identify gaps linked with security risks.

OWASP Top 10 mobile pentesting vulnerabilities

Any violation of published guidelines or functionality misuse such as excessive permissions usage. It may include platform permissions, TouchID misuse, keychain secrets or other mobile OS features

Data stored insecurely includes examples such as SQL databases, log files, binary data stores, cookies, SD card, cloud synched. This could also relate to unintended data leakage vulnerabilities from the operating system, frameworks, hardware or rooted/jailbroken devices.

Anything related to insecure data transmission between two points. This data transmission could encompass mobile to mobile communications and application to server communications and risks related to technologies in use.

Authentication vulnerabilities are one of the critical attack vectors for a cyber criminal. This phase includes assessing authentication mechanism, transmission channels, nature of input, insecure configurations, weak credentials & bypass attempts.

Insecure use of cryptography is common in mobile applications leveraging encryption. Business impact of such issues could lead to privacy violations, information theft, IP theft or reputational implications.

Whether it is possible to access unauthorised functionality by exploiting Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) vulnerabilities, hidden endpoints.

Insecure coding practices cause security impacts where application code and the device side of mobile application is affected.

Whether an application performs code integrity checks to prevent code tampering and modifying at an attackers’ will. Mobile applications developed for certain business verticals may have severe implications of code modification such as in gaming sector, compared to others.

Due to the inherent nature of the code, most applications can be reverse-engineered. Although this helps an attacker to understand the underlying code, an application must ensure various defences to avoid IP theft or allow exploitations of any vulnerabilities.

Any hidden or undocumented features that can be identified and exploited to gain access to underlying systems hosting vulnerable code. 

Mobile Application Penetration Testing Methodology

Our security testing services are designed to ensure thorough review to identify, analyse and exploit security vulnerabilities in applications and devices. Whether it’s android application security testing or iOS based, initial security methodology involves similar fundamentals. Some test cases are generating during the mobile app security testing dependent upon the functionality of the application. In mobile app pentesting, review of devices is equally important to analyse application settings, configuration files and any residual data. This ensures that security testing for mobile applications ensures a holistic review of device and app. 

Step 1
Step 1

Scoping and Customer Insight

When you decide to give us the go-ahead, our very first step is to gain insight into your motivation, so that we can advise on your real concerns. The comprehensive process we go through to understand this determines the vision for the project. At the technical level, this includes assets to be included, their fragility and importance to the environment.

Step 2
Step 2

Planning

Based on the response received from the reconnaissance phase, the target list is prioritised. The priority would be based on “low-hanging” fruit that could aid in gaining a foothold within the network trivially.

Step 4
Step 4

OWASP Mobile Top 10

Our consultants would focus on the top 10 categories of mobile security attacks defined by the industry-standard OWASP. This includes areas such as platform misuse, insecure communication, encryption vulnerabilities, injection issues such as SQL injection, XSS, XXE, insecure authentication and authorisation flaws and any code tampering issues. 

Step 5
Step 5

Web Server Analysis

Web server hosting of the application is also considered a vital component during this testing. A weakness in supporting infrastructure including the configuration of the webserver could lead to a slight compromise of the application hosted on it. 

Step 6
Step 6

API Analysis

Modern applications (including mobile) rely on API’s for their features / functionalities. Once the API endpoints are identified – during network as well as static analysis – these would be further assessed. Weak API endpoints could lead to trivial functionality bypass or sometimes, potential denial of service scenarios. 

Step 7
Step 7

Local file / storage analysis

Following the initial run, the app would create several files / data which would be stored in the app folder on the device. These files would be analysed to understand the storage mechanism. This analysis would reveal if any app sensitive data including session tokens, passwords are stored in clear text on the device itself.

Step 8
Step 8

Thorough Analysis and Reporting

Our reports are comprehensive and include all the evidence that supports our findings. We give you a risk rating that considers how likely an attack is as well as the impact it could have. We don’t create panic scenarios. Our mitigation is detailed, covering both strategic and tactical areas to help our clients prepare a remediation plan.

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