Mobile Application Penetration Testing

Comprehensive client, data in transit, and server-side testing of applications developed for iOS, Android, and Windows 8.

Our Methodology

Our mobile application penetration testing methodology is based on OWASP which covers around 100 different tests on the client side device, data in transit, as well as the server side API.

We will perform rigorous testing covering the OWASP Top 10 2016 mobile risks which address what is considered by industry consensus to be the most critical and prevalent mobile application security flaws:

OWASP M1: Improper Platform Usage. This category covers misuse of a platform feature or failure to use platform security controls. It might include Android intents, platform permissions, misuse of TouchID, the Keychain, or some other security control that is part of the mobile operating system. There are several ways that mobile apps can experience this risk.

OWASP M2: Insecure Data Storage. This new category is a combination of M2 + M4 from Mobile Top Ten 2014. This covers insecure data storage and unintended data leakage.

OWASP M3: Insecure Communication. This covers poor handshaking, incorrect SSL versions, weak negotiation, cleartext communication of sensitive assets, etc.

OWASP M4: Insecure Authentication. This category captures notions of authenticating the end user or bad session management. This can include:

  • Failing to identify the user at all when that should be required
  • Failure to maintain the user’s identity when it is required
  • Weaknesses in session management

OWASP M5: Insufficient Cryptography. The code applies cryptography to a sensitive information asset. However, the cryptography is insufficient in some way. Note that anything and everything related to TLS or SSL goes in M3. Also, if the app fails to use cryptography at all when it should, that probably belongs in M2. This category is for issues where cryptography was attempted, but it wasn’t done correctly.

OWASP M6: Insecure Authorization. This is a category to capture any failures in authorization (e.g., authorization decisions in the client side, forced browsing, etc.). It is distinct from authentication issues (e.g., device enrolment, user identification, etc.). If the app does not authenticate users at all in a situation where it should (e.g., granting anonymous access to some resource or service when authenticated and authorized access is required), then that is an authentication failure not an authorization failure.

OWASP M7: Client Code Quality. This was the “Security Decisions Via Untrusted Inputs”, one of our lesser-used categories. This would be the catch-all for code-level implementation problems in the mobile client. That’s distinct from server-side coding mistakes. This would capture things like buffer overflows, format string vulnerabilities, and various other code-level mistakes where the solution is to rewrite some code that’s running on the mobile device.

OWASP M8: Code Tampering. This category covers binary patching, local resource modification, method hooking, method swizzling, and dynamic memory modification. Once the application is delivered to the mobile device, the code and data resources are resident there. An attacker can either directly modify the code, change the contents of memory dynamically, change or replace the system APIs that the application uses, or modify the application’s data and resources. This can provide the attacker a direct method of subverting the intended use of the software for personal or monetary gain.

OWASP M9: Reverse Engineering. This category includes analysis of the final core binary to determine its source code, libraries, algorithms, and other assets. Software such as IDA Pro, Hopper, otool, and other binary inspection tools give the attacker insight into the inner workings of the application. This may be used to exploit other nascent vulnerabilities in the application, as well as revealing information about back end servers, cryptographic constants and ciphers, and intellectual property.

OWASP M10: Extraneous Functionality. Often, developers include hidden backdoor functionality or other internal development security controls that are not intended to be released into a production environment. For example, a developer may accidentally include a password as a comment in a hybrid app. Another example includes disabling of 2-factor authentication during testing.

What You Get

  • 1. Expert security consulting throughout the engagement from end-to-end.
  • 2. A comprehensive report with an executive summary, and vulnerabilities mapped to OWASP category, with a risk rating tailored to your organisation.
  • 3. A manual re-test of vulnerabilities after remediation work is complete to verify they are closed off.

Schedule A Free Consultation

The following flow chart illustrates our quality controlled penetration testing process from the start until the end of the engagement: