There’s been a fair share of attention paid to the security inside the connected car. There’s also been a significant uptick in new devices and apps that communicate with the vehicle from afar. These devices and apps use traditional means of communication (e.g., Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.). They also make some very common software mistakes. For instance, lacking proper authentication of users and commands, potentially putting the end user at risk, both for physical harm and data loss.
Smartphone, tablet, and other hand-held device sales have skyrocketed in recent years. It’s now critical for businesses to provide a mobile option or experience to customers. Additionally, many companies are even created for the sole purpose of making services and entertainment available to their customers’ fingertips—literally.
Stealing credentials from locked machines shouldn’t work. And yet, it does. The main reason for this is that the operating system automatically loads device drivers if it has access to them. This is true even when a machine is locked. In the case of locked machines, USB Ethernet adapter drivers ship with every major operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac OS X, Linux).
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Stealing authentication tokens from locked machines with a mobile phone
HTTP is a plaintext protocol. As such, it creates inherent security and privacy concerns when used by applications. Apple, for instance has (finally) decided to start treating the secure alternative, HTTPS, as the de facto Web protocol for iOS mobile apps. At WWDC16, Apple pointed out that enabling HTTPS doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re secure. There are many ways in which HTTPS can be improperly configured. Thus, resulting in the use of insecure connections.
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Brace yourselves: Application transport security is coming
More than a decade’s worth of good deeds were recently memorialized with Microsoft’s announcement that Michael Howard and Steve Lipner’s book The Security Development Lifecycle (PDF) is now available for free online. What a great contribution by Michael, Steve, and Microsoft to the community; and cheers to the continued growth of software and application security as a discipline!
What is the difference between “application security” and “software security”? We examine the question and explain when to use each discipline.
While researching certificate pinning, I stumbled upon a ‘generic’ implementation flaw allowing remote attackers to bypass the protection that certificate pinning can offer to an application. Summary If your Java or Android application uses the checkServerTrusted() or getPeerCertificates() APIs to implement certificate pinning, there is a very good chance that your pinning implementation is completely ineffective.
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on An examination of ineffective certificate pinning implementations
It would appear that Apple’s security strategy to protect user data is so effective that even the FBI can’t decrypt an iPhone in the midst of a terror attack investigation. The ruling came down yesterday from the federal magistrate, ordering Apple to help the FBI unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook. Investigators believe unlocking the phone will lead them to more clues as to why Farook, along with his wife, killed 14 people and injured dozens at a holiday party in December of last year. Apple’s not giving in so easily. But why? Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has made it clear that he has no intention of complying with the order in a statement released yesterday. Within the statement, Cook writes that Apple doesn’t have a solution readily available, and that building the backdoor to the iPhone, as demanded by authorities, is “too dangerous to create.”
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on In the name of data security, Apple is fighting back
Optimizing your mobile application security metrics will reveal the impact your SSG has on the security of your mobile apps, and where you can improve.
What is the best form of cyber security defense? Well, as I always maintain, it’s user awareness! The implementation of a comprehensive user awareness policy carries a lot of weight and, when abided by, effectively complements the many technological solutions available.