Since technology is intertwined into every aspect of most people’s lives around the world, the overall attack surface increases tremendously year over year. With this continually increased risk, we should place increased importance on software security. So as 2015 comes to an end, we’d like to predict what will define 2016 in terms of the seemingly never-ending cat and mouse game of software security.
For all the technology and solutions out there, the number one protection against cybercrime is still user awareness and the ability to understand when you are at risk—even as a consumer. Our greatest exposure is when we use our smart phones. These devices carry not only all our favorite photos and music playlists, but also address books, emails, our health information, some credit card data and even passwords in all those “secure” vaults you can download for free. Of course, often times we find ourselves at the mercy of the great, life-saving utility these apps provide and what’s the risk anyway, right?
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Jailbird: A cautionary tale of mobile application security awareness
The SafetyNet attestation API is a Google Play Services API that any developer can use in order to gain a degree of assurance that the device their application is running on is “CTS compatible.” CTS stands for Compatibility Test Suite, which is a suite of tests a device must pass, prior to release, to be allowed to include Google Play Services. Traditionally, it was used by device manufacturers to ensure that their devices met Google’s requirements. The term is now overloaded with more meanings, like ‘the device is in a non-tampered state’ after release. Tampered state has multiple definitions and includes ‘being rooted,’ ‘being monitored’ and ‘being infected with malware’.
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Apple is currently taking measures to eradicate hundreds (potentially thousands) of malicious apps recently discovered in the iOS App Store. It has come to light that hackers distributed a modified version of Apple’s developer toolkit, Xcode, which embedded malware known as XcodeGhost into iOS apps as they were being compiled.
What is Touch ID? Touch ID is Apple’s fingerprint technology for iOS mobile devices. It allows consumers to unlock their phones and make purchases conveniently using their fingerprint(s). As of iOS version 8.0, Apple opened up Touch ID to developers by making APIs available for use in the SDK. Biometric opinions This post assumes you have performed your own risk assessment, are aware of the risks associated with biometric authentication technologies, and that you have decided that Touch ID is suitable for use in your application. Why this post then? The reason for this post is simple—I want to provide some information to allow software architects and developers to better understand Touch ID, the ways it can be included in your iOS applications and what the security benefits to the different approaches are. These are all questions I hear regularly when providing iOS security consultancy.
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Integrating Touch ID into your iOS applications
The Samsung smartphone SwiftKey security slip-up grabbed headlines in mid-June when it was discovered that 600 million Samsung smartphones were vulnerable to remote code execution (RCE) attacks.
What’s the state of cloud storage security? Not great. Cloud storage vulnerability research found 56 million records of unprotected data in cloud databases.
The Samsung Galaxy phone hack was not caused by “one bug.” It was due to a chain of several failures, which makes it difficult to say who is at fault and how the Samsung hack could have been avoided. Don’t jump to conclusions! How did the Samsung Galaxy get hacked? Issue 1: Samsung uses a white-label version of the popular SwiftKey 3rd-party keyboard app as the default keyboard in recent Android devices. In order to do that, it repackages it and installs it into the system partition. This gives the keyboard app “system” privileges.
Mobile apps are juicy targets for hackers. Consider the rich data that is captured by a mobile device, including call logs, SME messages and location information. Then, consider the rapidly evolving mobile platforms and frameworks that are new to many development organizations.
What is MEMSCAN? A Synopsys consultant, Grant Douglas, recently created a utility called MEMSCAN which enables users to dump the memory contents of a given iPhone app. Dumping the memory contents of a process proves to be a useful technique in identifying keys and credentials in memory. Using the utility, users are able to recover keys or secrets that are statically protected within the application but are less protected at runtime. Users can also use the utility to verify that keys and credentials are appropriately disposed of after use.