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’.
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Using the SafetyNet API
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.
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Developers targeted in Apple’s iOS malware attack
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.
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.
Posted in Mobile Application Security, Software Architecture and Design | Comments Off on Samsung SwiftKey: The latest AppSec vulnerability highlights
What’s the state of cloud storage security? Not great. Cloud storage vulnerability research found 56 million records of unprotected data in cloud databases.
Posted in Cloud Security, Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Cloud storage security storm: When it rains, it pours
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.
Posted in Mobile Application Security, Software Architecture and Design | Comments Off on Samsung Galaxy phone hack: Making sense of the “Samsung” RCE vulnerability
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.
Posted in Mobile Application Security, Software Architecture and Design, Web Application Security | Comments Off on How to overcome the hurdles to mobile application security
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.
Posted in Mobile Application Security, Software Architecture and Design | Comments Off on What is MEMSCAN and how to use it
Last week, I installed a new app from the Google Play store onto an Android device. While the app was downloading and installing, I took a look at a few of the user reviews and found their contents interesting. Four of the top 10 comments were both negative and related to security. The comments have been paraphrased for anonymity purposes:
Posted in Mobile Application Security | Comments Off on Striking the balance: App security features and usability