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Mobile App Penetration Test

Mobile App Penetration Test

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.


What are the biggest mobile security threats?

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 a 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

– Ensure strong authentication, authorisation, encryption mechanisms
– Find mobile app or device loopholes to avoid data leakage or theft

– PCI DSS, ISO 27001, Compliance Support

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.

Top 10 mobile pentesting vulnerabilities

Improper Platform Usage
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
Insecure Data Storage
Data stored insecurely includes examples such as SQL databases, log files, binary data stores, cookies, SD cards, cloud synched. This could also relate to unintended data leakage vulnerabilities from the operating system, frameworks, hardware, or rooted/jailbroken devices.
Insecure Communication
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.
Insecure Authentication
Authentication vulnerabilities are one of the critical attack vectors for a cyber-criminal. This phase includes assessing authentication mechanism, transmission channels, nature of the input, insecure configurations, weak credentials & bypass attempts.
Insufficient Cryptography
Insecure use of cryptography is common in mobile applications leveraging encryption. The business impact of such issues could lead to privacy violations, information theft, IP theft, or reputational implications.
Insecure Authorization
Whether it is possible to access unauthorized functionality by exploiting Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) vulnerabilities, hidden endpoints.
Client Code Quality
Insecure coding practices cause security impacts where application code and the device side of mobile application are affected.
Code Tampering
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 the gaming sector, compared to others.
Reverse Engineering
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 defenses to avoid IP theft or allow exploitations of any vulnerabilities.
Extraneous Functionality
Any hidden or undocumented features that can be identified and exploited to gain access to underlying systems hosting vulnerable code.
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