Top 7 Vulnerabilities in Mobile App Programming

Android is the most popular operating system for mobile phones users across the globe. Every year millions of mobile apps are released by many developers on the Google Play Store. However, Google also gets rid of several apps from the play store because of various security reasons. The open setup on Google Play is considered a compelling reason why mobile app vulnerabilities come into the picture.

As an Android mobile app developer, one should know these security vulnerabilities. Let us discuss the top 7 in this blog.

But let us first understand what a Mobile Threat is and what are the different types of it?

Like viruses and spyware that can infect your PC, there are a variety of security threats that can affect mobile devices and mobile apps as well.

Mobile threats fall into several categories. Namely,

  • Application-based threats
  • Web-based threats
  • Network-based threats
  • Physical threats

Now let us dive into the vulnerabilities of mobile app programming.

  • 1. Binary Protection (Insufficient Jailbreak / Root Detection)

One of the typical vulnerabilities in the mobile app is - Insufficient escape, also known as Root Detection. In layman terms, we are aware of this vulnerability as jailbreaking. It conceals the data protection and prevents it from being encrypted on the device. Once the device is in jeopardy, any type of malignant code can run on it. Hence altering the specified behaviour of the app that it originally intended to.

  • 2. Insecure Storage of Information

This vulnerability occurs when sensitive information in the device is not securely stored. The information stored on devices is not secure because and it can be stolen. To overcome this mobile apps should store sensitive information in an encrypted format. For example, if a mobile app stores data in the SQLite database, then data should be in enciphered form.

  • 3. Information Leakage – Server Version

Information Leakage is where an application reveals delicate data, such as technical details of the web application, settings, or user-specific data. Information leakage is due to the following conditions - a failure to scrub HTML/Script comments containing sensitive information, improper application or server configurations, or differences in page responses for valid versus invalid data.

The attacker can exploit the target application, its hosting network, or its users; leakage of sensitive data should be limited or prevented whenever possible.

  • 4. Information Leakage – Sensitive Data

A data leak from the mobile app cache either through the main application code or via third-party frameworks is not uncommon. The devices can be lost or stolen and, many users not locking their devices makes this an uncomplicated vulnerability. If the attacker has access to that device, he can easily view the cached data. It is imperative to ensure that sensitive data is not leaked accidentally through cache. We need to make sure that the sensitive information is not exposed through the cache memory accidentally. The developer can create a threat model for OS, framework, and platform to envision and verify the approach information is handled throughout computer address caching, logging, copy or paste caching, app background, HTML5 information storage and analytic data sent to the server.

  • 5. Cryptography – Improper Certificate Validation

When the application is either not validating SSL/TLS certificates or is utilizing an SSL/TLS certificate validation system, it will not correctly verify that a trusted provider issued the certificate. If the certificate cannot be verified or not provided, then the server must disconnect the connection. Any data exchanged over a network that doesn’t have a validated certificate is exposed to hackers. To verify the provided certificate is valid, the mobile app’s certificate validation should be configured correctly and be from a trusted source like a reliable Certificate Authority.

  • 6. Brute Force – User Enumeration

There are numerous ways for an attacker to discover if a user exists in the system or not. A Brute force attack is one of these techniques that help find an unknown value with the help of an automated process by trying a large number of possible values.

  • 7. Test Repeatedly

Mobile app developers should invest in penetration testing, threat, and modelling to the developed app continuously. Fix the found loopholes as soon as possible and update your application. Ensuring your app is safe is a day-to-day basis. We may come across new threats and then discover solutions that are needed to overcome them.

We hope this blog helped you understand the top 7 vulnerabilities in Mobile App Programming that must be known to Android developers. To get more information about the same, feel free to Contact Us. We are undoubtedly the best mobile application development company in Melbourne.

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About the Author

Ravijeet (Ravi) is an award-winning digital strategist known for his out-of-the-box revenue building strategies and commitment to helping his partners achieve significant cost savings. He is passionate about delivering the best-in-class mobile and web solutions, including digital transformation, e-commerce, express logistics, and more.

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