Best 5 Tips For Mobile Penetration Testing

icon Posted by: Hasan Sameer
icon March 25, 2022

In Brief:

What is Mobile Penetration Testing?

Mobile penetration testing is a simulated cyber-attack on the mobile application which helps to diagnose vulnerabilities in the device. It scans all the applications and the mobile OS to determine the scope for hackers making them a target. After the found security weaknesses the remediation steps are recommended to complete the testing process.

45%

are only hacking cases among all data breach incidents

85%

of mobile applications do not have any immunity from cyber attacks

59%

of mobile users use passwords that are easy to crack

37%

is the rate of increase in mobile phishing attacks since 2020

Top 5 Tips for Mobile Penetration Testing

Incorporating certain pointers in the process of mobile penetration testing can improve the results. You will get significantly better outcomes if you apply the following tips:

1. Apply a Different Approach
Mobile applications have a different architecture than web applications. The approach we use for web and cloud pen testing will not do the job here. Mobile devices use a more user-friendly interface. These devices do not have even some fundamental security controls. You need to address this by applying the two-factor authentication control. Providing the leverage of using specific tools to such devices will improve test results.

2. Risk Assessment
This step becomes important as there are several risk factors to categorize your mobile pen testing for. Assessing the potential risks before we start the test will save a lot of time and resources. You should prepare your testing environment to catch vulnerabilities in all aspects of the application infrastructure.

Some major risks factors to assess during the mobile penetration testing are:

  • Data Attacks- Unauthorized access to your mobile database
  • Payment Attacks- Hacking your payment portals and redirecting transactions
  • Login Screen Attacks- Accessing your login credentials and misusing them to break device binding
  • Repackaging Attacks- Cloning mobile apps and uploading their malware-laden versions to the app stores

3. Devise the Right Testing Plan
A perfect testing plan with all the correct methodologies is important for efficient execution. You need to prepare your test to check for all kinds of attack vectors.

The information-gathering technique is best for scanning vulnerabilities in application mapping. Additionally, you need to secure the mobile applications from client attacks. For that, runtime, binary, and file system analysis are the appropriate techniques.

Top 5 Tips for Mobile Penetration Testing

4. Prepare the Right Testing Environment
A suitable testing environment according to the test requirements is essential. The testing environment depends on the key areas of the test. Furthermore, the type of mobile application also plays a significant role in it.

For instance, a particular testing environment is required to jailbreak in an IOS application. IOS is a closed software platform. This decreases the surface of vulnerability in its environment. On the other hand, Android is based on Linux, an open-source platform. Here, the test environment must be more dedicated and studded with a different set of tools.

5. Pick Up the Right Tools
This step is most crucial to executing the pen test. The right tools will allow you to check the exact key area you are targeting. There are different tools available for testing mobile applications based on different platforms.

Some of the best tools for mobile penetration testing are:

  • Core Impact Pro (Android, iOS, and Windows)
  • zANTI (Android)
  • Ianalyzer (iOS)
  • DVIA (iOS)

You may pick according to the type of your mobile device and applications.

5 Security Risks for Mobile Applications

Mobile applications are subject to several security risks. Whether the apps are native, web-based, or hybrid, they all have areas that can be exploited:

1. Data Storage Vulnerability
Among most applications, data is the most important part. You must plan the storage, sorting, and transit of data with utmost precision. You cannot afford any lapses in data handling for mobile applications. Otherwise, it will be an open invitation for the hackers to steal your information.

2. Synchronization of Data
Another crucial vulnerability associated with data is synchronization. It involves the transmission of data through an online passage. There, it is exposed to a variety of risk factors including hacks.

3. Coding Lapses
There are no guidelines followed for coding during the development of apps. Sloppy coding practices may lead to the development of applications with vulnerabilities. Hackers may easily exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unidentified access to your database.

4. Inadequate Cryptography
Cryptography is essential for keeping your app data safe. Lack of knowledge among developers on the said aspect may leave gaps in the encryption. This might lead to inefficiency in the security implementation of your application data.

5. Weak Passwords
Not only in mobile applications, but this is also a universal vulnerability in the cybersecurity domain. Developers must incorporate a mechanism to determine password strength in the app. This will mitigate the threats of password cracking.

Pointers on Android Penetration Testing

  • Android is considered as most convenient for both users and developers. Also, it is an open-source platform that anyone can use. This makes android apps and OS vulnerable to huge risk factors.
  • Android Penetration Testing fixes things up to an extent. It limits the scope of a cyber-attack on your app by pointing out the loopholes and providing remediations.
  • Furthermore, techniques like reverse engineering help a lot to make the application secure.
  • Static and Dynamic Analysis might highlight the weak encryption algorithms. You can remediate them promptly and make the application secure.

Before You Go!

  • However, the key tips and techniques certainly help you improve your mobile penetration testing results. But you need to think like a hacker while testing for vulnerable points. This will give you the best possible outcomes.
  • Involving an external expert will give you a different vantage point. This will help you highlight and remediate even those weaknesses that you are not able to see.

Tags

  • android penetration testing
  • mobile penetration testing

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