Android Application Security Sucks! Here’s what to do about it

Prologue: The following post was written and published by Checkmarx (link) on their website as part of a collaboration between AppSec Labs and Checkmarx. Originally published on May 26th, 2015 by Amit Ashbel.


Android…. It is no longer just a mobile phone.

Nowadays Android applications are running anywhere and everywhere. Home Appliances, watches, TVs, car applications and with the Internet of Things kicking in quickly, Android applications will probably become even more prevalent in our lives.

android_dudeAndroid is based on a customized Linux OS version. The main differentiation from the classic PC Linux is that the Android OS was adapted to define every Application on the device as a separate User or entity.

Each Application runs on its own Virtual environment within the  OS called a “Dalvik Machine (DVM)”*. Application code written in Java is modified to Java Byte Code and then converted to DEX (Dalvik byte code). The DVM will generate, on the fly, machine specific instructions to the ARM CPU (or other CPU in use). All Android applications are packaged as an APK (Android Application Package). The APK is a type of archived file which contains everything the android device needs in order to execute the application downloaded via the Google Play store or an alternate source.

*Dalvik is being shifted aside (Android L). Newer Android OS versions are using ART (Android Runtime) however the general idea stays the same.

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Erez Metula is presenting at the International 2014 Cyber Security Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel

On January 16th, 2014, Erez will be giving an important presentation on Android Hacking in Mobile Application Security.

Full logistical details can be found here:


We’d love to see everyone there and we’re looking forward to the exchange of ideas. For now, take a look at the  Synopsis so you have an idea of what’s ahead!

 Synopsis of his upcoming speech:

The mobile apps revolution has completely changed the way we use our mobile devices, that up until  recently were used just to make phone calls. Mobile applications nowadays handle our most sensitive data –  phone calls, SMS text messages, geographic location, financial information, internet browsing, etc., but the  question is “How can we really tell how secure are those applications? Who can assure us they are not spying on  us? Or, can it be abused by other applications taking advantage of security vulnerabilities in those apps?”

During this presentation we will answer such questions, while focusing on Android mobile applications. We will  start by describing the threat model of mobile apps vs. traditional apps, then we’ll demonstrate a couple of  common application level vulnerabilities, and the tools/techniques used to expose them.

Participants of this presentation will also witness the usage of the AppUse Android Penetration Testing VM – an open source virtual machine created by AppSec Labs for the sole purpose of pentesting Android applications.


Advanced iPhone Hacking with iNalyzer

The slides from my OWASP Israel 2012 talk “Advanced iPhone Hacking with iNalyzer” have been uploaded and are available here.

iNalyzer iPhone testing tool that was presented in the talk can be downloaded directly from Here (You will need Graphviz Dot and Doxygen installed on your PC/Laptop )
Here is an Installation Video (currently no Sound..)
iNalyzer Installation and usage

Here is a small demo of iNalyzer Vs. iSafePlay
iNalyzer Vs. iSafePlay

When Crypto Goes Wrong – Presentation


Slides from erez’s “When Crypto Goes Wrong” presentation at yesterday’s OWASP Israel 2011 conference.

When Crypto Goes Wrong – Presentation