AppUse and Server-Side Attacks on Android Applications


We all know our smartphones contain a lot of sensitive information about us, from credit card details through WhatsApp correspondence, our location, pictures and more.

Today we see serious development of the telephony field; banks and credit card companies are developing account management telephone applications, chat applications which hold a history of our conversations, and much more important information of ours is managed by the smartphone.

The Android operating system (OS) architecture allows the programmer to broadly manage the information; to create components which are accessible to other applications on the device, to save data in dangerous locations and so information can easily be managed incorrectly. In addition, many programmers who have always developed server-side applications are now faced with the need to develop client-side applications and are not aware of the possible risk – which, in turn, increases the known attacking surface available to the attacker.

When a tester performs a penetration test to an Android application, it is divided into to two main areas:

  • Client-Side Attacks – include client-side vulnerabilities such as saving sensitive information in a dangerous manner, saving passwords in the code, manipulation of activities, broadcast receivers, etc.
  • Server-Side Attacks – include applicative server-side vulnerabilities such as XSS, SQLi, Authorization Bypass, Authentication Bypass, etc.

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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.