Android Penetration Testing Tutorial For Beginners

Top Android App Vulnerabilities and Security Issues

Permission issues

This is by far the biggest issue with Android apps that they ask for permissions which are sometimes irrelevant for the specific application. Moreover, some apps ask for internet permission to show ads, but can also fetch personal data from the device and upload it to a remote server.

Whenever an app is installed, it asks for a number of permissions. For example, WhatsApp asks for access to the contact list, camera, microphone, etc., to sync contacts, do video and audio calls, and send media files. However, some apps ask for irrelevant permissions, which sometimes users don’t pay attention to. This can lead to several issues. If a mobile game is asking for access to a contact list, it can prove to be malicious for the user as the phone numbers can be accessed, text messages can be sent, etc. 

Insecure data transmission

The data exchange in Android apps takes place in a client-server manner over an internet connection. If the connection is not secured, hackers might detect and exploit the vulnerabilities while the data is being exchanged or transmitted. 

It can happen if the local network or Wi-Fi is compromised, there is malware on the device, or the networking devices are being monitored. 0

You can implement SSL or TLS on the app for authentication, but it doesn’t usually protect the network traffic. Compromised networks can lead to exposure of data and session IDs. 

Insecure storage of data

Data on devices are stored in file systems which can be accessed easily if the device is stolen, lost, or developers haven’t implemented best security practices. If there is malware on the device, it can access the data and steal it. Data storage security issues generally arise because of poor encryption libraries.

Data leakage

A data breach or leakage in Android devices can happen because of malware, modified versions of original applications, somebody having physical access to the phone. 

Some apps are created in a way that stores the data in an insecure manner that can be accessed by other apps. There are also some apps that include malicious code which makes the device expose the data. 

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