7 Mobile App Dev Vulnerabilities That Can Cost You an Arm and a Leg

1 - 7 Mobile App Dev Vulnerabilities That Can Cost You an Arm and a Leg
2 - Authentication/Authorization
3 - Availability Vulnerability
4 - Configuration Management
5 - Cryptography Weaknesses
6 - Information Disclosure
7 - Input Validation Handling
8 - Personal/Sensitive Information Leakage
9 - Conclusion
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7 Mobile App Dev Vulnerabilities That Can Cost You an Arm and a Leg

The popularity of mobile apps and rise of cyber-criminals lurking in the mobile space means companies must take more precautions to build secure apps.

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Authentication and authorization vulnerabilities allow malicious users to execute tasks, such as impersonating and performing operations as other users and accessing areas and operations of the app they normally wouldn't be allowed to access bypassing security pin codes, for example. Developers need to make authentication and authorization mechanisms a priority during development. Online banks frequently are the victims of authentication/authorization attacks.

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Availability Vulnerability

Availability issues result in the client, or server-side of the application, being denied service from either the entire application or part of it. Crashes are a common side-effect of availability issues. Developers who understand the potential vectors that allow malicious entities to cause availability issues will understand what steps need to be taken to prevent such attacks, including system crashes resulting from request overflows.

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Configuration Management

Configuration management issues relate to the misconfiguration of servers or clients, enabling a malicious app to steal data from another app on the same device. Examples of configuration management issues include instances of organizations not forcing new users to change their passwords on the first log-in.

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Cryptography Weaknesses

Cryptography weaknesses involve sensitive information disclosure from an app sending sensitive data over the wire as clear text, or encryptography with obsolete or bad encryption, which leads to a false sense of security for both the developer and the end user. Since encrypted information is usually highly sensitive, the negative impact from cryptography weaknesses can be devastating.

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Information Disclosure

Information disclosure issues involve information that can be exposed directly or indirectly by the attacker. Examples include information being transferred to another app or even stored on a device so another application can expose it.

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Input Validation Handling

Input validation handling issues relate to a mobile app that might not be able to handle information from external sources in a secure manner. These exploits are similar to what happens to server-side attacks, such as SQL injection (SQLi), cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF).

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Personal/Sensitive Information Leakage

Sensitive information leakages occur when an app exposes personal information—credit cards numbers, secret documents, etc.—belonging to the end user. This vulnerability occurs when applications are using third-party statistic servers when they send a user's personal info without their knowledge.

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Whether you're a swimmer on the lookout hoping to avoid a Great White or a developer looking to keep end users safe from hacking, there are steps to achieve safety, beginning with awareness. Our mobile devices are a treasure chest of sensitive information, and it's crucial for both end users and developers to be aware of the risks that may be swimming beneath the branded apps that we put an incredible amount of trust, and data, into.

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