Stealing user information is something that occurs frequently in the hacking scene. Hackers can leverage this sensitive data to gain access to other channels and create further damages. Yahoo experienced a major hacking attack that stole over 500 million users’ information two years ago. The Department of Justice announced today that the usages of stolen user information from Yahoo are linked with Russia.
Major websites are not the only victim of such hacking attacks. Apps that collect any user information are targets, as well. Wishbone, a popular quiz app among teens, got its user information stolen recently, according to Motherboard. From this attack, hackers have taken over 2.2 million email addresses as well as 287,000 phone numbers. Hackers got unauthorized access to the app’s API and reached the database that contains users’ names, email addresses, phone numbers, and others. There are numerous possible ways that hackers chose to tap the database. They might have compromised server communications, or manipulated data verification processes.
What both Yahoo and Wishbone accidents portray is the importance of having sufficient security measures on both web and apps. By adding proper security, many of such hacking attacks towards user information can be prevented in advance. Here are 3 ways to strengthen security during the app development process.
1. Secure Coding
We can never emphasize enough on the significance of secure coding. As developers code, there are always chances of making human errors. Also, developers are in a hurry to finish coding as fast as possible, which can lead to making mistakes. To preempt any oversights, It is good to have a checklist to ensure safe coding.
2. Constant Patches and Updates
Hackers are capable of find new methods to penetrate secure coding and find vulnerabilities when they invest time and effort. Moreover, there are new bugs and zero-days discovered that threaten once-secured-versions. They also constantly advance their hacking skills, and Therefore, it is necessary to make constant security patches and software updates to keep yourself on top of security trends.
3. Encryption and Obfuscation
You need to make sure to encrypt not only your codes but also web server communications. Hackers often hijack communications between web servers and apps to compromise and manipulate confidential data including user information. In addition to encryption, it is recommended to add obfuscation. Encryption keys are usually hidden in codes, and hackers can easily access to the keys when codes are not obfuscated.