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App Security Insights

How to Hack a Mobile App: It’s Pretty Simple

Jan 19, 2017 9:56:55 AM / by AppSolid Team

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Our world is ruled by our mobile devices. The most successful businesses have found out how to tap into today’s app network and noticed the effects it has on their customer relations and overall profit. Because of this, hacking has become much more popular and an even larger concern.

There are actually markets that support hacking, profiting off providing these computer criminals with tools readily available to accomplish their task quickly and easily. In 84% of hacking cases, the “initial compromise” takes just a few minutes to complete. In order to properly protect yourself from these perpetrators, it helps to understand exactly what it is they are targeting and how they are able to do it.

Their easiest targets are binary codes which allow them to tap into and modify major mobile apps and reach a multitude of platforms. The binary code is the “code that machines read to execute an application - it’s what you download when you access mobile apps from an app store.” Hackers are able to use these codes against you right under your nose and the damages can be impossible to come back from. The question is, how?

Code Modification

Hackers are able to take binary code and manipulate its behavior. They do so by:

  • disabling security settings, breaking the rules made by the business, altering license restrictions, changing ad displays and even putting it out as their own newly created app
  • Inserting a code that will attack the binary and then redistributing it as new, as well as reinstalling the app on the users device they acquired it from
  • creating a separate application that has the ability to attack the targeted application by lifting its credentials, exposing sensitive data, and redirecting popular traffic

Reversing Code Analysis

Binary codes can also be “reverse-engineered” with the use of code analysis tools. By doing this hackers can:

  • expose and exploit sensitive information
  • list secured property and develop their own counterfeit applications with your information
  • reuse your application and sign it up with an app store under their own branding

How to Avoid It

Examples of these types of hacks can be found here, but understanding how it is done is just the first step toward keeping you protected. Awareness is a key element and now you will have to start taking the precautions necessary to protect you and your company. A few rules of thumb to keep in practice are:

  • remember to turn off your phone’s wifi and bluetooth when you aren't using them. If you keep these active all of the time you give hackers the ability to manipulate your device
  • use two step authentication. Just one password into your sensitive data is not enough and can be very easy to crack for hackers. A good example of a smart password strategy is having a secret code texted to your phone that you have to put in at login. This will give you a reliable amount of control that would be very difficult for a hacker to manipulate.
  • change all of your passwords more than once a year
  • don’t hide your home wifi. Your device will ask you if you want to “hide the SSID?” - saying yes forces your device to scan for wifi and can result in it connecting to an unsafe network
  • don’t connect your appliances with the internet if it isn’t necessary. These days everyone is obsessed with making everything “smart”. This is only going to make you more susceptible to hackers and in most cases is not actually providing you with a more convenient situation than you already had.

Get Secured

To ensure that your system is being properly monitored and protected it is always smart to go to the experts. Using mobile app security software will provide you with a setup that prevents app piracy, IP theft/copycats, behavior modification, malware injection, vulnerability identification, and data manipulation.

The process is simple and the security is powerful. If you are using mobile apps for your business don’t hesitate to get them secured, taking care of your security is the best way to keep your company safe.

Cloud Based App Security Start Now

Topics: Mobile App Hacking

Written by AppSolid Team