We’ve been thinking a lot about contact tracing apps in recent weeks. There are ongoing debates about whether a centralised or decentralised model is superior, and how the ensuing discussions around privacy will impact their takeup.
When the NHSX contact tracing app was made available in the app stores last Thursday we decided to take a quick look at its operation and how the code has been put together. We used the Android version and the excellent MobSF tools to do our reversing analysis. On Friday the full source code of the app was also published on github.
Approov lets your mobile app prove to a backend API that it really is the official mobile app making the call, and that it is not running in an environment that may be compromised. Only requests from the apps that you specifically allow can make successful requests.
At a time when the world could use some good news, any good news, the central health crisis continues to get compounded by a persistent wave of cyberattacks targeted at companies and their employees. Not even healthcare institutions and agencies at the center of responding to the emergency have been spared, with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and even a UK-based coronavirus testing facility being targeted by cyber profiteers.
As mobile apps become increasingly paramount to operating successfully in today’s markets, a big question mark over API security is raised. Gartner has previously predicted that by 2022, “API abuses will be the most-frequent attack vector resulting in data breaches for enterprise web applications.” Since every mobile app out there is powered by APIs, securing them is clearly a top priority.
“It's the wave of the future,” declared the US State of West Virginia's Secretary of State of following a limited deployment of a blockchain-based voting app for the state's general midterm elections. For cybersecurity and election integrity advocates, however, the move was “an example of all the things states shouldn’t do when it comes to securing their elections.”
In my previous article, we saw how to bypass certificate pinning within a device you control and, as promised, we will now see how you can protect yourself against such an attack.
In this article you will learn how to use a mobile app attestation service to protect your API server from accepting requests that come from a mobile app where certificate pinning has been bypassed. This means that even though the attacker has bypassed the certificate pinning, he will not be able to receive successful responses from the API server. Instead, the server will always return 401 responses, thus protecting your valuable data from getting into the wrong hands.
In a previous article we saw how to protect the https communication channel between a mobile app and an API server with certificate pinning, and as promised at the end of that article we will now see how to bypass certificate pinning.
To demonstrate how to bypass certificate pinning we will use the same Currency Converter Demo mobile app that was used in the previous article.
In this article you will learn how to repackage a mobile app in order to make it trust custom ssl certificates. This will allow us to bypass certificate pinning.