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Reverse Engineering

Securing Multiplayer Mobile Gaming Against Manipulation and Cyberthreats

August 25, 2020

Remember Pokémon Go, the location-based augmented reality mobile game from Niantic Labs that became an overnight global sensation when it launched in 2016? Well, the game has had a record 2019 having surpassed its launch year in revenues, announced a live AR multiplayer feature, and, on a slightly dissonant note, sued an “association of hackers” for creating and distributing unauthorized derivative versions of the company’s mobile apps. Around the launch, we’d covered some of the app-related issues in some detail, and here’s a quick recap of the situation as a prelude to multiplayer mobile gaming security in 2020. Read Full Story

Securing m-Commerce Apps

August 11, 2020

Anyone looking for a snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic is fuelling an e-commerce boom need look no further than Shopify’s recently released Q2 2020 financials. The platform witnessed a 71% jump in new store creation compared to the previous quarter this year. Every leading performance indicator was up in high double, or even triple, digits compared to Q2 2019 including sales (97%), gross merchandise volume (119%), merchant solutions revenue (148%), and adjusted per-share earnings (950%). Read Full Story

Quick Analysis: NHSX Contact Tracing App

May 11, 2020

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.  Read Full Story

How to Protect Against Certificate Pinning Bypassing

October 15, 2019

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. Read Full Story

Improve the Security of API Keys

July 24, 2019

Securely identify your API Caller Read Full Story

Apple DeviceCheck and CriticalBlue Approov

April 27, 2019

We are often asked by customers and prospects to compare our beloved Approov with Apple's DeviceCheck offering. Since DeviceCheck is intended to uniquely identify iOS phone instances then this is a reasonable question. However, DeviceCheck and Approov are designed to do quite different things and therefore we wrote a handy guide to help our customers appreciate when to employ each solution and why. You can download the guide from here. Read Full Story

Google SafetyNet and CriticalBlue Approov

April 27, 2019

We are often asked by customers and prospects to compare our beloved Approov with Google's SafetyNet offering. Since SafetyNet is intended to identify genuine Android instances then this is a reasonable question. However, SafetyNet and Approov are designed to do quite different things and therefore we wrote a handy guide to help our customers appreciate when to employ each solution and why. You can download the guide from here. Read Full Story

Steal That API Key with a Man in the Middle Attack

April 4, 2019

As I promised in my previous article, here it is the follow up article about performing a man in the middle (MitM) attack to steal an API key, and to follow this article you will need to become the man sitting in the middle of the actual channel, using mitmproxy to help you with the task of stealing the API key. Now it should be clear why MitM stands for man in the middle! Read Full Story

How to Extract an API Key from a Mobile App by Static Binary Analysis

March 14, 2019

An API key is probably the most common method used by developers to identify what is making the request to an API server, but most developers are not aware how trivial it is for a hacker or even a script kiddie to steal and reuse an API key in order to gain unauthorized access to their APIs. In the previous article we saw why your mobile app needs an API key, and now we will see how to grab that API key from your mobile app by reverse engineering the binary in an effective and quick way with an open source tool. Once we see how easy it can be done, we will realize that it is even achievable by non-developers. Read Full Story