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An Overview Of Mobile Application Pen-testing Methodology

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By Author: kedar naik
Total Articles: 8
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People nowadays spend much more time on their mobile phones than on computers and laptops. The unprecedented rise of the smartphone age has thus created a mass market for mobile applications. They now, undeniably play a pivotal role in the digital popularity of every brand.

However, an Increase in mobile apps means bigger the playing field for cyber hackers. This threat makes security concerns surrounding the development of mobile apps even more vital. To enhance security, the companies first need to identify the vulnerabilities embedded in their mobile apps.

Mobile application penetration testing is what answers this concern is the most comprehensive way possible. It is a mode of security testing that companies use to examine the security of the mobile environment from its interior. The mobile app pen-testing methodology focuses on client-side safety, filesystem, hardware, and network security. The concentration moves from traditional application security, where the main threat is from numerous sources over the Internet.

Penetration tests enable a company to spot weaknesses in their mobile application, loopholes and other attack vectors before the app reaches the user. Thus, they can rework on the design, code and application system before releasing it. A stitch in time saves nine applies aptly to this scenario, thus avoiding the company a bigger financial loss. A penetration testing company will carry out the process in four stages, as given below:

Preparation
This is one of the most significant steps in the penetration testing process. Gathering information helps identify the occurrence of vulnerability, and it can be the difference within a successful and unsuccessful pentest. This discovery includes three stages:

Open Source Intelligence: This involves examining publicly accessible information and resources such as search engines, social networks, leaked source code, developer forums or the dark web.

Understanding the Architecture: Understanding the mobile application architecture is essential, especially from an external point of view, to create a threat model for testing the application.

Client Vs Server scenarios: Recognizing the type of application is needed, such as native, hybrid or web, to manage and work on the test cases.

Analysis
Mobile application assessment is unique and different. The penetration testers have to check the application before and after its installation. The evaluation techniques include the following:
Local File System Analysis
Package Analysis
Reverse Engineering
Static Analysis
Dynamic Analysis
Network and Web Traffic
Inter-process communication endpoint analysis

Exploitation
Pen testers conduct their operation based on the information they received from the information-gathering step. The better and more comprehensive the intelligence gathered, higher are the chances of a successful test.

The pentester professional tries to hack into sensitive information through the application's vulnerable spaces recognized in the previous stage. They recognize the exploited vulnerabilities along with issues necessitating hand-operated classification and exploitation, as well. Some of these issues include business logic flaws, authorization bypass, parameter tampering, etc.

Reporting
A thorough mobile application penetration testing methodology includes a rigorous data collection, in-depth analysis and exploitation. Thus, a valuable report communicates to the organization's management in a way that they can easily understand. It must show the discovered vulnerabilities, outcomes to the business and possible remedies to secure them.
It should analyze the criticality of the mobile application and its security risk description, the risk along with its impact (from both a technical and business perspective), with proof of concept, and recommendations to fix the findings.

Mobile application pen-testing methodology is a detailed process involving professional expertise. However, opting for this service is a smart way to secure your mobile application against malicious hackers looking to exploit it for their own benefit.

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