Mobile Application Penetration Testing

Deep-dive, manual mobile application penetration testing performed by experienced and certified penetration testers.


Private and public organizations are both using mobile applications in new ways, including highly regulated industries like finance and health care. Managing the security risk of these applications is increasingly difficult due to the new vulnerabilities discovered each day. RedTeam Security provides mobile application penetration testing that includes a holistic assessment of risks to these applications. Our industry-leading researchers and engineers are experts on both Android and iPhone applications. This capability allows us to perform detailed testing on local devices, backend web services, and the application programmer interfaces (APIs) that connect them.

Schedule a free consultation with our cyber security experts to assess the current security of your mobile applications. We can help you to protect all aspects of these applications with our mobile app security testing. Call us today at 612-234-7848 or contact us for a free no-obligation consultation.

What Is Mobile Application Penetration Testing?

Mobile application penetration testing identifies security flaws in the way these applications communicate with their backend systems, including backend APIs and web services. It also tests a mobile application’s handling and storage of user input on their file systems. The penetration testing of mobile applications involves the use of specialized software tools, just like any other type of penetration testing. Organizations often define penetration testing more specifically according to what they’re intended to assess, which may include applications, devices, network, and physical security. The purpose of these tests is to simulate the actions of malicious actors, allowing security experts to improve their organization’s security posture by identifying and remediating vulnerabilities. Proper penetration testing goes beyond the mere act of preventing unauthorized personnel from accessing an organization’s system. It also creates real-world scenarios that demonstrate the effectiveness of an organization’s current defenses against a full-scale attack.

A good penetration tester needs to think like a hacker, which generally involves working outside the rules and restrictions of a normal user. Penetration testers, therefore, need to think creatively to find ways around a system’s controls. In addition to testing the protections that an application’s designers have implemented, penetration testers also try to exploit vulnerabilities that application designers and developers are unaware of.

Why do I need Mobile Penetration Testing?

Mobile penetration tests allow organizations to evaluate their IT infrastructure’s overall security, as organizations often have robust security in one area while lacking in others. No organization should wait for a real-world attack to occur before identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities due to the high cost of a successful attack. The specific functions of mobile app penetration testing include the following:

  • Test Security Controls
  • Find Real-World Vulnerabilities
  • Ensure Compliance
  • Reinforce Security Posture

Testing security controls provides insights into the health of an organization’s overall security, including the application, network, and physical layers of its infrastructure. Finding real-world vulnerabilities exposes a computer system’s endpoints that are most susceptible to attack. Ensuring compliance allows organizations to comply with the standards of penetration testing for their industry. Reinforcing an organization’s security posture assists an organization in prioritizing the mitigation of its vulnerabilities.

Mobile Security Threats

Mobile devices and their applications have become indispensable in making our lives easier and more productive. However, they’re also attractive targets of cyber criminals due to the amount of data they process. Redteam Security uses standard penetration testing techniques to conduct assessments of applications for android and iOS devices. RedTeam Security can help you identify and address vulnerabilities that could lead to the compromise of data and assets, whether your organization develops mobile apps or merely relies on them to perform critical functions.

Common Mobile Security Risks:

The most common security risks of mobile apps include the following:

  • Security decisions via untrusted inputs
  • Poor authorization and authentication
  • Insufficient transport layer protection
  • Improper session handling
  • Weak server-side controls
  • Insecure data storage
  • Broken cryptography
  • Client-side injection
  • API vulnerabilities

OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is an open-source community that produces articles, documentation, methodologies, technologies, and tools in the field of web application security. The OWASP Top 10 is a list of the 10 most common application vulnerabilities, including their risks, impacts, and remediation.

As of 2020, the Top 10 OWASP vulnerabilities include the following:

  1. Injection
  2. Broken authentication
  3. Sensitive data exposure
  4. XML External Entities (XXE)
  5. Broken access control
  6. ·Security misconfigurations
  7. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  8. Insecure deserialization
  9. Vulnerable applications
  10. Insufficient logging and monitoring

Code injection occurs when an attacker can send malicious data to an application for the purpose of getting that application to do something it wasn’t designed to do. A SQL query that uses untrusted data is one of the most common examples of this security vulnerability. The application’s failure to validate data  is the basis for an injection’s usefulness to attackers, as it can occur in virtually any type of technology.

Broken Authentication

Broken authentication is usually due to a logic issue. For one example, the application could be prone to username enumeration, which an attacker can exploit to identify valid usernames on a system. Broken authentication can thus allow an attacker to gain control over a system, especially websites.

Sensitive Data Exposure

Organizations routinely process sensitive data that can cause damage to themselves or their customers if attackers are able to access that data. The exposure of sensitive data to unauthorized personnel is a common vulnerability. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in 2018, regulates the collection, modification, storage, and deletion of personal data in Europe for both residents and visitors.

XML External Entities (XXE)

An XML external entity parses the XML input for an application. A poorly configured XML parser that processes an input containing a reference to an external entity can allow this attack to occur. XML parsers are usually subject to XXE attacks by default, which is why application developers bear the primary responsibility of ensuring their applications aren’t vulnerable to them.

Broken Access Control

Access control is the process of determining which users can access a particular computing resource. For example, an eCommerce store has an administrator’s panel for performing functions such as adding new products and setting up promotions. However, visitors to your website should never be able to access this page.

Security Misconfigurations

Brute force is a common hacking technique that involves trying many things to compromise a system. These attacks are usually automated to maximize the rate at which attempts can be made. In the case of login attempts, a security misconfiguration could allow an attacker to continue trying to log on rather than locking out the account after a certain number of failed attempts.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) consists of injecting client-side scripts into a website. This process allows the attacker to modify pages on the website, causing a visitor’s browser to execute the injected code when it loads the page. 

Insecure Deserialization

In computer science, an object is a means of structuring data. The process of converting objects to byte strings is known as serialization, while the process of converting byte strings to objects is deserialization. Insecure deserialization of a website allows attackers to introduce malicious functionality into the system.

Vulnerable Applications

Even the simplest website has a lot of dependencies these days, each of which is part of that website’s attack surface. Administrators must keep all the software for the website’s backend and frontend updated to prevent its applications from becoming vulnerable to attacks. Failure to promptly apply security updates to applications is particularly likely to result in vulnerability to attacks. For example, the majority of infected Content Management Systems (CMS) applications were out of date when they were infected.

Insufficient Logging and Monitoring

The importance of logging and monitoring websites on a regular basis can’t be understated today. This practice helps you take prompt action when the inevitable attack occurs. It also reduces the damage that such an attack can cause.

Benefits of Mobile Application Penetration Testing

The benefits of mobile application penetration testing include the following:

  • Avoid breaches
  • Achieve compliance
  • Improve security

Mobile app penetration testing allows you to discover your organization’s vulnerabilities before a breach occurs. It also allows you to meet the security requirements from a third party, such as a regulatory agency. Another benefit of this type of penetration testing is improving your software development process.

Reduce Mobile Application Risk with Deep Dive Penetration Testing

RedTeam Security’s extensive experience with the Android and iOS platforms allows us to perform a deep dive on penetration testing for both these platforms. We understand the unique vulnerabilities and other security challenges of each mobile architecture, allowing us to customize assessments that address specific concerns like the malware threats to an Android app or reverse-engineering an iOS app. Each mobile app security test simulates a particular type of risk, such as access by unauthorized users, malware attacks, insecure storage, and stolen device..

Our security experts perform both static and dynamic analysis during penetration testing to identify all vulnerabilities. A static analysis tests the app at rest, while a dynamic analysis occurs when the app is running. This methodology tests local devices in addition to external issues such as the storage of sensitive app data and credentials.

RedTeam Security — A Trusted Partner for Pen Testing

 Getting a mobile app to market often involves time constraints that can result in poor security. Conducting a penetration test can help identify any of those vulnerabilities inadvertently introduced. RedTeam Security can identify vulnerabilities in your organization’s apps and infrastructure that make it vulnerable to both internal and external threats. Our mobile app security assessment evaluates client- and server-side function vulnerabilities, allowing us to provide you with actionable steps that will improve your application risk posture.

RedTeam Security’s mobile pentesting identifies and documents possible threats and vulnerabilities. It also assesses the likelihood of each threat occurrence and its impact to determine the most reasonable and proper response. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 612-234-7848 or visiting us online.


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