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SSL Vulnerabilities Found in 68% of Most Popular Android Apps

21/08/2014 by

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Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks are “wreaking havoc” on Android users because over two-thirds of the most popular apps on Google Play contain SSL vulnerabilities, according to new research from FireEye.

After being notified by the security vendor, the developers of said apps have now addressed the vulnerabilities, but the study nevertheless highlights the ongoing security problems with the Google ecosystem.

MITM attacks occur when hackers intercept data sent by an app to a server or vice versa, either to look at the data itself; to replace it with malicious data which injects itself into the app; or redirect traffic to a new destination controlled by the attacker.

FireEye mobile threat researchers Adrian Mettler, Vishwanath Raman and Yulong Zhang explained in a blog post that they examined the 1,000 most downloaded free apps on Google Play only to find 674 (68%) had at last one of three particular SSL vulnerabilities.

Of the 614 apps that use SSL/TLS to communicate with a remote server, 73% didn’t check server certificates at all, exposing any data they exchange with those servers to potential theft.

In addition, around 8% of those 614 used their own hostname verifiers which don’t check hostnames, “implying they are incapable of detecting redirection attacks where the attacker redirects the server request to a malicious webserver controlled by the attacker.”

Finally, 77% ignored SSL errors generated when they use Webkit to render server pages, which means they could be missing MITM attacks that exploit vulnerabilities like Javascript Binding Over HTTP (JBOH), FireEye said.

This article has been extracted from http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com, please click on this link to read the article in full
http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ssl-vulnerabilities-popular/

Montash is a multi-award winning, global technology recruitment firm. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments which cover a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

ERP, BI & Data, Information Security, IT Architecture & Strategy, Energy Technologies, Demand IT and Business Engagement, Digital and E-commerce, Infrastructure and Service Delivery, Project and Programme Delivery.

With offices based in London, Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid-management in permanent and contract roles.

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