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Popular Mobile Travel Apps Have Critical Security Issues: Report

15/09/2015 by


Developers of mobile travel applications are more focused on features that boost the user experience than on ensuring increased security for their programs and customer data, a recent report from Bluebox Security reveals.

According to the mobile security company, even the top 10 most popular mobile travel apps lack proper security, and all of the analyzed programs include critical flaws. The issues impact applications designed for popular mobile platforms including Android and iOS.

The firm notes that many developers have created numerous points of entry for attackers to access sensitive data by overlooking the security of their apps.

In their analysis, Bluebox researchers found that only one in ten Android travel apps encrypts data stored on mobile devices, leaving data such as usernames, passwords, e-mail and server addresses, and credit card numbers easily accessible to attackers. None of the ten iOS programs examined leveraged encryption of stored data.

The study also uncovered that certificate pinning was present in only two of the ten Android apps and in one of the ten iOS programs and that it was used only on a portion of the network connection. Thus, the rest of the examined software left users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks that can leak data in transit.

Additionally, four of the examined Android apps and six of the iOS apps included code that could offer admin functionality and could result in granting special privileges that regular users should not have access to. Attackers could exploit this to access credit card information, travel history, upcoming travel plans, and other similar data, Bluebox said.

None of the examined Android and iOS applications incorporated anti‐tampering measures, which could allow attackers activate restricted functionality and gain full control of the programs and to modify the app to include malicious code or to launch attacks on other apps. None of the apps included sufficient device integrity (jailbreak/root detection) protections.

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