Top 5 Mobile App Security Risks

Mobile App Security Risks

Top 5 mobile app security risks

  1. Insecure Data Storage: Data storage is one of the most important aspects of any application or device. If the application stores, transmit or process sensitive information, they need to keep it secure. This usually occurs when developers incorrectly assume users or malware cannot access specific device or system files. Hackers can access your device’s data or steal your information if you fail to store it securely.
  2. Untrusted Inputs: The concept of trusted user input is not new. However, most developers are not aware of how it works, what problems it might cause and how to protect themselves from it. This is especially important for mobile applications, as most of their source code is available online, so there is no point in hiding it.
  3. Insecure Communication: Insecure communication is a threat that can never be underestimated. When mobile applications are not developed carefully, they can leave their backend systems exposed to hackers. When mobile apps transmit data over the public Internet, mobile carrier networks disclose sensitive data to attack.
  4. Insufficient Cryptography: If there is one thing that the world knows about cryptography, it is essential to keep our data safe. Insufficient cryptography can be caused by many reasons, including the lack of knowledge of the developers on a good encryption process or the inability to implement good encryption on the software. 
  5. Code Obfuscation: Code obfuscation is the process of transforming the source code of a software application to hinder attempts at reverse engineering or recompilation. Attackers use reverse engineering to understand how an app works to formulate exploits.


The major threat points that attackers exploit: Data storage options such as Keystore, configuration files, cache, app database, and app file system. Binary methods such as reverse engineering, code vulnerabilities, embedded credentials, and key generation algorithms.

How does penetration testing help secure a mobile app?

  • Mobile penetration testing tests mobile applications/software/mobile operating systems for security vulnerabilities by using either manual or automated techniques to analyse the application. These techniques are used to identify security flaws that may occur in the mobile application.
  • The purpose of penetration testing is to ensure that the mobile application is not vulnerable to attacks. Mobile application penetration testing is a vital part of the overall assessment process. Mobile application security is becoming a critical element in the security of any company. Also, the data is stored locally on the mobile device. Data encryption and authentication are the essential concerns of safety for organizations having mobile applications.
  • Mobile apps are the most lucrative target for hackers. The reason is that mobile apps are used by almost all the people on this planet.

Parameters to test while performing Mobile Application Penetration Testing

The parameters for mobile application penetration testing include the below pointers.

  1. Architecture, design, and threat modeling: Understanding the architecture of the mobile app while performing mobile app penetration testing is a crucial step. Once understood, the manual tests must include tests for insecure design and architecture.
  2. Network communication: Transferring data over public networks is where hackers steal user-sensitive data. Mobile app penetration testing must focus on network communication which includes testing how the data travels over networks.
  3. Data storage and privacy: Clear text storage of sensitive data is a gift of attackers or hackers. Most applications store sensitive data such as user passwords, API keys, etc., in clean text, usually held in Strings.xml file.
  4. Authentication and session management: Mobile application tests must include testing for session management issues such as session expiration on password change, misconfigured backup codes for multi-factor authentication, etc.
  5. Misconfiguration errors in code or build settings: Most mobile application developers don’t care about error messages. Mobile application developers check for debug messages and error codes while developing to reveal no application-related internal information to the end-user.


Cyber Legion provide a continuous cycle of Penetration Testing combined with remediation via Secure Client Portal, to protect/enhance your assets and help improve the organization security posture.

We have deep expertise in application security, mobile apps and network pen testing. We work specifically to help improve the security of our clients and offer comprehensive security testing that highlight issues in a detailed and intelligible manner.

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