Mobile Top 10 2012-M2

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Threat Agents Attack Vectors Security Weakness Technical Impacts Business Impacts
Application Specific Exploitability
EASY
Prevalence
COMMON
Detectability
EASY
Impact
SEVERE
Application / Business Specific
Threat Description Attack Vector Description Security Weakness Description Technical Impacts Business Impacts

Am I Vulnerable To Weak Server Side Controls?

The M2 category is one that is always in heavy debate. It encompasses almost everything that a mobile application can do badly that does not take place on the phone. Which is exactly the argument… should it be listed at all? Don’t we have Top Ten lists for Web Applications? Don’t we have one for cloud too?

In fact, we do. If we could be altogether sure that everyone who wanted information on mobile security also stopped by those projects… it would be a perfect world. Unfortunately, after two rounds of data collection from some of the world’s top assessment teams, we find that server side issues are so prevalent in mobile applications that we cannot ignore them in the Risk listing. M2 is only .52% lower in prevalence than M1 (Insecure Data Storage) and almost always trumps M1 findings in terms of overall risk. While not statistically validated we feel that several factors lead to bad mobile application server code (and on a larger scale mobile insecurity in general):

  • Rush to market
  • Lack of security knowledge because of the new-ness of the languages
  • Easy access to frameworks that don’t prioritize security
  • Higher than average outsourced development
  • Lower security budgets for mobile applications
  • Assumption that the mobile OS takes full responsibility for security
  • Weakness due to cross-platform development and compilation

How Do I Prevent Weak Server Side Controls?

Secure coding and configuration practices must be used on server-side of the mobile application. For specific vulnerability information refer to the OWASP Web Top Ten or Cloud Top Ten projects. We will try and link references to those projects and other OWASP projects that provide more robust descriptions.


Example Scenarios


If you look below, you can see that there is a ton of surface area to cover when thinking about M2:


CloudTT thum.pngWebTT thumb.png

The Worst Offenders

While we cannot go over all of these, what we can do is list vulnerability types that we see most often within mobile applications:


Poor Web Services Hardening
Logic flaws
Testing for business logic flaws
Business Logic Security Cheat Sheet
Weak Authentication
OWASP Top Ten Broken Authentication Section
Authentication Cheat Sheet
Developers Guide for Authentication
Testing for Authentication
Weak or no session management
Session fixation
Sensitive data transmitted using GET method


Insecure web server configurations
Default content
Administrative interfaces


Injection (SQL, XSS, Command) on both web services and mobile-enabled websites
Authentication flaws
Session Management flaws
Access control vulnerabilities
Local and Remote File Includes

References

References