It is believed that 1 out of every 36 mobile devices has been compromised by a mobile app security breach. And with more than 5 billion mobile devices globally, you do the math.
The news that a consumer-facing application or business has experienced a security breach is a story that breaks far too often. As of late, video conferencing apps like Zoom and Houseparty have been the centre of attention in the news cycle.
As apps continue to integrate into the everyday life of our users, we cannot wait for a breach to start considering the efficacy of our security measures. When users shop online, update their fitness training log, review a financial statement, or connect with a colleague over video, we are wielding their personal data and must do so responsibly.
Let’s cover some of the ways hackers access sensitive information and tips to prevent these hacks from happening to you.
The Authentication Problem
Authentication is the ability to reliably determine that the person trying to access a given account is the actual person who owns that account. One factor authentication would be accepting a username and password to authenticate a user, but as we know, people use the same insecure passwords and then reuse them for all their accounts.
If a hacker accesses a user’s username and password, even if through no fault of yours, they are able to access that user’s account information.
Although two-factor authentication (2FA) can feel superfluous at times, it is a simple way to protect user accounts from hackers.
2FA uses a secondary means of authenticating the user, such as sending a confirmation code to a mobile device or email address. This adds another layer of protection by making it more difficult for hackers to fake authentication.
Consider using services that handle authentication securely and having users sign in with them. Google and Facebook, for example, are used by billions of people and they have had to solve authentication problems on a large scale.
Reverse engineering is when hackers develop a clone of an app to get innocent people to download malware. How is this accomplished? All the hacker has to do is gain access to the source code. And if your team is not cautious with permissions and version control systems, a hacker can walk right in unannounced and gain access to the source code along with private environment variables.
One way to safeguard against this is to obfuscate code. Obfuscation and minification make the code less readable to hackers. That way, they’re unable to conduct reverse engineering on an app. You should also make sure your code is in a private repository, secret keys and variables are encrypted, and your team is aware of best practices.
If you’re interested in learning more ways hackers can breach mobile app security, check out the infographic below from CleverTap.
Authored by Drew Page Drew is a content marketing lead from San Diego, where he helps create epic content for companies like CleverTap. He loves learning, writing and playing music. When not surfing the web, you can find him actually surfing, in the kitchen or in a book.
There was ferocious debate in the UK parliament post the government announcement, with MPs calling into question the cybersecurity risks which could prevail – the US says the cybersecurity risks are severe, the UK’s security services say they can be managed, whereas Australia has opted for an outright ban. There’s a clear disconnect and the decision today could cause turmoil to the US/UK working relationship that could ultimately impact a post-Brexit trade deal.
Can Huawei be trusted or will using its equipment leave communication networks, and our own mobile phones, vulnerable? The US says Huawei is a security risk, given the firm is heavily state supported and is run by Mr Ren who served in the Chinese military. Huawei 5G equipment could be used for spying and negatively impacting critical national infrastructure.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published a document which says UK networks will have three years to comply with the caps on the use of Huawei's equipment.
"Huawei is reassured by the UK government's confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market." the firm's UK chief Victor Zhang said in a statement.
UK security professionals have reported significant concerns around how digital transformation projects and the implementation of 5G will affect their risk posture. 89% of UK businesses said they have concerns around the implementation of emerging technologies and essential digital transformation projects and almost four in ten (38%) expect digital transformation and 5G to offer cybercriminals more effective and more destructive methods of achieving their nefarious goals, according to research from VMWare Carbon Black.
A10 Networks' VP of Strategy, Gunter Reiss said “The global dispute over whether tech giant Huawei should be used in national 5G networks has created a lot of geopolitical conversations around the 5G build-out, security to Critical National Infrastructure, and generally whether certain vendors should be included or excluded. However, operators need to base their decisions not on these opinions but on technology – the strength, innovation and security capabilities. With the massive increases in bandwidth, number of devices predicted to be on these networks and the growing security requirements, the technology being used must meet these needs.”
A Security Compromise on Economical Grounds
FireEye Labs recently discovered a malicious phishing domain designed to steal a variety of information – including credentials and mobile numbers – from customers of several banks in India. Currently, we have not observed this domain being used in any campaigns. The phishing websites appear to be in the earlier stages of development and through this post we hope users will be able to identify these types of emerging threats in the future.
FireEye phishing detection technology identified a newly registered domain, “csecurepay[.]com”, that was registered on Oct. 23, 2016. The website purports to offer online payment gateway services, but is actually a phishing website that leads to the capturing of victim logon credentials – and other information – for multiple banks operating in India.
Prior to publication, FireEye notified the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
Phishing Template Presentation and Techniques
When navigating to the URL, the domain appears to be a payment gateway and requests that the user enter their bank account number and the amount to be transferred, as seen in Figure 1. The victim is allowed to choose their bank from a list that is provided.
Figure 1: Bank information being requested
By looking at the list, it is clear that only Indian banks are being targeted at this time. A total of 26 banks are available and these are named in the Appendix.
The next website requests the victim to enter their valid 10-digit mobile number and email ID (Figure 2), which makes the website appear more legitimate.
Figure 2: Personal information being requested
The victim will then be redirected to the spoofed online banking page of the bank they selected, which requests that they log in using their user name and password. Figure 3 shows a fake login page for State Bank of India. See the Appendix for more banks that have spoofed login pages.
Figure 3: Fake login page for State Bank of India
After entering their login credentials, the victim will be asked to key in their One Time Password (OTP), as seen in Figure 4.
Figure 4: OTP being requested
Once all of the sensitive data is gathered, a fake failed login message will be displayed to the victim, as seen in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Fake error message being displayed
Credit and Debit Card Phishing Website
Using the registrant information from the csecurepay domain, we found another domain registered by the phisher as “nsecurepay[.]com”. The domain, registered in latest August 2016, aims to steal credit and debit card information.
The following are among the list of cards that are targeted:
1. ICICI Credit Card
2. ICICI Debit Card
3. Visa/Master Credit Card
4. Visa/Master Debit Card
5. SBI Debit Card Only
At the time of this writing, the nsecurepay website was producing errors when redirecting to spoofed credit and debit card pages. Figure 6 shows the front end.
Figure 6: Nsecurepay front end
Phishing has its own development lifecycle. It usually starts off with building the tools and developing the “hooks” for luring victims into providing their financial information. Once the phishing website (or websites) is fully operational, we typically begin to see a wave of phishing emails pointing to it.
In this case, we see that phishing websites have been crafted to spoof multiple banks in India. These attackers can potentially grab sensitive online banking information and other personal data, and even provided support for multifactor authentication and OTP. Moreover, disguising the initial presentation to appear as an online payment gateway service makes the phishing attack seem more legitimate.
FireEye Labs detects this phishing attack and customers will be protected against the usage of these sites in possible future campaigns.
Fake login pages were served for 26 banks. The following is a list of some of the banks:
-Bank of Baroda - Corporate
-Bank of Baroda - Retail
-Bank of Maharashtra
Figure 7: HDFC Bank fake login page
-Jammu and Kashmir Bank
-Lakshmi Vilas Bank - Corporate
-Lakshmi Vilas Bank - Retail
-State Bank of Hyderabad
-State Bank of India
-State Bank of Jaipur
-State Bank of Mysore
-State Bank of Patiala
-State Bank of Bikaner
-State Bank of Travancore
-Tamilnad Mercantile Bank
-United Bank of India