Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Operation Android

Master the basics first. I have been doing Mobile app testing for quite sometime, didn’t note down too much data though as everything was hands on, but I will walk you through from the basics. There are many tools out there, you can try them all and chose what works best for you, I would say use few tools and be a master of it.

FYI: I will only be covering basic android pentesting here. iOS and runtime hooking and manipulation will be posted on later days.
So what do you do when you start with any android application, either you get the apk file from your client or you downloaded the app from playstore, if so, use an apk extractor and get the apk file and copy to your system.

Emulator: Either Nox app player or Genymotion. I prefer Nox personally. Anything else which you are comfortable with will do too. I also use a MotoG2 with cyanogenmod 12.
Nox has its own adb and you will find it under C:\Program Files (x86)\Nox\bin\nox_adb.exe

 I generally break down my process into three parts
1. Reversing and static analysis
2. Dynamic analysis
3. Storage/Database/Log analysis

Let's go one by one.

All the apk are zip files so you can just extract them. Rename the .apk to .zip and extract the contents to your test folder
and firstly go to /res/raw , mostly you will get something interesting here. Either config information, authentication token, admin credentials for internal app servers anything.

Browser through the files and folders, if you are lucky and if app is not obfuscated you can sometimes get the entire JS files source code just like that without decompiling.
Decompiling: You can use apktool or if you want a visual representation I would recommend using jadx-gui.
#apktool d vulnerableapp.apk

Examine the AndroidManifest.xml file. This will be the starting point.
Note down your package name from the first line of your AndroidManifest.xml and it will look something like com.mytestapp.mycompany will come in handy later.

AndroidManifest.xml :

These are the things to look for in the AndroidManifest.xml :

1. Android permissions: Do you really need those permissions, does the app use it? For example READ/WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE is one permissions applications shouldn’t use unless it is really needed. This allows the app to read and write files to your Sdcard. If this permission is enabled then it is possible that the application is actually storing something in sd, maybe in a dot file so that it seems hidden which may contain sensitive information, or even crash logs.
2. android:debuggable=true. This value must be set to "false". Else it allows user to connect to the application using adb and execute commands or functions within the application. Default Value is false.
3. android:allowBackup=true. This value must be set to "false". If it is set to true we can backup applications and restore it later. Default value is True.
4. It can also have meta-data like API keys or token keys, but I never really saw those as issues, maybe I am wrong.  

Once the manifest file is over, load up the apk in jadx-gui and go through all the java files, it is possible they have hardcoded keys, passwords, developers actual phone numbers and email addresses in comments, internal IP and URLs.
There was actually one time when the developer name and email ID gave access to the company's shared mail account, so every bit of information is useful.

It is possible that the application looks as if all the codes are obfuscated but when you install the app it actually decompiles all the code and stores it in the sdcard.

When looking through codes using jadx-gui or any other tool make sure to look for the following:

1. Check for Log storage codes
2. Codes that saves any info in the system
3. Database codes and what are saved in that
Make a note of all these as these are what we will look in the final stages to get hidden gems
4. Check for type of encryption or encoding any encryption keys can be hardcoded
5. Look for import security, crypto.cipher codes
6. Look for webview codes, which can be used for XSS in dynamic testing

Since I test on a windows system with Linux subsystem enabled I directly jump into a linux environment just by typing 'bash' and grepping out things I need.
Basically grep for Passwords, keys, SSL codes, emulator protection, root checks

Also grep for these for Webview
JavascriptInterface, if there is jsvar then we can get XSS and do command exec, check cve2012-6636, sdk <=17 are vulnerable

In case you want to make any changes in the application source code first view the code in jadx-gui. After reviewing the code in java , go back and make changes to the smali file decompiled using apktool. Then build the apk back using
#apktool b decompiled_folder/ -o newapp.apk
Then sign the apk. The alias_name can be anything but make sure you use the same name in all commands.
#keytool genkey v keystore androidkey.keystore –alias alias_name –keyalg RSA –keysize 2048 –validity 100
Now we have a private key. Now lets sign the app
#jarsigner verbose sigalg SHA1withRSA –digestalg SHA1 –keystore androidkey.keystore newapp.apk alias_name

Here comes ADB

#adb devices  //To check what all devices are connected
#adb connect  //To connect to a particular mobile device through IP
#adb shell // To get a shell on the emulator or phone
#adb push/pull  //To upload and download files to and from the device
#adb install vulnerableapp.apk
#adb uninstall com.package.test  
Always while uninstalling you should use the package name to uninstall.

SSL Pinning bypass:

To check that ssl pinning is enabled look for the following strings in the code

Three methods almost always worked for me in bypassing SSL pinning.
Bypass Method 1: Xposed framework along with SSLUnpinning 2.0 (works like a charm)

Bypass Method 2: This is a latest one released quite early in 2019. I am giving the link below. This worked where other methods failed.
Ref: https://omespino.com/tutorial-universal-android-ssl-pinning-in-10-minutes-with-frida/

Bypass Method 3:This worked for me. Install Android-SSL-TrustKiller by iSecPartners
Install the app and automatically you will be able to capture the request in burp/any proxy.

There is a similar method using Xposed framework and JustTrustMe apk. I haven't tried this but it's worth a check.

Bypass Method 4: Reverse the app and remove the code. Read through SSLPinning bypass by Denis andzakov.

Breaking Mobile app Protection mechanism:

Root and Emulator detection:
First get your smali code and java codes.
File.apk (unzip and get classes.dex)-> d2j-dex2jar -> Open in jd-gui  //This is another method to get source code
File.apk-> apktool d -> you get smali files
Load in Jeb or IDA Pro or just grep.

Emulator Detection:

Check for goldfish.
#grep -r goldfish
#grep -r goldfish smali*
Once we find the location of this, we can go there and modify it as needed.

If we find any emulator detection code that searches for "Build.Props" like Build.FINGERPRINT.startsWith("generic") || Build.FINGERPRINT.startsWith("unknown")
like this or if it searches for any particular string then just change that string in your emulator Build.Prop file
You can use a build.prod editor app or any root explorer app to search in the system file for it and edit it.

Once in build.prop you can edit the following things:

Edit Android Version by locating ro.build.version.release= and changing the current Build Version. 
Edit your Model # by locating ro.product.model= and changing your model #
Change your product brand by locating ro.product.brand= change as needed

Please Note that if you change the product brand, the name MUST be in ALL LOWERCASE LETTERS!!!

Once you are done playing around, press menu, and then Save...now just exit the app and reboot your phone. 
Once your device reboots, go to Settings> About Phone/Device and see the changes.

Static Root checks:

1.Look for binary, file or directory:(Looking for SuperUser.apk):
Solution: Just rename the binary. If the app is searching for SuperUser.apk , then rename to notsuperuser.apk, if app is searching for /system/bin/su change to /system/bin/notsu

2.Checking /system attributes:
App will check for read-write permission for /system.
Solution: change to read only using the following command:
"mount -o ro,remount,ro /system"

3.Hashing Files:
App create a hash of superuser.apk and then checks.
Solution: Patch the binary OR no-op out the check ,OR change value in memory via a debugger

4.Binary check:
App will run whoami and check if its root.
Solution:Replace whoami binary on phone which does not give root
Patch out checks in binary
Modify Value in debugger.

Oh Yeah Drozer:

Before that a little about Activities, services Content providers.

Activity: Touching an app is activity, launching app. Any event that triggers a change in the Visual representation is an activity.
Service: Long running process, running in background like playing music
Intent receiver: Responds to input, input can be SMS, phone reboot, losing WiFi. Intents are ways of sending messages between different functions.
Content Provider: Content providers are used by applications to communicate and share data with other applications. A misconfiguration will allow other apps to access unintended or sensitive data. 
Broadcast receivers: Listen for something
Explicit intent: Recipient of the intent is specified. So we can specify that only certain app/broadcast receiver can take a particular intent.
Implicit Intent:  The platform decides where it should be delivered, like we open a link and it asks how do you want to open? Chrome or Mozilla etc.
EXPORTED: Means your app can interact with something else, like some other app or event.
Intent receiver Fail:  Intent receiver must not be implicit, then any app can provide malicious/false information to that app. Any application can also listen to intent from that app if intents are implicit

Install drozer server in mobile device, and agent on your host machine. You can do this in both windows and linux. For Windows machine install universal adb so that you can directly use adb from command line.
Start the drozer server in the mobile device.

To do that type:
#adb forward tcp:31415 tcp:31415
#drozer console connect
To find the package name type:
dz>run app.package.list
To get details on the application like permissions:
dz> run app.package.info -a com.package.test
To find the attack surface for the package:
dz>  run app.package.attacksurface com.package.test
This will give a list of attack surfaces available. We are interested in content providers
dz>run app.provider.finduri com.package.test
Once we find the content provider we are interested in we have to query it.
dz>run app.provider.query content://com.package.test.Secret/mysecrets --vertical
Drozer uses only internet permission so getting info from content providers is a vulnerability.
We can also use content providers to read sdcard files and do a directory traversal attacks.

All DROZER commands

Starting a session
c:\>adb forward tcp:31415 tcp:31415
c:\>drozer console connect
Retrieving package information
dz>run app.package.list -f "app name"
dz>run app.package.info -a "package name"
Identifying the attack surface
dz>run app.package.attacksurface "package name"
Exploiting Activities
dz>run app.activity.info -a "package name" -u
dz>run app.activity.start --component "package name" "component name"
Exploiting Content Provider
dz>run app.provider.info -a "package name"
dz>run scanner.provider.finduris -a "package name"
dz>run app.provider.query "uri"
dz>run app.provider.update "uri" --selection "conditions" "selection arg" "column" "data"
dz>run scanner.provider.sqltables -a "package name"
dz>run scanner.provider.injection -a "package name"
dz>run scanner.provider.traversal -a "package name"
Exploiting Broadcast Receivers
dz>run app.broadcast.info -a "package name"
dz>run app.broadcast.send --component "package name" "component name" --extra "type" "key" "value"
dz>run app.broadcast.sniff --action "action"
For exploiting exported broadcast receivers: https://manifestsecurity.com/android-application-security-part-18/
Exploiting Service
dz>run app.service.info -a "package name"
dz>run app.service.start --action "action" --component "package name" "component name"
dz>run app.service.send "package name" "component name" --msg "what" "arg1" "arg2" --extra "type" "key""value" --bundle-as-obj

Directory Traversal:

dz>run app.package.list -f vulnerableApp
dz>run app.package.attacksurface com.package.test
dz>run app.provider.finduri com.package.test
We cannot also query to get details. it depends on the content provider.
Now our goal is to use content provider of vulnerableApp to read file from SD using drozer.
dz>run app.package.info -a com.package.test
This show the permission of adobe which shows android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE
Since query will not work we will try to use "read"
dz>run app.provider.read content://com.package.test.file/../../../../mnt/sdcard/secret.txt
After com.package.test.file which is the content provider name, we tried to do a directory traversal to read the content of the file secret.txt which is under mnt/sdcard. The dotdotslash(../) may vary
Check for both read and query.
If u get activities exported in drozer then use:
dz>run app.activity.info -a <package>
dz>run app.activity.start --component <package><activity>

Exploiting custom permission

Sometimes custom permission make it difficult for drozer to query data, to query such data we have to find the permission and add it in drozer and recompile drozer.

dz>run app.package.list -f vulnerableapp com.package.test
dz> run app.provider.finduri com.package.test 
dz>run app.provider.query content://com.com.package.test.db/outgoing_filters/

If it shows an error saying permission denied and requires android.permission.CONFIGURE_SIP
Now we will decompile vulnerableapp.apk and look how it asks for permissions
We will do this using apktool->android manifest file.
We see that the manifest file has permissions android.permission.CONFIGURE_SIP and one more similar one.

Since this is an custom permission we will copy this permissions and recompile drozer apk with these permissions and install it and use it. So decompile dozer apk file and open the AndroidManifest.xml and copy the extra permission and uses  lines you found in vulnerableapp AndroidManifest.xml into the manifest file of drozer and save it. Now u will/might have certain references to a file called string.xml and it will look like: android:label='@string/permlab_useSip'. So we have to get the reference string as well. To do that open strings.xml for both the drozer.apk and vulnerableapp.apk which we had decompiled.

Location is vulnerableapp/res/values/strings.xml and copy the permlab_useSip and similar string which were used to your drozer's strings.xml file, save it. Recompile the new drozer decompiled file to an apk.

#apktool b drozer/ -o drozernew.apk
Sign it :
#jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore my-release-key.keystore drozernew.apk alias_name

Uninstall the previous drozer and  install the new one
Now go to drozer
dz> run app.provider.query content://com.package.test.db/outgoing_fileters/ --vertical
Voila now you will get all details.

Backup based vulnerability:

#adb backup com.package.test -f vuln.ab
A pop-up will appear on phone click backup my data.
We have to remove the first 24bytes which is the header
#dd if=vuln.ab bs=24 skip=1| openssl zlib -d > vuln.tar
OR Download androidbackupextractor. You will get a file abe.jar
#java -jar abe.jar unpack vuln.ab vuln.tar
#tar -tf vuln.tar > vuln.list
#tar -xvf vuln.tar

Now everything will be extracted. Go inside apps and package and basically change whatever you want to change in the app to be reflected back. For example you can modify preferences.xml to bypass login. Once all changes have been made now we will convert the extracted files back to tar file.

#star -c -v -f vuln_new.tar -no-dirslash list=vuln.list
Now we will have our newtar file i.e vuln_new.tar
#java -jar abe.jar pack vuln_new.tar vuln_new.ab
We need to get the 24bytes header back again, for that do
#dd if=vuln_new.ab bs=24 count=1 of=vuln_2.ab
#openssl zlib -in vuln_new.tar >> vuln_2.ab
#adb restore vuln_2.ab
Give confirmation in our device and open the app and see the changes made.

Automated Tool: Sometimes it is good to throw the apk into an automated scanner so your clients don’t complain when their automated scanner finds something.
This is an awesome tool, little difficult on the initial setup though but once done works like a charm, better install in windows environment.

Dynamic Analysis:

#adb logcat > log.txt
This is the first thing to do before starting any dynamic testing. Let logcat go on throughout your testing process. You can also do it after the testing but if you wanna check if some critical data is being logged as and when the communication is happening then doing at the beginning is better.

Response tamper: This one is really useful only for mobile based application. Keep your response capture in Burp ON.
Since all the codes are inside the application the app trusts the response from the server to do further processing. You can take advantage of this to trick the application by sending misleading responses and gain access or bypass stuff.
This actually gave me multiple login bypass, PIN bypass, verification bypass, access to unauthenticated information and many more. To exploit this you have to check the difference between a valid and invalid response and change accordingly. For example: Let's say a valid username and password combo gives a response as "SUCCESS" and an invalid combo gives "failure". By giving an invalid password and changing the response from "failure" to "SUCCESS" you are actually tricking the application to believe that the username and password you gave earlier is valid and it will let you login.

Webview vulns:
Webview using metasploit: Try out this exploit, this was for android less than 4.2 but application's inbuild webview can also be vulnerable so it’s a good try to get a RCE.
Exploit: exploit/android/browser/webview_addjavascriptinterface
 Most of the other vulnerabilities are same as what you perform in a web application, assuming you are a master in web app pentesting I am only focusing Android based exploitation.
To know what to test exactly you can follow the OWASP Mobile App check list, its for both android and iOS.

Storage/Database/Log analysis:

First thing to do is extract the data files from the emulator/phone.
Since you already know the package name you can directly extract it to your local machine
C:\>adb pull /data/data/com.package.test c:\extracted\
Make sure you get all the files related to the application, as seen in the code analysis there might be log files too stored in different location like sdcard. So search and get all files. Sometimes it is possible that not all files will be extracted like some cache file, for that you can simply cat it from your root shell.

The first file to look will be your shared_prefs.xml, this file might contain very useful information, sometimes even plain text username and password.
Next will be your .db files, this might be encrypted sometimes and you might also get the decryption key from the codes if not hidden well.Download sqlite browser: http://sqlitebrowser.org/. An easier way to view all the db files. You might get some sensitive data here too.
Oh yeah almost forget the logcat output. Grep the logcat output with process ID and look through it entirely to find if there are anything logged.

Guess this should cover almost all of the basic. As said earlier, dynamic hooking, manipulation and iOS is for another day. 

TO DO for next android pentesting post:
Andbug debugging
Xposed framework hooking
Cydia substrate

And some Miscellaneous for you all to go through.
JEB: Is an awesome tool. For now you can just load up the apk file and directly search for all the strings and see where they occur in codes and it can be used for code level manipulation as well. I am still trying to get around this though.
Android security Virtual machine plus testing frameworks and tools: https://github.com/sh4hin/Androl4b

Still if you want bunch of tools then here it is http://www.droidsec.cn/android-security-basic/


  1. Nice one, hope you come up with ios also

  2. Hello, it's really nice to share such amazing words that is really helpful. I was searching this type of content. i really appreciate you. Thank you for share it keep share this type of content.
    Avast Desktop Services