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iOS App Penetration Testing

iOS App Penetration Testing
  • Discover
  • cybersecurity
  • Penetration testing

16 Jun 2022

After endless rounds of prototyping, you might think that your iOS app is finally ready to be taken off the ground to start creating optimal user experiences. What about vulnerabilities? Whatever it takes, you need to make sure that no bad actors will be able to harvest user-sensitive data through your app. Have your iOS developers covered everything from A to Z so that your app is safe to use? Only rigorous iOS app penetration testing will give you the answer to this question. 

What does pentesting iOS applications mean?

In simple terms, iOS app penetration testing can be compared to checking whether your doors are resistant to a professional burglar. It’s always done from the hacker’s perspective. Pentesting iOS applications involves emulating similar techniques used by bad guys to see what they may be able to do using your mobile app. 

iOS App Penetration Testing Guidelines

1. Come up with an elaborate plan

To succeed in performing an effective iOS app penetration test, you should stick to the battle-tested methodology as to how you intend to accomplish it. Since each iOS app environment differs from one another, pay special attention to outlining the parameters that need to be tested. 

According to OWASP, the major weaknesses of mobile apps identified during pentesting are the following:

  • Weak server-side security
  • Storage system vulnerabilities
  • Issues with the way data get transmitted via your app (low encryption strength)
  • Unmeant data leakage (temp files, auto-logins, screenshots of sensitive data, etc.)
  • Lax rules for validating users
  • Broken cryptography
  • Client-side injection (using SSL, XSS, JS, etc.) can allow hackers to initiate fake logins
  • Hidden functionality with top-level account rights that can be manipulated
  • Session cookies and tokens at risk of being stolen
  • No binary-level protections

2. Choose cutting-edge iOS app pentesting tools based on the environment.

Some of the most popular tools that might facilitate the iOS app pentest are: 

  • Cydia Impactor
  • SQLMap
  • OWASP ZAP
  • Frida-ios-dump
  • Apktool
  • iWep Pro
  • Appcrack
  • Burp Suite
  • OWASP ZAP
  • netKillUIbeta

3. Get everything ready for the pentesting environment

Carefully think about your iOS app pentesting environment. Any security assessment of an iOS app requires jailbreaking the device to get access to its filesystem and bypass security restrictions.

4. Test the app server(s)

Launch attacks on the app server to check for any unauthorized file uploads, open redirecting, vulnerabilities in the auth mechanisms, CORS, etc.

5. Analyze network connectivity aspects in a series of network attacks.

You can take advantage of network sniffers that allow users to collect valuable info about the network traffic and data packets.

6. Instrument the source

Create backdoors to examine the code on a granular level to identify any unknown unknowns that might turn out to be security woes.

7. Conduct the pentest step-by-step, sticking to your plan

Always assume that the app you’re pentesting is full of errors to never miss a thing along the way. Avoid trying to speed up the pentesting process if it involves bypassing a step or two. 

Why choose Hacken

Did you know that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to be genuinely exceptional at something? You can rest assured that Hacken experts have spent years improving their iOS app pentesting skills and can’t be called jacks-of-all-trades. If your app does have any security flaws, our iOS pentesters will be able to identify them, helping you finally push the snowball off the mountain peak.

Once the safety of your iOS app has been confirmed during iOS app pentesting, users won’t have to worry that their data might get compromised. The investors will be confident that the iOS app they are about to launch isn’t going to damage their reputation and is worth investing in.

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