Vulnerabilities / Threats
11/5/2010
11:21 AM
50%
50%

Vulnerabilities Found In Banking Apps

Security holes in Android and iPhone apps from PayPal, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and more could give attackers access to financial data.

Top 20 Android Productivity Apps
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 20 Android Productivity Apps

Smartphone banking applications from Bank of America, Chase, PayPal, TD Ameritrade, USAA and Wells Fargo have bugs that an attacker could exploit to steal people's personal financial information. So said digital forensics firm viaForensics in a security warning released Thursday. The security flaw was not found in the firm's testing of a Vanguard Group smartphone banking app.

"We encountered a surprising and increasing amount of highly sensitive financial and identity information on smartphones," said Andrew Hoog, CIO of viaForensics. "This information, uncovered on both Apple iPhones and Google Android devices, would only benefit cyber criminals and identity thieves. While Google and Apple each approach the app review process differently, neither approach has prevented insecure applications from being installed."

Hoog said that his company began "communicating and coordinating with the financial institutions to eliminate the flaws" on Monday, and that the vulnerability announcement reflects how the applications performed as of Wednesday. "Since that time, several of the institutions have released new versions and we will post updated findings shortly."

Major vulnerabilities encountered included some applications failing to validate security certificates, leaving them vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Such attacks could recover "full user name, password, and account data," said Hoog. Other applications failed to encrypt transmitted passwords, sending them as clear text. Others inappropriately "saved your data to the smartphone, allowing recovery of all financial information viewed in the application."

One organization that moved to quickly retool its mobile application was PayPal, a division of eBay. On Thursday, PayPal spokeswoman Amanda Pires told the Wall Street Journal that PayPal had submitted a new version of its application to the Apple App Store for review on Tuesday evening, and that there was no evidence of attackers having exploited the vulnerability. "To my knowledge it has not affected anybody," she said. PayPal also said it would fully reimburse anyone who lost money as a result of the vulnerability. The affected PayPal application had been downloaded 4 million times.

The bug disclosure comes on the heels of PayPal's announcement last week that it expects to process more than $700 million in mobile payments by the end of the year.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9676
Published: 2015-02-27
The seg_write_packet function in libavformat/segment.c in ffmpeg 2.1.4 and earlier does not free the correct memory location, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service ("invalid memory handler") and possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted video that triggers a use after free.

CVE-2014-9682
Published: 2015-02-27
The dns-sync module before 0.1.1 for node.js allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the first argument to the resolve API function.

CVE-2015-0655
Published: 2015-02-27
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Unified Web Interaction Manager in Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to a POST request, aka Bug ID CSCus74184.

CVE-2015-0884
Published: 2015-02-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows before 9.10.32(T) and Service Station before 2.2.14 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse application with a name composed of an initial substring of a path that contains a space character.

CVE-2015-0885
Published: 2015-02-27
checkpw 1.02 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a -- (dash dash) in a username.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.