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Forensic Approach To Mobile App Vulnerability Research
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johnhsawyer
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johnhsawyer,
User Rank: Moderator
4/1/2012 | 2:27:46 PM
re: Forensic Approach To Mobile App Vulnerability Research
Thank you for the comment. I'm not advocating this approach is the only way--far from it. This is simply a basic, introductory approach to get people started that is easier to explain and teach. It can built upon or be a precursor to advanced methods like runtime analysis and binary reverse engineering.

Plus, I like finding alternative uses of tools to do things outside of what they were designed to do and the application of timeline analysis with mac-robber here is a good example of that.

(I'm sure you know the following, but I'm including it for other readers.) The difference between the tools you mention and those I discuss are akin to the difference between static binary and runtime analysis of executables (like malware) to behavioral analysis of what happens to the system when the executable runs.

There is a learning curve and depth of knowledge that the average system administrator and security professional won't have for more advanced methods so they're less likely to be comfortable with GDB and IDA Pro, but they would be more comfortable with analyzing environmental changes to the filesystem, Registry, event logs, etc. and looking at network traffic (maybe even strace if they have *nix background). That's where this approach allows them to leverage their knowledge to do analysis and can build upon that experience to do more advanced analysis later on.

-jhs
flast_name606
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flast_name606,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2012 | 5:03:52 AM
re: Forensic Approach To Mobile App Vulnerability Research
I don't agree that forensics is a "good" way to evaluate mobile platforms or apps for vulnerabilities. I think they are "one" way, but they do not get into the runtime or the binaries or code.

My favorite tools for runtime are cycript for iOS and strace for Android, which are not equivalent tools. strace can really see what files and networks are touched by an Android app that Burp and mac-robber will never see into...


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