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Risk Management

7 Tips for Solid AppSec in 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Around $318 billion annually is lost to cybercrime, making digital security paramount to maintaining a safe and responsible operation. The urgency around this issue continues to flare as losses from phone hacking, data breaches, and source code theft rise each year. Unfortunately, no area is left untouched, including mobile apps.

Mobile applications continue to prove themselves as valuable assets that drive traffic, revenue, and community engagement for many organizations. Therefore, introducing the best app security measures is essential to creating a safe environment for a company’s user base. 

While online security is complex, security experts, developers, and programming gurus continue to expand on methods to secure digital infrastructure. However, this isn’t only a job for data experts. Every level — whether C-Suite, mid-level management, or IT — needs awareness of best practices regarding application security. 

An excellent place to start the conversation around in-app safety is with what’s current. Below are seven top habits, practices, tips, and trends for building a solid wall of mobile app security heading into 2023. 

Investing in the right DevSecOps is vital for sustaining a business able to withstand cyber threats and limiting code vulnerability. For more information, visit PreEmptive’s page explaining how investing in their security tools delivers both peace of mind and monetary savings over the long run. 

What Is AppSec?

AppSec is short for “application security,” and there’s no one way to go about it. Instead, it’s a systemic approach consisting of many habits. 

To build this approach, those responsible for mobile app security must stay on top of the latest trends and be aware of the best tools to bolster their online defense. 

Regarding AppSec, staying ahead of the curve is the only way to ward off threats. Because, after all, hackers and cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways of their own to exploit outdated security methods. 

What Are AppSec Best Practices?

Many parties track and record the best ways to improve and optimize application security, including strengthening source code via the IDE, limiting an app’s attack surface, creating strong passwords, and more. 

Also, it’s vital that all employees, regardless of status, are educated and brought into conversations around app security, as a unified front is the only way to achieve desired results. 

Automating app security is always recommended. Especially for organizations that can’t afford full-time security monitoring, investing in the right tools to do the job is often the best solution to this essential problem. PreEmptive offers a large variety of solutions to increase mobile app vulnerability. Their offerings perform key tasks, including securing and hardening apps across many types of source code, including Java, Android, .Net, JavaScript, and iOS. 

Two-Factor User Authentication

Most login methods require only a single-factor identification login, meaning a user only needs to provide one form of authentication to log in. While it’s necessary to have password-protected logins, going with a multi-factor authentication process is much safer. 

Users must produce multiple forms of authentication before logging in, especially for accounts holding personal and financial information. This is an easy and great way to increase security and keep users safe while using an app. 

Security Testing Throughout the Development Process

Major tech organizations, like Google, strongly advocate that developers run security tests at the end of a program’s development and through the entire process. 

Testing for weaknesses at multiple points dramatically reduces the likelihood of oversight regarding source code weakness. 

Consolidating Security Infrastructure

The more scattered a security team’s knowledge and asset bases are, the more likely threats can slip through. As a result, consolidation is a major trend, and every company should consider swapping their whole spectrum of vendors and IT solutions for one reliable method or partner. 

Unifying around one vendor also makes the security effort more efficient and easy to understand for a company’s security managers. 

Artificial Intelligent Security Tools

Data breaches are very hard to detect right off the bat. However, advances in AI-powered security tools are increasingly valuable for identifying attacks right as they happen. In this model, programs have machine learning algorithms seamlessly attached to them. The algorithms examine and alert security managers, who can then address issues immediately. 

Continued Growth in AppSec Automation

Automated applications are a must in the modern age. Speed and immediacy are critical, and fully automatic security apps are preferred.

Additionally, automated apps continuously monitor more than just potential attacks. They highlights and fix code vulnerabilities to fend off possible threats down the line. 

Government Regulation 

Laws surrounding data security began in the EU and are now spreading rapidly throughout the world. As a result, laws concerning data protection are multiplying, which places the onus on businesses to beef up security and comply. 

These regulations protect both users and companies, as data security breaches and code theft are enormously costly problems. 

Overall, regulations are predicted to continue to grow in number and scope, making it essential for organizations to know the rules. 

Increased Awareness of a Holistic Security Approach

Companies must think in terms of overarching strategy. Security across all digital and physical assets continues to merge, and analysts, developers, and executives are coming to understand that security isn’t something to compartmentalize. 

Just as a company mission needs to be a unified goal, a security approach needs to be instilled across departments, hierarchies, and geographical locations. 

Especially with increases in remote offices, the entire workforce must have a clear vision of what’s being done to secure digital assets. In addition, employees need clear communication on how every role is vital in creating a safe environment. 

Don’t Delay AppSec Implementation

Apps are among the most targeted locations of cybercrime. This makes fortifying mobile application security as crucial as routine checkups on physical assets. Therefore, companies and individuals must do all they can to incorporate the above tips into their protection strategy. 

PreEmptive’s mobile app security solutions protect from all angles: code hardening, obfuscation, security checkpoint strengthening, tamper-proofing, and more. 

Best of all, PreEmptive’s solutions seamlessly integrate into existing programs, requiring no alterations to source code. 

It’s wise to seize the day and practice vigilance by protecting essential assets before it’s too late. With the right safeguards, developers can rest easy, knowing their apps are defended. 

 


 

Categories
Risk Management

12 Days of Holiday Hacking

Reading Time: 7 minutes

In the spirit of the twelve days of Christmas, which will be starting soon on December 25, 2022, we present to you the twelve days of hacking — a holiday month-themed look at the common hacks and attacks that hackers utilize to gain unauthorized access for financial gain, reputation and street cred, corporate and state-sponsored espionage, or just plain fun. 

Hacking is an overarching umbrella term that describes finding or exploiting weaknesses in computer systems. It may be done for nefarious purposes by black or gray hat hackers or done in the form of white hat hacking by organizations themselves who are attempting to find and fix their flaws and vulnerabilities before malicious hackers do. Hardware, software, servers, or even the people controlling these systems may all be susceptible to cyberattacks. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many tools, tactics, and methods that hackers use to gain access to our data, files, finances, lives, and sanity — and what individual users, cybersecurity professionals, and developers need to do to stay safe.

1. Malware

Malware describes any malicious software, regardless of how it works, its intent, or the way it’s distributed. Malicious can mean that it disrupts the devices or network, leaks or steals information, or otherwise gains unauthorized access to sensitive information or systems, deprives access, or circumvents security or privacy. Common types of malware include viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, bots or botnets, adware, spyware, rootkits, file-less malware, and malvertising. There are many forms of malware and new threats are constantly evolving so the best and most reliable protection is for all of your devices to have up-to-date, comprehensive, virus protection software.

2. Phishing

Phishing attacks are when hackers try to lure you into sharing sensitive information such as account login credentials, credit card numbers, financial information, and any other sensitive data. Phishing can also be when attackers get you to infect your machine with malware. A common example of phishing attacks, especially this time of year when online shopping is at an all-time high, is for attackers to send a text message that claims there’s a delivery problem with one of your orders and includes an official-looking link where you can fix the issue. But there is no issue. It’s just an attempt to get you to provide your login information on a fake login page. Defend against phishing attacks by not clicking unexpected links in texts or emails. And if you need to log into an account, log into the website directly

3. Social Engineering

We often think of hacking as technical but psychology in the form of social engineering can also be a surprisingly successful tactic to gain sensitive information. In the context of information security, social engineering is psychologically manipulating people into doing actions or providing confidential information. In other words, social engineering is lying. Going with the flow, acting in accordance with social norms, and playing on people’s expectations are keys to this in-plain-sight deception. A simple example of social engineering would be if someone showed up at your door with a vest, clipboard, and pleasant demeanor saying they’re with the power company and need to inspect a line in the backyard, can you let them in? Many people would do it without thinking twice. After all, it looks legit. But looking legit isn’t the same as being legit. And that’s how you can prevent being a victim of social engineering — think twice, ask why, check credentials, call it in and verify. 

4. Denial of Service (DoS)

A denial-of-service attack is a cyber-attack in which an attacker uses an overflow of data or network traffic to shut down access to a machine or network. Common DoS attacks include ping floods, UDP attacks, ICMP echo requests, SYN floods, ping of death — the list goes on. These attacks, like all others, are extremely common. For example, in Q3 2022, Kaspersky’s DDoS Intelligence system detected 57,116 DoS attacks. Because DoS attacks target services, preventing them is more of an issue for network administrators than individual users. And the best defense against DoS attacks is a well-documented resiliency plan, automatic network traffic monitoring, and a relationship with a mitigation provider.

5. Application Repackaging

Alright, let’s shift gears to a topic we recently covered in our Android app hacking ebook — application repackaging. This is an attack where attackers use your intellectual property (your application) against you and your customers. The way that they do this is by downloading a legitimate app from a legitimate business and then reverse engineering that application so that they can view the source code and modify it before recompiling and repackaging the application for download. Typically, the modification is a tiny change that’s undetectable to users and does something simple like emailing login credentials to an email account. Users then download the application, which looks legitimate, and use it, never the wiser that the application was compromised and is now leaking data.

Users can get a level of protection against these types of apps by only downloading known applications from trusted sources. Developers can utilize application hardening to obfuscate source code and make applications impervious to reverse engineering attempts so that hackers can’t repackage the app.

6. SQL Injection Attack

Another attack that developers in particular need to be aware of when creating applications that interface with databases is SQL injection attacks. This is a common attack where attackers use malicious SQL to gain access to sensitive company data, user lists, or private customer details. These attacks are carried out when attackers send malicious SQL statements to the database through the interfacing application, which the database interprets and runs as a command. According to the Open Web Application Security Project, injection attacks were the third most serious web application security risk in 2021. SQL injection attacks happen when unchecked commands are accepted and sent to a database, so developers can protect against these attacks by sticking to the fundamentals when coding and always validating user input to ensure it’s what’s expected.

7. Cross-Site Scripting

Somewhat similar in concept to SQL injection attacks but also unique is cross-site scripting (XSS). These attacks allow attackers to insert client-side scripts into benign and trusted websites viewed by other users. Attackers use a cross-site scripting vulnerability to get around access controls like same-origin policy. An example of cross-site scripting is a search form, where visitors send a search query to the server which then returns tampered results that will send them to compromised web pages.

To prevent XSS attacks, applications must validate input data and ensure that variable output in a page is encoded before being returned to the user. A web application firewall (WAF) can also protect against XSS attacks by filtering bots and other malicious activity that may indicate an attack, blocking attacks before scripts are executed.

8. Session Hijacking

In a session hijacking attack, a hacker takes control of a user’s browsing session to get access to personal account information, and passwords. These attacks typically happen when people are checking email or financial accounts. You can prevent session hijacking by avoiding insecure public networks or using a VPN, as well as browsing websites through an encrypted connection such as HTTPS.

9. Rootkits

Rootkits are a form of malware that hackers use to get “root” control over a device. You might wonder why anyone would willingly run a program that would give hackers this access. How would anyone be tricked into doing such a thing? Well, phishing and social engineering are just a few tactics. What if you found yourself in a situation where a “tech support person” told you to download a program from a website to fix a problem you’re having? But instead of fixing the problem, it gave that person real-time monitoring access to absolutely every single thing you did on your device. That’s what can happen with a rootkit. Again, the best way to avoid rootlets is to avoid clicking unknown links or downloading software from untrusted sources. And if you do suspect you’re infected, a malware removal tool can scan for, find, and remove rootlets.

10. Credential Reuse

Credential reuse is a big problem for many organizations. Because every service now requires users to create a unique account, many users get in the bad habit of resting login credentials between accounts for speed and simplicity — but at the expense of security. If one set of credentials becomes compromised in a data breach that may not even be the users’ fault, hackers can take that information and attempt to log in with that information across many services. Think of how many people probably use the same email and password combination for their email, eBay, Amazon, PayPal, Venmo, and everything else. Moreover, once hackers get this information, they can shut you out and cause damage well before you can stop it. What’s the best defense? A unique password for every account and strong password hygiene for every password!

11. Fake Wireless Access Points

Fake wireless access points are exactly what they sound like. A hacker finds a public spot with many people looking for and using public networks and puts up one of their own. All it takes is an official-sounding name and no-password-required and chances are that many people will hop on and browse all their private accounts while the hacker sits back and intercepts everything. The obvious way to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of these attacks is to avoid unfamiliar public networks. And if you absolutely must use one, do not do any private browsing.

12. Ransomware

One of the most horrific attacks a person or organization can fall victim to is ransomware. Ransomware is when access to files, data, networks, or any other component of a computer system is cut off and held for ransom. Typically, hackers lock or encrypt all the data, and paying is the only way to get it back, and even then it’s only a maybe. Ransomware was a big problem in 2022 and it’s expected to get worse, with ransomware damages likely to exceed $30 billion worldwide in 2023. Preventing ransomware is possible but requires organizations to take a comprehensive approach toward security that includes, well, basically everything at the user and system level.


Protect Your Applications From Attackers With PreEmptive

There are a lot of hacks out there and effective cybersecurity measures require multiple levels of protection to adequately protect ourselves, our organizations, and our businesses. 

 

  • Implement network segmentation by spreading data out and reducing exposure during an attack.
  • Enforce the principle of least privilege (PoLP) and grant users access to only what they need and no more.
  • Backup data (personal and at an organizational level) frequently so that if worse comes to worst, you can simply wipe an infected system and restore it.
  • Educate yourself and your staff on security trends and learn how to spot nefarious activity such as phishing and unsolicited attachments.
  • Keep all software and systems patched and updated.

And if you’re a software developer, you’re perfectly positioned to create secure applications. And PreEmptive makes it easy. We’re a trusted global leader in protection tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We help organizations make their applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering — protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue. Get a free trial to learn more.

 


 

 

Categories
Risk Management

Holiday Hacking — What Are the Trends?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The holidays are here and many of us are taking time off work. But do you know who doesn’t go on vacation? Hackers. In fact, security breaches and attempted attacks go up this time of year. Ecommerce sales increase, so there’s more opportunity to steal financial information. And a lot of people take time off work, leaving organizations less able to respond quickly to security alerts as they happen.

Here, we’ll look at the characteristics and trends of hacks and attacks that happen during the holiday season, including what threats are most prevalent, how they happen, and the consequences of overlooking cybersecurity measures. And we’ll also provide a few tips for reducing your risks so that your holidays stay merry and bright.

 

Teams Are Understaffed

During the holidays, businesses and organizations are especially susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. Security firm Cybereason wrote in a 2021 report that ransomware attacks occur more frequently on weekends and holidays. One of the primary reasons is the human element — many people take time off work leaving fewer team members present to detect and respond to threats.

When people are out of the office, response times go up, or are paused altogether. Responsibilities may be handled by others who are less experienced and unable to respond with the same speed and thoroughness. And when you consider that many large organizations use third-party vendors to monitor technology infrastructure, it’s one added level for a diffusion of responsibility to creep in.

 

Ransomware Threats Are Increased

Ransomware attacks are happening with accelerating frequency, affecting both individual consumers and major corporations alike. Even states aren’t safe, with Montenegro’s government recently finding itself on the receiving end of an attack. And, for hackers, a long holiday weekend is a great time for a ransomware attack. Why? See the above — teams are running on skeleton crews, and ransomware attacks often need time to spread throughout a network. And there’s no better time than when resources are spread thin.


Phishing Goes Way Up

With Black Friday just around the corner, it is expected to hit $158 billion in sales this year in the United States. In addition to intercepting or otherwise stealing payment information, attackers have gotten creative in other ways by impersonating shipping companies such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS and sending emails or text messages about a problem with a package. Since many people are sending or receiving packages this time of year, many employees fall victim and may end up providing personal information, such as login and password credentials or bank information in an attempt to remedy the fake problem.

 

How You Can Prepare & Respond

Before you slow down for the holidays, take a moment to make sure you’re prepared. All businesses and organizations should have incident response plans and review them before the holidays to ensure protocols and contact information are all current. If there are gaps, they can be addressed. Don’t allow yourself to get in a situation where you find out late in the evening that the server is down and only Bob can fix it, but nobody has Bob’s current cell phone number.

Additionally, even though the holidays are a time when many people relax, security teams should stay vigilant about vulnerabilities by assigning specific personnel to monitor security alerts as they’re announced and apply all necessary patches without delay.

Finally, one of the most important steps organizations can take is to conduct phishing simulation training so employees can identify malicious attachments and links. Hackers have become quite sophisticated in their phishing attempts and it’s not simply about being easily fooled. Advocate or implement, depending on your position, company-wide training about phishing.


Stay Secure With PreEmptive

When you secure your applications with PreEmptive, you’re locking hackers out. They can try — and they do — but they fail. And then they move on to easier targets. It’s why over 300,000 users and 5,000 corporate clients spanning virtually every industry in over 100 countries trust PreEmptive for software security that reduces the risks of hacks and data breaches.

  • The largest mobile carriers in the world utilize our mobile protection solutions
  • We’ve been the industry leader in obfuscation and in-app security for 20+ years
  • PreEmptive is the only third-party technology embedded into Visual Studio, which makes it subject to Microsoft’s regression tests, code audits and security reviews.

 

Want to see how you can hit the sweet spot between cost, convenience, and functionality with PreEmptive? Schedule a fast-and-free, no-obligation demo to see how PreEmptive integrates seamlessly with your development process to maximize data security while saving time and money.


 

Categories
Risk Management

A Review on JavaScript Security in 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Among developers, JavaScript is a popular programming language for web application development due to its flexibility, interactivity, and user experience. A Stack Overflow survey shows that over 67% of developers use JavaScript. Also, more than 95% of websites use this language.

But from a security point of view, JavaScript is the fourth most vulnerable programming language, just behind Java, PHP, and C. Much can go wrong with JavaScript, from malicious attacks to insecure user inputs. 

The potential risks include stealing a user’s session, redirecting a session, modifying data, and tricking users into performing unintended actions. JavaScript’s source code vulnerabilities also allow for data exploitation. How can you address these JavaScript vulnerabilities and make your web applications secure in 2022 and next year?

Common JavaScript Vulnerabilities and How They Manipulate Data

Below is the list of common Javascript vulnerabilities and how they can steal or manipulate your data:

→ Vulnerabilities in Source Code

As JavaScript is an interpreted programming language and not a compiled one, a single obfuscation method won’t protect your application against hackers

Other vulnerabilities include developers’ widespread use of libraries and software packages in the application code. There can be potential hidden vulnerabilities in the packages, which hackers can use to exploit the code later on.

→ Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Vulnerability

How JavaScript interacts with the Document Object Model (DOM) on the web page can become a potential security concern, allowing for script embedding and execution on client computers across the internet. 

XSS attacks allow web applications to accept unintended or untrusted scripts on a webpage without proper validation.

The XSS attack involves the hacker interacting with the user through reverse engineering or requesting them to visit a particular page. Next, the browser executes the untrusted script, and the attack completes successfully.

Server-Side Injection Vulnerability

On the server side, injection attacks are more common. They exploit query parameters in SQL databases to execute arbitrary JavaScript instructions on an application. 

The applications that usually pass string functions like setTimeout(), eval(), and setInterval() are more vulnerable to injection attacks. An attacker can create an id string parameter to retrieve all tables from the database or write in the database.

Hijacking Session Data

The client-side JavaScript on a browser accepts all content that a web application returns to a browser. This also includes cookies containing sensitive data, such as users’ session IDs. A common way for an XSS attack is intercepting the session ID and sending it to the hacker. In this way, the hacker is able to hijack the session.

How to Improve JavaScript Security During Development

There are certain preventative measures you can take to avoid vulnerabilities and increase your JavaScript application security:

 

1. Conduct Regular Scans on Your Code

Audit your application code regularly to find potential vulnerabilities. In addition, write test units to ensure your code behaves as you want it to and executes securely. 

Also, use scanning tools to regularly scan your application code and identify potential vulnerabilities in third-party libraries and packages. So, you can remove them before they can be exploited. Do a regular patch and update your libraries.

2. Perform Proper Input Validation

To prevent XSS attacks, perform proper validation and sanitization of user input to ensure it only consists of acceptable characters. For example, you can allow the phone number field to include only numbers and a dash or parentheses. 

Don’t allow unexpected character input. Use methods such as innerText, a secure way to manipulate DOM. This method escapes malicious content, thus preventing DOM-based XSS attacks.

To prevent malicious SQL injections, you must also perform input validation. If it fails the test, the SQL query won’t be executed. Another way to deter potential injection attacks is to replace concatenations with prepared statements or parameterized queries. 

Basically, the parameterized queries can extract the SQL syntax from the input parameters. 

An excellent way to enhance server-side security is to use server application protection. It will integrate seamlessly with your JavaScript application build to prevent both active and passive attacks.

3. Escape or Encode Insecure Data

Any XSS attack relies on input data containing special characters in underlying JavaScript. The browser views these characters as part of the web page code rather than as a value to display during execution. 

This enables the hacker to get out of the text field and provide extra browser-side code for execution. To prevent this type of attack, any time your browser-supplied user input returns a response, replace the special characters with an escape code. 

For instance, replaced the < and > characters to delimit HTML entities with &lt; and &gt;. This will prevent the browser from interpreting these characters as HTML entities, forcing it to display them.

4. Secure Cookie Transmission

It is a bad security practice to expose session IDs in logs, error messages, or URLs. This causes issues like session hijacking, fixation, and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). The CSRF attack tricks the browser to execute malicious requests to other websites in the background by using the clients’ session cookies.

A technique to prevent this kind of attack is to introduce tokenization for client-server interaction. Upon establishing a session, a token must be generated for each form on the site and sent with each request while the user is present on the website.

Another way to secure cookie transmission is to use HTTP-only cookies. This attribute won’t allow the browser to provide access to cookies through DOM. It will also prevent client-side script attacks from accessing session IDs from the cookies.


Wrapping Up

JavaScript is a popular programming language, but its source code is visible to anyone with a browser. It has other potential pitfalls as well. The recommended best security practice to prevent hackers from exploiting JavaScript vulnerabilities is to keep both the client and server sides secure. 

This approach prevents the risk of malicious content while validating the client to improve end-user results. The client-side validation will inform users of issues with their input, while server-side validation ensures that only trusted data makes its way to the JavaScript application.

A good security practice is to obfuscate your JavaScript code to prevent hackers from reverse engineering, finding vulnerabilities, and debugging. 

PreEmptive JSDefender can help you obfuscate your code, making it difficult for malicious attacks to exploit JavaScript security and modify or steal your code. Register today to get a free trial!


 

Categories
Risk Management

3 Ways Financial Service Organizations Can Improve Mobile App Security

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Finance mobile apps usage is rapidly accelerating, with the number of user sessions increasing by 49% in 2020. VMware reports that cyberattacks on financial apps also rose by 118% during the same year. 

Another report by Intertrust reveals that 77% of financial services apps include at least one security vulnerability that could lead to a data breach. Recently a new Trojan virus called SOVA has been found targeting financial banking apps by encrypting the Android phone and asking for a ransom to decrypt afterward. 

Cybercriminals look for maximum impact and profit, making financial apps a potential target. Therefore, it is imperative to adopt certain measures to improve mobile app security during the development process. 

Challenges to Financial App Security and How To Avoid Them

 

Making financial applications resilient to cyberattacks is a must security practice. During app development, you can improve security by avoiding the following mistakes:

→ Not Validating Data

 

Not validating user input can make your financial app an easy target for hackers. They can easily enter harmful codes or malicious commands that can cause a data breach. 

Therefore, you must validate data by checking its format, length, permissible characters, minimum and maximum value, etc. This way, the app will only accept the user data you want. 

Weak or No Encryption

 

If you are storing or sending data with weak or no encryption, hackers can easily access and use it for nefarious means. Therefore encrypt all data that you transmit or store so even if hackers download it, they won’t be able to access it. 

Most developers focus on the client side of app security and don’t pay much attention to the server side. This can compromise confidential data, such as credit card information stored on the server. 

The solution is to include a reliable secure sockets layer (SSL) and high-level encryption in your app security practices. This will boost server-side security.

A tool like DashO can provide layered protection for your financial Android and Java apps. Layering makes it impossible for hackers to gain access to sensitive information. 

Another excellent app security practice is to use encryption protocols like SHA256 and AES. Also, never store the encryption keys on the application. 

Not Validating User Authentication 

 

Permitting users to set any password they want is risky because hackers try different combinations of characters to gain access to passwords by brute force. 

You can avoid this by including validation for setting passwords and locking users out of their accounts after a few incorrect login attempts. Also, set up multi-factor authentication for the app. 

Cached Confidential Information 

 

Caching confidential information saves time for users as it allows them to log in instantly without entering data. However, it also puts them at risk of breach. If the device gets stolen, anyone can log into the app.

The solution is to include conditions to prevent confidential information from getting cached automatically.

→ Skipping Penetration Testing

 

Penetration testing allows you to know about security vulnerabilities in real-time. Research by Informa Tech conducted on companies with 3000 or more employees shows that 69% of organizations perform penetration testing to prevent data breaches.

Due to deadlines, shortages, or other reasons, developers usually skip this step and release the app, which puts users at risk. No matter how short the delivery deadline is, perform many penetration tests on your app. This will help you find security flaws and fix them during the development process.

3 Ways to Improve Financial App Security During the Development Process

Following these best security practices will improve app security during the development process:

1.  Using Multi-Tiered Authentication

 

A token is a security unit that authenticates a user’s identity by storing personal information transmitted between applications and websites. Financial app developers should use tokens to monitor user sessions. 

These tokens can be approved or withdrawn. Also, design the app to accept medium-to-strong passwords containing alphanumeric characters. These passwords should be renewed regularly, let’s say after every six months. 

Adding a one-time password (OTP) system for each login session will make sign-ups more secure. A multi-factor authentication (MFA) system, including a combination of a retina scan and biometric print, will level up your app security. While hackers can crack passwords through brute force, the biometric factor will foil their attack.

Many security regulations also call for implementing MFA, so you’ll also have a better posture at compliance. Moreover, the user login process can be simplified by using MFA. Once you authenticate users, you can reward them with Single Sign-On (SSO), where they can use multiple services on a single login.

2. Use of Authorized API

 

Always use an authorized application programming interface (API) in your financial app code. To gain maximum security in the app development process, you must have centralized authorization for the whole API. As apps are installed on mobile phones, they are less secure. 

Hackers can install their own app on a device they control and easily manipulate the financial app to take advantage of its security vulnerabilities. API calls are usually protected by an API key and user credentials as an access token. 

You can secure your APIs when they access third-party platforms by using digital signatures, encrypting data, quotas, API gateways, and throttling. 

3. Real-Time Threat Detection

 

In the past, organizations would get to know about a security lapse in their apps after a considerable time. Now they are increasingly focusing on building real-time threat detection capabilities.

The reasons are that early detection can help retrieve stolen information promptly, and regulations require businesses to report a breach quickly. A company‘s reputation suffers if it takes a long time to detect and respond to a security violation.

Therefore, if you develop a real-time threat detection system for your app, you can take preventative measures against developing ransomware and patch vulnerabilities. Moreover, you can use a tool like Dotfuscator for .NET that provides app security in real-time by updating its protection regularly to counter cyberattacks.


Bottom Line

App hardening

Given the sophistication of cyberattacks on financial apps, the financial industry cannot solely rely on a single security practice. When developing an app, it is crucial to ensure that it complies with data privacy regulations and is not susceptible to cyberattacks. 

Adopting a solution consisting of real-time intelligence, multi-user authentication, database security, and authorized API is vital for mobile app security. But remember following the best security practices for financial apps requires considerable expertise. 

Tools like PreEmeptive can assist you with app security by offering a smart app protection solution against reverse engineering, unauthorized debugging, and snooping. 

We use a layered approach, including encryption, root detection, obfuscation, shielding, and tamper-proofing to prevent hackers from exploiting your data. Learn more on our product page.


 

Categories
Risk Management

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Changing Your Passwords

Reading Time: 4 minutes

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a month-long effort to raise awareness about the importance of practicing good habits to keep ourselves and our data safe. This year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber,” which is intended to communicate that cybersecurity isn’t complex; it’s all about people. And one of the most important things people can do to stay safe online is to practice good password hygiene. And what better time to start than by updating your passwords for Cybersecurity Awareness month.

 

Why You Should Practice Good Password Hygiene

Passwords are how we verify our identity. Whether it’s online banking, email, applications, or the countless other things in our daily lives that require a password, using sound practices to manage them is a must to keep your data safe and secure from prying eyes. Hackers look for situations with weak passwords; unfortunately, many people make it easy.

When was the last time you changed your email and social media passwords? What about your bank and household accounts? Experts say you should do it at least every three months. Do you use the same passwords for any accounts? If you’re shy about sharing your answers, you’re not alone. Many organizations have poor behavior around password management, and weak passwords cause at least 30% of security breaches. 

The 2021 Verizon Breach Investigations Report found that 80% of hacking-related breaches involved stolen or brute-forced credentials. But such aggressive approaches usually aren’t even required. For example, did you know that “Password” is the second most-used password in the United States? We can do a lot better than that.

How to Change & Manage Your Passwords for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Each of us has over 80 passwords, and there are better ways to manage them than saving them in browsers, writing them on post-it notes, or reusing them for multiple accounts. In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re encouraging everyone to update their credentials. Below are strategies and habits that can ensure your passwords are secure.

Use a Password Manager

A password manager like LastPass or KeePass eliminates the need to memorize credentials or store them in a browser. With just one password you can can create and save passwords for all your accounts.

 

Create a Strong Password

Creating a strong password is a critical step to protecting yourself online. Using long, complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from data breaches and hacks.

 

Get Goofy

If you must create your passwords instead of using randomly generated examples, get creative. Phonetic replacements (“kc” instead of “k”), deliberate misspellings, and substituting letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols (such as @ instead of the letter “A”) can maintain security while allowing you to remember your password more easily.

 

Make It Hard to Guess

The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides several suggestions to promote password security, including not using personal information in your passwords. Kids’ names? Pets names? Address? Forget it. All of that information is easy for criminals to guess.

 

Don’t Tell Anyone Your Passwords

Never tell anyone your passwords. If someone calls you on the phone or emails you and says they’re with a service provider and need your passwords, hang up — it’s a scam. Additionally, do not keep written passwords out in plain sight.

 

Each Account Gets Its Own Password

 

Using the same password across multiple accounts is like giving attackers a master key that unlocks every door in your life. Do you really want to do that? Mix things up and use a distinctly unique password for each account. Password managers — which you should use — make it easy.

 

Double Your Protection With Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication

 

Whenever an application allows you to use multi-factor authentication (MFA), do it. It’s another way to ensure that the only person with access to your account is you.

 

Other Strategies to Stay Safe Online

 

Practicing good password hygiene all the time is something every one of us needs to do. But it’s also just one component of cybersecurity. You can arm yourself with multiple layers of protection by following these other practices promoted during Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

 

  • Think before you click. If a link looks off, don’t click. It could be an attempt to steal information or install malware. 
  • Update your software. Got a software update notification? Install it immediately. Even better, turn on automatic updates.
  • Get more information. Want to see everything you can do? Get all the tips about cybersecurity at the official website.

PreEmptive Is Security

PreEmptive helps organizations make applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering. We are a global leader in obfuscation tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Our products balance ease of use, strength of protection, quality of output, ROI, and security.

Learn more about our products.

 


 

Categories
Risk Management

Friendly Reminder Why Source Control Matters

Reading Time: 4 minutes

All work — physical or digital — requires a specialized toolset to master the task at hand. One of the most helpful tools for program developers is source control management software. Now that the end of the year is approaching, projects will be coming to a close. However, many programmers forsake the implementation of source control management because they don’t understand the benefits of establishing standout coding practices and habits.

Whether the work is an individual project or a large team effort, source control helps track, manage, protect, and improve code in order to meet those end-of-year deadlines. Read further as we define it, highlight the challenges and emphasize the importance of Source Control. 

What Is Source Control?

In essence, source control is the process of storing and tracking changes and edits to a coding project from start to finish. To accomplish this, programmers often use source management systems, services designed to help coders save a detailed log of backups for each iteration of code. They also allow multiple DevOps team members to work and edit within a single version and make changes without getting in the way of others’ progress.

Selecting a source control management system isn’t easy. An abundance of tools are available, making it crucial for developers to research which ones best fit their needs.

Source Control Challenges

Remember: The absence of source control is an approach to source control. It’s also the worst approach. Failing to conduct source control methodically with the proper tools can be disastrous.

For example, trying to conduct a project without a systematized backup of previous versions makes it incredibly difficult to backtrack and identify errors. Additionally, without a proper source code management system, different coders won’t be able to work simultaneously within the codebase. This lack of collaboration increases the chances of miscommunication, errors, and frustration throughout each project. 

Although getting an entire team initiated with a new process and management system is often labor-intensive, it’s worth the commitment. Finding the right source control management system for a team’s work style is vital to long-term success. 

Reasons to Implement Source Control

From a birds-eye view, implementing a source control strategy is vital to a functioning and productive coding organization. Not only does it increase productivity, but it also increases safety and fosters collaboration. 

Increase Code Security

All DevOps teams know that the source code requires as much protection as possible. Therefore, instituting proper source control is crucial because it boosts security measures. 

All data is stored in a repository through the source control management system. The repository, which can be either a public or a private server, keeps each version in a safe and centralized cloud-based system.

Additionally, many systems also come with encryption protocols and application hardening. 

Track Changes and Defects

With source code construction, keeping an eye on every change is absolutely necessary for a project’s success. Management tools provide developers with dynamic ways to track and monitor all tweaks and edits. 

Many source control management solutions automatically alert users to a code’s detected vulnerabilities and defects. Because of this, coding teams prefer these systems — such as PreEmptive’s source control solution — because they analyze and identify issues throughout each version.

Foster Collaborative Code Building

Especially in team environments, synchronizing all collaborators within one version is an immense step to success. Source code management allows developers to work within one codebase and merge all of their changes in one central repository instead of pulling together multiple versions.

Working on the shared code allows the whole team to review, edit, and leave comments in the same place. The improved collaboration accelerates the code-building process and keeps everyone in the loop on the team’s progress. 

Store Backup Code

Source control management is also sometimes referred to as “version control.” This alternative title highlights the ability for programmers to go back and look at previous versions. 

This ability to store every version and go back in time is critical to productivity, as it can save hours, days, and even weeks of work when someone is trying to track down errors. 

Best Practices for Source Control Management

When a company is figuring out which source control management system best serves its needs, there are a handful of habits it can get the team into early to ensure a more successful transition. 

Find a System That Suits the Project’s Needs

Not all source control systems offer the same features. Because of this, it’s worthwhile to put in extra effort up front and nitpick over which solution best fits the necessities of the project. 

It’s important to investigate the competing security features, different access controls, and storage methods. 

Knowing the fine details up front helps avoid stress later on. Check out PreEmptive’s source control solutions to see whether the wide range of features can meet all of the project’s source management needs.

Maintain the Latest Version

Every code revision ensures the new code is pulled and stored within the system. Keeping versions of each code iteration may seem tedious, but tracking even the slightest changes can be extremely helpful. 

It’s recommended to save commits as often as possible, as storing many versions eliminates the need to second-guess the timing of changes and edits. 

Keep a Detailed Note Log

When saving and creating new versions of code, it’s wise to note every change — large or small. There’s nothing too insignificant to be tallied; promoting an organized source control process saves teams time when issues arise. 

Review All Changes

Every time a new code version is committed, the team should run a detailed review of all changes. Doing so reduces the likelihood of building on faulty code. 

If the source control management system offers automatic error detection, the team should address any issues that arise immediately. Quick action saves incorrect code from slipping through the cracks. 

Implement Source Control as Soon as Possible

There’s little reason any programming team should be without a sound system for managing its coding projects. As is evident, implementing the best source control management service brings immense benefits to the team’s productivity and the safety of the source code. 

Happy Coding everybody!

 


 

Categories
Risk Management

Be Aware of Frauds and Scams in the Wake of Hurricane Ian

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If natural disasters weren’t bad enough all by themselves, unfortunately, they also bring on frauds and scams. Here are some of the most common.

 

As we write this, Hurricane Ian slams the southeastern United States with category-four hurricane force. Not only are natural disasters and severe weather events devastating for the people most affected, but they also create a perfect storm, so to speak, for scammers and fraudsters to prey on both vulnerable and giving people.

 

We’re advocates for data security — all data. Electronic or otherwise. And we don’t want people in our community to be victimized by both the storm and con artists, so we compiled a list of common scams that appear during natural disasters so survivors of Hurricane Ian can identify suspicious behavior, avoid being a victim, and ideally, report it to the authorities.

 

Common Scams During Hurricane Season

Whenever a natural disaster strikes, many people need help, and just as many people want to help. But there are also unsavory types who try to profit off others’ misery and misfortune, especially during a crisis like a hurricane when things are chaotic and everything is thrown upside down — literally.. Whether you’re affected by Hurricane Ian or want to help people who are, below are scams to watch out for.

 

Disaster Relief Charity Scams

 

Unfortunately, fake charities seeking donations for disaster relief is one of the most common scams after a natural disaster. It’s incredibly easy for scammers to use phone number spoofing and social engineering to create a compelling story. If there is a charity to which you want to donate, do it through their official website after you verify their authenticity with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar. The National Association of State Charity Officials can also tell you what charities are registered in your state.

 

Fake Representatives

 

After a disaster, some people pose as official disaster aid workers trying claiming to help survivors complete applications while asking for fees or claiming to need insurance information. Be aware that federal and state workers never ask for or accept money for federal disaster assistance and they always have proper identification and provide it readily. If any of these are amiss, it’s likely a scam.

 

Insurance Scams

 

If someone contacts you claiming to represent your insurance company, and asks for account numbers or any other personal information, hang up immediately and call your insurance company on the number provided on your monthly statement. You can continue your business if the call is legitimate (highly unlikely). If not, let them know that you received a scam call.

 

And if you’re a policyholder with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), reach them directly at 800-638-6620. Never give any personal information to anyone who calls you and claims to be with the NFIP.

 

Contractors and Home Improvement Scams

 

Many people’s homes need repairs after a hurricane. That’s when the fraudulent contractors come out hoping to take money without doing any work. Be cautious if a contractor promises fast repairs or asks for full or sizable payment before work is complete. Never give insurance policy numbers or coverage details to anyone you don’t have a contract with. If you’re considering a contractor, ask for licensing and insurance information. Many states have online services to verify licensing. And watch out for a FEMA ”endorsement.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency does not certify contractors.

 

If possible, use a contractor you’ve had a good experience with in the past, or get a recommendation from someone you trust. 

 

Housing Scams

 

If you need temporary or replacement housing, be vigilant about online scams promising a rental only if you act immediately. Never agree to rent a home without seeing it first. Do not disclose bank information, credit card numbers, or other personal information over the phone or internet to hold or reserve anything you have not physically seen and verified.

 

Social Media Misinformation

 

Social media can be beneficial during a hurricane or natural disaster to keep up to date on news and know if loved ones are okay. It can also be a vehicle for fake charities soliciting donations with heart-felt messaging and imagery during natural disasters like Hurricane Ian when people need help. Remember that not everything on social media is true, including charity requests. Double-check any social media solicitations for charitable donations before you give. And be aware that crowd-funding websites do not always vet the people who post campaigns.

 

Other Tips to Protect Yourself

You’ve probably noticed the common theme in many scams that are out in full swing after a hurricane — scammers make up a lie and, unfortunately, an unsuspecting person believes it and provides information that the scammer then uses to steal money, information, or otherwise take advantage. Hurricane or not, there are a few habits to keep you, your data, and your financial assets safe in these situations.

 

  • Beware of unsolicited calls. If someone contacts you out of the blue claiming to represent an organization and asks for your account, financial, or other personal information, hang up immediately.

 

  • Only donate to charities, disaster relief organizations, and insurance companies directly through their public numbers or official website donation portal.

 

  • Delete unexpected or suspicious-looking email messages requesting donations, do not click any links or open any attachments. Scammers use email for phishing and malware attacks.

 

  • Stay connected with the news to keep abreast of recovery efforts. The local news will report if official representatives are in the area. 

 

  • FEMA recommends watching your credit report for unauthorized changes and filing necessary complaints with the Federal Trade Commission through its website IdentityTheft.gov.

 

How to Report Fraud

If you suspect fraud, say something. Speaking up and reporting it helps others from being victims of this type of heartless ugliness. There are several ways to report fraud:

 

 

Stay Safe!

 

Unfortunately, some people take advantage during times of struggle. Whether you’ve been affected or are trying to help those who were, staying aware and vigilant is a good way to help ensure you aren’t taken advantage of. Take care of yourself and each other! 

 

This month we acknowledge Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Follow us on social for more tips/tricks to keep your information and data safe!

 


 

Categories
Risk Management

Does Obfuscation Affect Code Performance?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The digital age has built bridges to new frontiers. However, these frontiers aren’t limited to the well-intentioned. Unfortunately, malicious online characters are common, and studies show that a new cyber attack is carried out every 39 seconds. 

 

Such high cybercrime rates imply that keepers of online assets must find ways to protect those assets. In addition, coders face unique threats to their work, given that their products form the foundations of the digital world. Thankfully, there are ways to defend code from being accessed, reengineered, stolen, and abused.

 

Open-source code obfuscation is a security application technique that prevents all forms of hacking and tampering. It takes executed code/data and reorders it, rendering it unidentifiable to hackers and other third parties looking to cause trouble. The benefits of code obfuscation are numerous:

 

  • It defends open-source code information and data.
  • It can eliminate debugging loopholes.
  • It slows down hackers trying to re-engineer programs and applications.
  • It helps protect intellectual property.

 

Although obfuscation has considerable upsides, many ask the question: does obfuscation affect performance? It’s a common defense tactic, but many claim that it harms source code performance and decide that the tradeoff between execution and security isn’t worth it. 

 

It’s important to understand obfuscation, what it accomplishes, and its varying methods to engage in this debate with the necessary information. Only then should someone judge whether it’s the right decision for their digital assets.

 

What Is Code Obfuscation?

 

Code obfuscation is the process of encrypting and complicating lines of code, data, and communication loops. These measures cause hackers immense difficulty in interpreting and changing existing information. Ultimately, obfuscation stymies potential hackers, limiting their access and ability to steal and manipulate.

 

There’s a broad range of methods used to carry out code obfuscation. However, in essence, obfuscation is any method implemented to make source code harder to understand. Intense levels of encryption make it so hackers require more time and resources to figure out the code they’re trying to infiltrate.

 

Renaming Obfuscation

Renaming is one of the most common and accessible forms of obfuscation. This method is used in Java, IOS, Android, and NET. Renaming code consists of disguising the variable and method names while retaining the fundamental execution. It’s useful because it directly alters the source code, leaving the program’s functions untouched. 

 

Programmers can also insert “dummy code,” additional strings of false code that mean nothing and only exist to increase the difficulty of reverse engineering. Another method removes unnecessary and gratuitous lines of code and metadata, which improves performance and shrinks the availability of hackable material. 

 

Data Obfuscation

Obfuscation takes many forms, and another standard method is encrypting stored data that’s layered into the code. This form of security creates a barrier between hackers and the valuable data within the program and memory. Data obfuscation can involve aggregation and storage-based methods. 

 

Then there’s string encryption, which entails encrypting legible strings of code. Then, each time a line of code is needed, it must be deciphered before becoming usable again. 

 

In terms of implementation, data obfuscation is more intense than renaming methods. However, combining both practices leads to amplified security. 

 

Control Code Obfuscation

Plugging in additional control loops causes hackers to lose track of any sense of a program’s patterned intent. Furthermore, tinkering with the flow of the codebase — by entering dead-end statements, for example — leaves hackers struggling to find patterns. These statements create a labyrinth, making it especially challenging to reverse engineer a coding pattern.

 

Many consider control code obfuscation the most effective way to guard their program from hackers because it removes all logic from the code’s flow, confusing those looking to cause harm. 

 

Disadvantages of Code Obfuscation

With the what, why, and how of obfuscation established, it’s time to examine the other side of the aisle: why do some cast a wary eye on the practice of obfuscation?

 

The main weakness cited against obfuscation is that adding extra layers of security bogs down code performance. Some estimate that obfuscation can impact program performance between 10% and 80%. This criticism is reasonable because it’s true: adding obfuscation tactics results in extra layers of complexity and affects performance. But there are important caveats — namely that not all obfuscation methods impact performance to the same extent.

 

Renaming obfuscation rarely impacts code performance as it only deals with the semantic structure. As a result, the program function remains nearly identical after obfuscation. Any resulting performance drop-off from this method is minor, if not non-existent.

 

On the other hand, data and control flow obfuscation can sometimes cause a significant performance reduction depending on the intensity of the encryption. Baking additional safety layers into the data and code flow cause the application to take on extra work to execute its function. However, as opposed to renaming methods, data and control flow provide more comprehensive defense against hackers. 

 

Nothing is guaranteed, and there’s never 100% certainty that obfuscation prevents hacking. Some hackers can overcome even high levels of obfuscation. Nevertheless, obfuscation should always be considered because without it, the results can be severe.

 

Leaving Coding Insecure

The rate at which hackers attempt to steal information makes preparation vital to maintaining online safety. If that’s not a good enough reason, up to $400 billion in capital is lost to online hackers every year.

 

Even though obfuscating code comes with some slight downsides, nothing compares to being left helpless as hackers infiltrate, ruin, and steal the hard work of entire companies.

 

Refusing to obfuscate significantly increases the chances of falling prey to such schemes, which can lead to unimaginable consequences depending on what was left unsecured. Such dangers all but necessitate analyzing programs for weaknesses and finding the right solution to protect sensitive data. 

 

Forming a multi-layered obfuscation strategy is a great way to defend digital property from being stolen or attacked. Anyone looking for best-in-class code obfuscation needn’t look any further than PreEmptive’s vast offering of protective services. Visit PreEmptive’s product page for more information or to sign up for a free trial.

 

 

 

Categories
Risk Management

How Your Android App Can Be Stolen for Hacking

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Android is the most common mobile OS by far, cornering 87% of the market share — a number which is expected to grow. Android’s open platform and extensive library of resources make it easy for developers to create and integrate new apps. However, the same features that make Android easy for developers to use also make it easy for hackers to exploit

Android apps have become the most widely used alternative to desktop software. Because apps are used for banking, shopping, and transmitting personal information, they’re a prime target for cybercriminals. One of the most common methods hackers use to carry out various attacks is reverse engineering your code.

1. Reverse Engineering

Android’s open environment makes it an easy target for reverse engineering. Reverse engineering analyzes an app to figure out how it works and its design and implementation process. This is done by examining the compiled code, observing the app during runtime, or both. There are numerous free tools available to reverse engineer the binary code of Android apps. 

Attackers can use reverse engineering to steal your intellectual property, modify your code, attack your back-end systems, discover security vulnerabilities, and gain access to confidential data. The first step in almost all Android hacking attempts is reverse engineering the code. 

2. Repackaging Attacks

Repackaging, or cloning, attacks are a problem for apps of all sizes. Hackers often take good but not very popular apps and reverse engineer their code. They then modify the code to suit their purpose, which could be embedding malware to steal credentials or ad revenue. The modified code is then repackaged, and consumers may be convinced to install it, thinking they’re installing a trusted app. Another variation of the repackaging app is when hackers rebrand an app and publish it as their own, often making more than the original developer. 

3. String Table Analysis

String tables are frequently used for storing sensitive information such as license keys, credentials, and other confidential data on both the client and server sides. Hackers can analyze the string tables to gather information, identify algorithms, understand database designs, and more. The string table may contain the data they want to steal, or they may use the information they gather to launch a different type of attack. 

4. Functional Cross Referencing

Cross-referencing can help hackers determine where a particular function was called from. They can use that to detect vulnerable code they can use to execute malware or find the code that does the encryption of data they want to steal. Cross-referencing can show how information was accessed, which is invaluable to hackers trying to steal intellectual property, sensitive data, or insert malicious code. 

5. Debugging and Emulator Attacks

Hackers can use debuggers and emulators for dynamic analysis during runtime. Using these tools, they’re able to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them with runtime attacks. Unlike the other methods, these attacks require active hardening. Your app needs to be able to modify its behavior and response during runtime if an active threat is detected. 

Preventing Reverse Engineering With Obfuscation

Almost any code can be reverse-engineered given enough time and resources. However, obfuscating your code can make it more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming for hackers to reverse engineer. The free decompilers make it extremely simple for hackers to reverse engineer code that isn’t obfuscated. 

If your code is obfuscated, hackers are more likely to give up and move on rather than investing time and money into reverse engineering the source code. Code obfuscation can consist of a number of different techniques designed to disguise your code from hackers while not interfering with its execution. 

Data obfuscation 

Data obfuscation scrambles data via tokenization or encryption to make it unreadable to hackers. 

Code obfuscation 

Obfuscating your code makes it look like unusable nonsense to hackers. There are many ways to obfuscate your code, and your hardening process should use a layered approach to make it harder to crack. At PreEmptive, we employ a range of different obfuscation techniques to provide a high level of security. 

Our DashO security application provides passive hardening through the following types of code obfuscation: 

Rename obfuscation 

Renaming changes the name of methods and variables. 

String encryption 

Even when you rename your methods and variables, your strings may still be discoverable. String encryption provides an additional layer of security to your software by making it harder for threat agents to decipher and understand.

Protecting Against Runtime Attacks

Obfuscating your data and code isn’t enough to secure your Android app. You also need to use active hardening to protect against runtime attacks. Some of the methods DashO uses to deflect runtime hacking attempts include: 

Tamper detection and defense

You can prohibit or modify your app’s behavior if it detects an unauthorized attempt to gain access. 

Root detection and defense

Jailbreaking a device compromises the security of your app. Control whether your app will run on a rooted device and how it will respond.

Emulator detection and defense

Running an app on an emulator allows a hacker to understand and analyze an app’s functioning in a controlled environment. DashO can sense when your app is being used in an emulator. You can decide whether or not your app will run in an emulator and how it will respond if it is. 

Hooking detection and defense

Hackers use hooking frameworks to modify your app at runtime without altering the binaries. If DashO detects a hooking framework, the app can respond by shutting down, throwing an exception, or sending an alert, among other options. 


Multi-faceted App Hardening

App hardening

To protect your Android app from ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, you must take a multi-pronged approach. However, hardening your app is pointless if your app breaks as the runtime platform evolves. At PreEmptive, we are constantly monitoring, testing, and upgrading our solutions to protect your app from runtime issues and to respond to new hacker threats and tools.

Your organization can’t afford the expense, exposure, or possible brand damage associated with having your app hacked. Contact us today to find out how our solutions can integrate with your current DevOps practices to provide the security and protection you need.