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Workshop Information: Reverse Engineering Android Apps

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  • Workshop Information: Reverse Engineering Android Apps

    Title: Reverse Engineering Android Apps

    Instructor: Sam Bowne & Elizabeth Biddlecome

    Abstract: Practice finding flaws in real Android apps in this fun, CTF-style hands-on workshop, and you will be ready to avoid making security errors in your own apps.

    Android apps are very easy to unpack, analyze, modify, and repack; partly because of the open nature of the system, and partly because most companies neglect basic security measures. In this workshop, participants will hack apps from Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Lyft, WhatsApp, Whole Foods, IBM, Harvard, Progressive, the Indian government, and other large organizations. We will find insecure network transmissions, broken cryptography, improper logging, and pervasive lack of binary protections. We will also analyze the way iOS apps use network transmissions, and observe serious vulnerabilities in iOS apps from major companies.

    We will analyze Android internals in details, using the Drozer attack framework to inspect and manipulate intents to exploit insecure activities and content providers. We will perform a protection level downgrade attack on an Android 4.3 device, removing security protections from the Twitter app.

    All class materials are freely available on the Web, and will remain available after the workshop. All vulnerabilities were reported to the affected companies long ago, where appropriate.

    Equipment: participants must bring a laptop that can run VirtualBox machines. The host system can use Mac OS (best), Linux (OK) or Windows (usable but limited). We will use free Android emulators and a Kali virtual machine. They will be available as free downloads, and also
    locally on USB sticks.

    Level: Intermediate

    Pre-Requisites: Familiarity with basic networking and security concepts.

    Required Materials: A laptop capable of running VirtualBox.
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