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The Mobile Application Hacker's Handbook by Dominic Chell, Tyrone Erasmus, Shaun Colley, Ollie Whitehouse

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CHAPTER 6Analyzing Android Applications

The Android Operating System (OS) is used by many vendors on phones and tablets ranging from low-cost budget devices to flagships. Due to its open-source nature it can be found on many other devices including entertainment systems, TVs, e-readers, netbooks, smartwatches, car computers, and gaming consoles.

Android is the mobile platform that has the biggest market share out of all the mobile operating systems available. With this esteemed achievement comes the attention of many hackers around the world wanting to expose security flaws in the OS and popular applications on the platform. Although many app stores are available for Android users, observing only the official Google Play Store statistics from AppBrain (http://www.appbrain.com/stats/number-of-android-apps) reveals that Google Play Store holds more than 1.1 million applications for download. Vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered in popular applications with varying degrees of severity, and due to the maturity of tools and information about finding these vulnerabilities, this trend looks to be ever increasing.

This chapter presents some fundamental concepts of Android including its application structure, security model, and infrastructure central to its operation. It also delves deeper into the intricacies of the Android platform and ways that you can explore these by setting up a testing environment and making use of popular tools. The goal of this chapter is to provide ...

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