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

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CHAPTER 8Identifying and Exploiting Android Implementation Issues

With everything that you know about how Android applications can be assessed, it's time to explore how an attacker can use vulnerabilities in Android applications to gain access to Android devices. This chapter covers finding vulnerabilities in pre-installed applications on devices and exploiting them to gain access. Imparting this knowledge may come across as immoral to some, but a distinct gap in knowledge exists in this field. Attacking phones and tablets is a valid part of security testing that should be treated no differently than testing other technologies. The more you know about how to compromise such devices, the better chance you have to secure them. First, this chapter looks at ways to find vulnerabilities in devices.

Reviewing Pre-Installed Applications

Think of the Android OS as a set of applications working together to provide functionality for the user. Each installed application has its own attack surface that can be explored. To understand the risks of each installed application, you would have to reverse engineer them separately and use all techniques covered in Chapter 7.

However, there are surely more focused ways to find vulnerabilities that allow the compromise of a device without reviewing each application. The aim of this section is not to find vulnerabilities that provide root access when exploited. Too much emphasis is placed on gaining root access to a device. Often root access is ...

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