Internet Security Blog - Hackology

Cryptocurrency and Android: A Security Nightmare

If you’re using a popular Cryptocurrency App for Android, there’s a near guarantee that it’s vulnerable to at least one of the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) mobile top 10 vulnerabilities. Which means your Investment and Money is not safe and can be stolen by hackers

Top 6 Mobile App Vulnerabilities

Valuable Crypto, Lucrative Target

Cryptocurrency might be a bubble (I disagree) but the bubble is valuable and at the time of writing Bitcoin is sitting at 15000 USD approx, when the stakes are so high it becomes a good target for the notorious hackers who would spend alot of time to get their hands on your Hard earned-mined-traded crypto.

The security audit was carried out on:

  • 30 most popular cryptocurrency apps with more than 500,000 installs
  • 30 with up to 500,000
  • 30 with up to 100,000

Alarming results where obtained during the Security audit for Android Users :

  • Apps with more than 500,000 downloads –  94% contained at least three medium-risk vulnerabilities, 94% lacked any back-end hardening or protection, and 94% were still using either the 21-year old SSL 3.0 or the 18-year old TLS 1.0 crypto protocols.
  • Apps with 500,000 and less downloads – 84% contained at least two high-risk vulnerabilities, 61% were transmitting unencrypted data over HTTP, and 47% were vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

The most common OWASP vulnerabilities spotted during the Crytpocurrency App Test :

  • Improper platform usage – Misuse of a platform features (like Android intents, TouchID, or keychains) or failure to use platform security controls
  • Insecure data storage – Unintended data leakage
  • Insufficient cryptography – Use of cryptography that wasn’t done correctly (including any SSL and TLS issues)
Must Read:  Safe way to Buy & Sell Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Wallet Security Audit Report

Risks involved with Cryptocurrency Mobile Apps

The risks are high, apps from the top 30 included alot of OWASP Vulnerabilities, as an example i’ll list the vulnerability and what security threat it poses.

  • Unencrypted HTTP Protocol – The Crypto Mobile App uses HTTP protocol to send or receive data. The design of HTTP protocol does not provide any encryption of the transmitted data, which can be easily intercepted if an attacker is located in the same network or has access to data channel of the victim. [reference]
  • Man in the Middle Attack – Improper or missing ‘hostname’ verification exposes mobile application users to MITM attacks under certain conditions. In simple words someone can hijack your account and take control of Crypto assets. [reference]

Test your Cryptocurrency Mobile App for Vulnerabilities

Follow the simple steps to test your mobile crypto app so you can see if the app is safe to use or not.

  • Download APK extension of your Crypto App through APK Mirror
    Note: You may use any other APK downloading method / site
  • Open Mobile Application Security Website and click on “Choose File” to upload your APK file
  • Wait for approximate 30 minutes for the detailed report to be presented to you
    Note: The scan time depends upon complexity of uploaded APK and server load

I conducted a Security Audit of “Bitcoin Wallet” App which came up with some serious vulnerabilities , which you can read on the next page. I showed which vulnerabilities were reported and listed how those can be exploited

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