OWASP Mobile Top 10

Aditya Chauhan
3 min readFeb 14, 2023

As mobile devices become increasingly popular, so does the risk of cyber attacks on these devices. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has compiled a list of the top 10 mobile application vulnerabilities to help developers and security professionals address and mitigate these risks. In this blog, we will examine each of the OWASP top 10 mobile vulnerabilities in detail and provide examples of how these vulnerabilities can be exploited.

  1. Improper Platform Usage: This vulnerability occurs when an application does not use the security features provided by the mobile platform, resulting in data leakage, unauthorized access, or other security issues. For example, if an application does not use the secure storage provided by the mobile platform to store sensitive information such as passwords, attackers can easily access this information.
  2. Insecure Data Storage: This vulnerability occurs when an application stores sensitive data such as passwords, credit card information, or personal identification numbers (PINs) in an insecure manner. For example, if an application stores passwords in plain text, attackers can easily access and use them to gain unauthorized access to the user’s account.
  3. Insecure Communication: This vulnerability occurs when an application communicates with a remote server in an insecure manner, such as using HTTP instead of HTTPS. For example, if an application sends user credentials over an insecure connection, attackers can intercept and use this information to gain unauthorized access.
  4. Insecure Authentication: This vulnerability occurs when an application does not properly authenticate users, allowing attackers to bypass authentication and gain unauthorized access to the user’s account. For example, if an application does not use multi-factor authentication or weak authentication methods, attackers can easily guess or crack the user’s password.
  5. Insufficient Cryptography: This vulnerability occurs when an application uses weak or inadequate cryptographic algorithms or key lengths to protect sensitive data, making it easy for attackers to decrypt or manipulate the data. For example, if an application uses a weak encryption algorithm to protect credit card information, attackers can easily decrypt the information and use it for fraudulent purposes.
  6. Insecure Authorization: This vulnerability occurs when an application grants users excessive privileges, allowing them to access data or perform actions they should not be able to. For example, if an application grants a user administrative privileges without proper authentication and authorization checks, the user can gain full access to the application and its data.
  7. Client Code Quality: This vulnerability occurs when an application has security vulnerabilities in its client-side code, allowing attackers to exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access or manipulate data. For example, if an application has a SQL injection vulnerability in its client-side code, attackers can inject malicious SQL code to manipulate the application’s database.
  8. Code Tampering: This vulnerability occurs when an attacker modifies the application’s code to introduce malicious code or disable security features. For example, if an attacker modifies an application’s code to disable SSL certificate validation, they can intercept and read all communication between the application and the server.
  9. Reverse Engineering: This vulnerability occurs when an attacker reverse engineers an application to understand its code and functionality, making it easier to exploit vulnerabilities and develop attacks. For example, if an attacker reverse engineers an application to understand how it communicates with the server, they can develop a man-in-the-middle attack to intercept and manipulate the communication.
  10. Extraneous Functionality: This vulnerability occurs when an application has unnecessary or unused functionality that can be exploited by attackers. For example, if an application has a debugging functionality that is not properly secured, attackers can use this functionality to gain access to sensitive information or manipulate the application’s behavior.

In conclusion, mobile application security is crucial to protect users’ sensitive information and prevent cyber attacks. By understanding and addressing the OWASP top 10 mobile vulnerabilities, developers and security professionals can ensure the security and integrity of mobile applications.

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Aditya Chauhan

ISO 27001 LA | VAPT | Synack Red Teamer | HTB Dante | HTB RASTA | HTB Cybernetics | HTB Offshore | HTB APTLabs | Cyber Security Analyst | Security Researcher