Mobile App Security (MMAS Exam): Android™ Edition
Android™ app development is a valuable skill set for a programmer today. An important part of that skill set is the ability to create apps that protect you, your users, and your users' organizations from attack. In this course, you will learn why it is critical to build security into your Android apps, how to improve your programming processes to promote security, and how to provide countermeasures for the numerous threats to which an Android app and its users are exposed.
In this course, you will harden native Android mobile apps against attack, and ensure secure network communications and backend web services.
- Explain why an organization should devote time and resources to app security, including a specific rationale for Android app development.
- Identify where and how the Android system architecture is vulnerable to security threats.
- Employ strategies to promote the security of mobile apps, including specific strategies for Android.
- Enable an Android app to communicate securely with hardware and software on the device.
- Enable an Android app to secure data through encryption.
- Enable an Android app to store data securely.
- Enable an Android app to communicate securely over networks and with web services.
- Use the WebView component securely.
- Protect credentials in storage and in transit.
- Harden an Android app against attack to levels appropriate for the risk model.
This course is intended for a programmer or web developer who is experienced with mobile app development in Android and wants to learn how to develop secure apps that are hardened against attack to levels that are appropriate for the risk model of the app. The student has experience developing Android apps and is familiar with the Android SDK, development tools, and processes.
To ensure your success, you should have experience developing Android apps in Java using Eclipse and the Android SDK. To meet this prerequisite, you can take the Logical Operations course Developing Android™ Mobile Apps for Business.
A general understanding of information technology security is also helpful, but not required. Logical Operations offers various courses on information technology security, including CompTIA® Security+.
Course-specific Technical Requirements
For this course, you will need one computer for each student and one for the instructor. Although Android can potentially be developed on Pentium™ PCs with 32-bit Windows® and 1 GB or less RAM, running emulators requires more memory and processing power. To minimize waiting in the class, it is highly recommended that you provide capable workstations with fast CPUs and as much memory as possible. We have tested various configurations, and have found that the amount of RAM present on your classroom PCs will have a significant impact on the success of the course.
We recommend that you teach this course by using PCs that meet the following minimum hardware configurations:
- 1 GHz or faster 64-bit (x64) processor
- 6 gigabytes (GB) RAM
- 50 GB available hard disk space
- Keyboard and mouse (or other pointing device)
- 1,280 × 1,024 or higher resolution monitor
- Network cards and cabling for local network access
- Internet access (contact your local network administrator)
- Projection system to display the instructor's computer screen
No Android devices are required to teach this course. To enable you to equip a classroom inexpensively and with minimal effort, this course has been designed around the use of emulated (rather than real) Android devices, focusing on an emulated Android Level 17 tablet (with Google APIs installed). Activities in this course have been scripted to assume that this Android version and device format will be present in the classroom.
You can teach this course by using real devices if you have an Android 17 tablet available for each student. However, if you choose to use real devices, you should key through the course completely before you teach the class to ensure that you will be able to deal with any differences that may arise from differences between the configuration of the real devices and the emulated devices.
Even if you do not have enough real devices to equip the classroom, you might consider providing opportunities for students to experiment with those that you have on hand. Students might find it beneficial to learn to work with real devices as an activity above and beyond those provided in the student manual. Practice labs provide a good opportunity for students to do such experimentation.
Android development tools are updated frequently, and the installation process can take considerable time. Although much attention was taken in writing this course to account for possible future differences in the development environment, such variations are impossible to predict. If you can, consider installing the Android development on one system, and then saving an image of that system to transfer onto other classroom computers and using this same system image each time you teach the course.
To prepare a student or instructor system for the class, install the following software according to the instructions provided. You will need the following software for each student and instructor computer:
Windows 7 or 8 Professional.
Java® SE Development Kit. This course was developed on Java Platform (JDK) 7u25, Windows x86 (32-bit) version. Later versions of Java should work acceptably, but if you use a different version, you should key through the course activities to ensure that the Android development environment functions correctly before you teach the course. At the time the course was written, this software was available for download from www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads.
Eclipse Juno SR1 or later and Android SDK version 22 or later. This course was developed on the combined ADT Bundle for Windows of Android Developer Tools Build: v22.0.5-757759, which is provided with the course data files.
To ensure that screen shots and activities in the student manual will match what students see, we recommend that you use the same version to set up your course. The installer is available from Logical Operations as part of the course data file set.
Test the Installation Before You Teach the Class the First Time
Before you teach the course the first time, be sure to key through the course and verify that the software functions correctly on your classroom computers. In our testing, we found that some computers that minimally meet the system requirements may behave erratically. For example, when the learner launches an app, the development environment may recognize only one of the running emulators. With some of the computers we used when testing this course (Asus K53E notebook computers), we found that the BIOS setting to enable Intel Virtualization Technology had a significant effect on how well the Android emulators ran. By disabling Intel Virtualization Technology on those computers, we found that the Android ARM emulator started and ran faster, and was less prone to quirky behavior.
Lesson 1: The Rationale for Android App Security
Topic A: Identify the Need for Security
Topic B: Identify Security Requirements and Expectations
Topic C: Include Security in Your Development Processes
Topic D: Identify Your Approach to Risk Management
Lesson 2: The Android Security Architecture
Topic A: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Android Security Architecture
Topic B: The Android Permissions Model
Topic C: Android Vulnerabilities
Lesson 3: Employing Secure Mobile App Development Strategies
Topic A: Follow App Security Best Practices
Topic B: Design for Security
Topic C: Write Secure Java Code
Lesson 4: Accessing Local Processes and Devices Securely
Topic A: Select Countermeasures for Local Threats
Topic B: Implement Secure Access of Local Processes and Hardware
Lesson 5: Securing Data Through Encryption
Topic A: Select Countermeasures for Threats to Cleartext Data
Topic B: Implement Encryption
Lesson 6: Accessing Local Storage Securely
Topic A: Identify Countermeasures for Local Storage Threats
Topic B: Implement Secure Access of Local Storage
Lesson 7: Communicating with Networks and Web Services Securely
Topic A: Identify Countermeasures for Networking Threats
Topic B: Implement Secure Network Communication
Lesson 8: Using the WebView Component Securely
Topic A: Identify Countermeasures for WebView Component Threats
Topic B: Implement WebView Security
Lesson 9: Protecting Credentials in Storage and Transit
Topic A: Identify Countermeasures for Threats to Credentials
Topic B: Implement Secure User Authentication
Lesson 10: Hardening Apps Against Attack
Topic A: Identify Countermeasures for Reverse Engineering Threats
Topic B: Harden an App
Appendix A: Categories of Permissions
|Days of Training||3|
|Product Type||Remote Software Environments|
|Manufacturer's Product Code||N/A|
|Revision Notes||No Revision Information Available|
|Original Publication Date||2014-01-23 00:00:00|