Thousands of Mobile Apps Expose Their Unprotected

Recently, the researchers dealing with mobile security stumbled across thousands of unprotected Firebase databases on iOS and Android mobile apps that make over 100 million data records vulnerable. These records include user IDs, passwords, location and in some cases it even critical financial data like banking records and even transactions made in cryptocurrency were easily available.

The Firebase is a very popular service offered by Google that serves as a back-end platform for the development of mobile as well as web apps that provides the developers with a cloud-based database. All the data is stored within this database in the JSON format and can be connected with the clients in a real-time basis.

Appthority is a mobile security firm and the researchers at this firm stumbled across the mistake that a lot of app developers make, and this mistake was their failure to protect their back-end endpoints on Firebase with the necessary firewalls and validation. This simple point that was overlooked by the developers makes several dozens of gigabytes of vital data about the customers vulnerable and in fact, it can be easily accessed by anyone who knows what they are looking for.

Firebase provides an API server and the attackers can merely gain access to it by adding a simple “/. json” along with the name of a blank database toward the end of the hostname.

To check the extent of this problem, researchers randomly scanned more than 2.5 million apps and they discovered that 3000 apps (about 2450 Android and the rest were iOS) had holes in their security that effectively caused them to leak over 2300 databases containing more than 100 million records. All this amounts to over 110 gigabytes of data that was now vulnerable to hacking. In fact, the Android apps that were regarded to be vulnerable were downloaded over 600 million times.

These apps belonged to different categories like finance, educational institutions, lifestyle, fitness, health, cryptocurrency and so on.
The researchers are of the opinion that all this is happening because the Firebase service provided by Google doesn’t have a default setting to secure the user data and the developers need to consciously implement a user authentication protocol on their entire databases to safeguard them and prevent the scope of any unauthorized access. Also, the lack of any third-party tools to provide encryption merely increase the vulnerability of all the data that is stored within.

Researchers have contacted Google with a list of vulnerable apps and are now working together with other app developers to fix this security breach.
 
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Mobile Apps Are Musts for Most Brands, as Long as

Mobile apps are quite important for a brand, but they will not do the brand any good until the users like them. Apps are certainly invaluable since they help track the customer’s interests by accessing the browsing and buying activity along with a lot of other data. All this data helps the companies to customize their promotional content to entice the user. In fact, a lot of brands tend to offer discounts and giveaways to attract new users. however, if you want the customers to keep coming back for more, then there are certain other things that you must consider.

The app that is offered must solve some problem or stratify a customer’s need. The app needs to provide a sense of purpose to the user. If this is missing, then the user will not think twice before uninstalling the app.

The app needs to create a unique value to its users. Time, speed and convenience are the key factors that a user looks for in an app. If the app doesn’t meet any of these criteria, then the users will not favor it.

The app must focus on one core feature. The apps that are developed keeping this in mind ensure that the user has a clutter-free experience. The purpose that the app serves must be delivered better than its competitors.

The user experience is one thing that plays a major role in the success of the app that you develop. Efficiency is one thing that all users crave. An app that is difficult to use or navigate will certainly cost you user’s loyalty. The app must be user-friendly, easy to navigate and even visually attractive.

If you want the app to be successful and you want to increase its reach, then you must ensure that the app is available on all platforms. In fact, the two most important platforms that app must be available on are iOS and Android. If the users cannot find the app on their respective app stores, how can they download or use it?

It is also a good idea to enable the app for offline functioning. Apart from this, the app needs to be able to maintain high performance. An average user will not attempt to use a problematic or poorly functioning app more than twice or thrice. So, you need to ensure that the app works flawlessly.

There are hundreds of similar apps out there and if the companies want to increase the popularity of their apps, they need to spend some time and effort to create an app that the user enjoys.

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Mobile app development: 5 reasons you should outso

Apps are quite important these days and businesses are trying to increase their reach by capitalizing on app development. Here are five reasons why you must outsource this process for better results.

Cost saving

When you outsource app development, then you can start to concentrate on the important areas of business that will in turn help reduce your overheads. In fact, you can almost save around 60% of your in-house employee expenses while reducing the workload on your employees so that they can concentrate on their tasks without any diversions to improve their productivity and efficiency.

 Lack of experience

You might have an excellent team at work, but it isn’t necessary that they are qualified app developers and programmers. You can increase the efficiency of the app by outsourcing it to professionals. Instead of putting any projects on hold due to the lack of the necessary knowledge or know-how, it is a better idea to outsource the project to someone who specializes in it. For instance, if your team only works on developing apps for Android and if you need a new iOS app, then it is better to outsource the work to a company that deals with developing iOS apps.

Time saving

If you are working with a specific deadline and you need the app to hit the market within that timeframe, then outsourcing the app development work is a good idea. There are three important aspects for the success of an outsourced project, and they are timing, productivity and communication. An app development company will certainly take lesser time to develop an app because they will have a dedicated team in place who specialize in app development. This means that you can meet your deadline without any hassle. When you outsource the app development process, you don’t have to bother with hiring a new team or conducting any interviews to hire a new team. All this helps save time.

Licenses and tools

Technology, the rules about licensing as well as the tools used for app development keep changing. Instead of worrying about updating yourself with all these things, you can outsource it.

Improve existing projects

If your company is involved in app development and you want to make any changes to existing projects, then outsourcing is a good idea. At times, there can be constraints about resources (personnel, time and finance) available and making any changes might not be possible. Instead of creating an in-house team to help with this, you can merely outsource it and reduce your overheads.

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