Application Security for the Android Platform
Processes, Permissions, and Other Safeguards
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2011
Pages: 114

With the Android platform fast becoming a target of malicious hackers, application security is crucial. This concise book provides the knowledge you need to design and implement robust, rugged, and secure apps for any Android device. You’ll learn how to identify and manage the risks inherent in your design, and work to minimize a hacker’s opportunity to compromise your app and steal user data.

How is the Android platform structured to handle security? What services and tools are available to help you protect data? Up until now, no single resource has provided this vital information. With this guide, you’ll learn how to address real threats to your app, whether or not you have previous experience with security issues.

  • Examine Android’s architecture and security model, and how it isolates the filesystem and database
  • Learn how to use Android permissions and restricted system APIs
  • Explore Android component types, and learn how to secure communications in a multi-tier app
  • Use cryptographic tools to protect data stored on an Android device
  • Secure the data transmitted from the device to other parties, including the servers that interact with your app
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oreillyApplication Security for the Android Platform
 
2.0

(based on 3 reviews)

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(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

THIS THE VERY BASIC

By Tian Chavez

from CA

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough
    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Application Security for the Android Platform:

    Too basic it not useful

    (1 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    A good primer; Not much depth

    By BG

    from Atlanta, GA

    About Me Hacker

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too basic

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Application Security for the Android Platform:

      Too basic

      (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      All app security aspects in one place

      By Ulf

      from Germany

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly Application Security for the Android Platform:

          While it's tempting to think that a mobile phone is a safer environment than, say, a web app, the reality is that it's becoming less so, if it ever was that in the first place. Malware of various kinds is just as much of a threat to a mobile app as to a web app, particularly in an ecosystem as open as Android.

          This book ties together the different aspects that an Android app developer needs to consider when releasing an app into the wild (like through Google's Android Market). It covers the underlying OS architecture, where many app privileges are based on Linux file permissions, and then proceeds to the application permissions that govern capabilities granted to an app, like access to GPS location, use of internet connectivity, and access to SD card data. The latter will be familiar to anyone who's written an Android app, since they need to be listed explicitly in each app's manifest file. The next chapter covers the interprocess communication that allows apps to make use of other apps capabilities and permissions - Intents, BroadcastReceivers and ContentProviders. While the how of those is generally covered extensively, the security aspects tend to get overlooked; but not here. The last couple of chapters deal with securing sensitive data stored on the device, and with the internet connectivity that most mobile apps do in some form, and to which the same network security principles apply as for web apps (SSL encryption and mutual authentication). Those chapters delve deeply into Java's JCE API.

          Overall I found the book easy to follow along, with plenty of code examples to study. The chapters can be read largely independently of one another, but at a length of not much more than 100 pages one might as well read the book in whole. While parts of the book will be familiar to a seasoned Java developer, and some parts have been covered widely online, this reviewer thinks it's still useful to have it all in one place, so as better to start thinking about app security as a whole, not as individual pieces to be used as is convenient - the threats are multiple, and an app is only as strong as its weakest point. Once it's out there on a device, it's subject to much more extensive probing than would be possible for a web app. Better to get its security story straight.

          (Disclosure: I received a courtesy copy of this book from the author.)

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