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iOS 10.2 updates and features

apple-releases-ios-10-2-beta-new-sos-feature-and-other-changes

Apple released the iOS 10 earlier this year and since then there has been two major updates to it, dubbed as iOS 10.1 and 10.2. With iOS 10.2 Apple has managed to bring forward a host of new features which are much welcomed. As iOS 10.2 is an incremental update to iOS 10 there are not humongous amount of changes, still there are a lot to talk about.

  • New Video App: With the launch of the new MacBook Pro, Apple’s new Video app now works on both iOS and Apple TV. It’s a new way of discovering content across iTunes and other streaming apps. It’s US only for now, and it lacks support for Netflix. The dull Videos app which comes bundled with iOS, looks and operates much better now. 
  • Music Player: Apple’s decision to hide the Shuffle and Repeat buttons below the fold and not providing any kind of visual cue that there’s any content down below, was met with universal outrage. Apple’s solution to this isn’t to actually redesign the screen. But instead they’ve added a splash screen that a user will see the first time they open the Now Playing screen. This tells them they can swipe up to view the Shuffle button and Up Next queue.
  • Camera Updates: Apple has added an option that lets you save your camera settings.  It lets you always jump straight into ’square’ photo mode, stick with the same filter or keep Live Photos turned off, depending on your preferences.
  • New In-Built Wallpapers: Three new attractive wallpapers have been added in iOS 10.2 release. They’re designed to bring the best out of the wider color gamut displays on the iPhone 7.
  • New Emojis: Several new emojis like a clown, croissant, shark, owl, butterfly and an avocado are also added in iOS 10.2 release. On the other hand numerous old emoji have also been redesigned to look more modern, with loads more profession-based emoji now available in both male and female, too.

 ios102emoji

  • TV & Videos widget: Similar to the Netflix widget, the new Videos widget shows you the Series or Movie you’re watching, and with a tap you can jump straight back into it without opening up the app.
  • Single Sign-on: Sign Sign-On lets cable subscribers log into all the channel apps using only one login. Once you do this on your iPhone or iPad, the content from all available apps will be displayed in the TV app.
  • A new SOS feature: This will call emergency services when the power button on the iPhone is pressed 5 times. This is however a voluntary feature and can be turned off from settings.
  • Quick Response: With iOS 10.2, when you’re tying a response to a message in quick response, and you choose to open the app, the text you’ve already written will no longer be lost.
  • Home Button Changes: In the “Press and Hold Home Button to Speak” section you can switch from Siri to plain old Voice Control or just turn the feature off altogether.
  • Siri: If you turn off Siri, the next time you press and hold the Home button, you’ll get a new splash screen giving you information about Siri and giving you options to turn it back on again.
  • Bug Fixes & Others: Several Bug fixes that were identified in the iOS 10.1 release have now been fixed. Like when you turn off the “Show Contact Photos” option from the “Messages” section “Settings” app, all contact photos will actually disappear now. Previously, iOS 10 still showed contact photos in conversation, that’s no longer the case. There is also a new celebration effect in iMessages and you can also give star ratings in the Music app with iOS 10.2.
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12 Tips To Secure Your Mobile Application

Cyber attacks and data theft have become so common these days especially when it comes to mobile applications. As a result, mobile apps that experience security breaches may suffer financial losses. With many hackers eyeing to steal customer data, securing these applications has become the number one priority for organizations and a serious challenge for developers. According to Gartner’s recent research, Hype Cycle for Application Security, investment in application security will increase by more than two-fold over the next few years, from $6 billion this year to $13.7 billion by 2026. Further, the report stated, “Application security is now top-of-mind for developers and security professionals, and the emphasis is now turning to apps hosted in public clouds,” It is crucial to get the fundamental components of DevOps security correct. Here are the 12 tips to secure your mobile application: 

1. Install apps from trusted sources:

It’s common to have Android applications republished on alternate markets or their APKs & IPAs made available for download. Both APK and IPA may be downloaded and installed from a variety of places, including websites, cloud services, drives, social media, and social networking. Only the Play Store and the App Store should be allowed to install trustworthy APK and IPA files. To prevent utilizing these apps, we should have a source check detection (Play Store or App Store) upon app start.

Also read, https://andresand.medium.com/add-method-to-check-which-app-store-the-android-app-is-installed-from-or-if-its-sideloaded-c9f450a3d069

2. Root Detection:

Android: An attacker could launch a mobile application on a rooted device and access the local memory or call specific activities or intents to perform malicious activities in the application. 

iOS: Applications on a jailbroken device run as root outside of the iOS sandbox. This can allow applications to access sensitive data stored in other apps or install malicious software negating sandboxing functionality. 

More on Root Detection- https://owasp.org/www-project-mobile-top-10/2016-risks/m8-code-tampering

3. Data Storing:

Developers use Shared Preferences & User Defaults to store key-value pairs like tokens, mobile numbers, email, boolean values, etc. Additionally, while creating apps, developers prefer SQLite databases for structured data. It is recommended to store any data in the format of encryption so that it is difficult to extract the information by hackers.

4. Secure Secret Keys:

API keys, passwords, and tokens shouldn’t be hardcoded in the code. It is recommended to use different techniques to store these values so that hackers cannot get away quickly by tampering with the application. 

Here’s a reference link: https://guides.codepath.com/android/Storing-Secret-Keys-in-Android

5. Code Obfuscation

An attacker may decompile the APK file and extract the source code of the application. This may expose sensitive information stored in the source code of the application to the attacker which may be used to perform tailored attacks. 

It is better to obfuscate the source code to prevent all the sensitive information contained in the source code.

6. Secure Communication:

An attacker may perform malicious activities to leverage the level of attacks since all communication is happening over unencrypted channels. So always use HTTPS URLs over HTTP URLs.

7. SSL Pinning:

Certificate pinning allows mobile applications to restrict communication only to servers with a valid certificate matching the expected value (pin). Pinning ensures that no network data is compromised even if a user is tricked into installing a malicious root certificate on their mobile device. Any app that pins its certificates would thwart such phishing attempts by refusing to transmit data over a compromised connection

Please refer: 

https://owasp.org/www-community/controls/Certificate_and_Public_Key_Pinning

8. Secure API request & response data

The standard practice is to use HTTPS for the baseline protection of REST API calls. The information sent to the server or received from the server may be further encrypted with AES, etc. For example, if there are sensitive contents, you might choose to select those to encrypt so that even if the HTTPS is somehow broken or misconfigured, you have another layer of protection from your encryption.

9. Secure Mobile App Authentication:

In case an application does not assign distinct and complex session tokens after login to a user, an attacker can conduct phishing in order to lure the victim to use a custom-generated token provided by the attacker and easily bypass the login page with the captured session by using a MiTM attack.

i) Assign a distinct and complex session token to a user each time he/she logs on successfully to the application. 

ii) Terminate the session lifetime immediately after logging out. 

iii) Do not use the same session token for two or more IP addresses. 

iv) Limit the expiry time for every session token.

10.  Allow Backup 

Disallow users to back up an app if it contains sensitive data. Having access to backup files (i.e. when android:allowBackup=”true”), it is possible to modify/read the content of an app even on a non-rooted device. So it is recommended to make allow backup false. 

11. Restrict accessing android application screens from other apps

Ideally, your activities should not give any provision to the opening from other services or applications. Make it true only when you have a specific requirement to access your flutter screens from other apps otherwise change to android:exported= ”false”

12. Restrict installing packages from the android application

REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES permission allows apps to install new packages on a user’s device. We are committed to preventing abuse on the Android platform and protecting users from apps that self-update using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism or download harmful APKs.

Conclusion: 

Mobile Apps have become more personalized than ever before with heaps of customers’ personal data stored in them every day. In order to build trust and loyalty among users and prevent significant financial and credential losses for the companies, it is now crucial to make sure the application is secure for the user. Following the above-mentioned mobile app security checklists will definitely help to prevent hackers from hacking the app.

About the Author:

Raviteja Aketi is a Senior Software Engineer at Mantra Labs. He has extensive experience with B2B projects. Raviteja loves exploring new technologies, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

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