APKHunt: A Powerful and User-Friendly Tool for Android App Pentesting
What is APKHunt and How to Use It for Android App Pentesting
APKHunt is a comprehensive static code analysis tool for Android apps that is based on the OWASP MASVS framework. Although APKHunt is intended primarily for mobile app developers and security testers, it can be used by anyone to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities in their code. With APKHunt, mobile software architects or developers can conduct thorough code reviews to ensure the security and integrity of their mobile applications, while security testers can use the tool to confirm the completeness and consistency of their test results. Whether you're a developer looking to build secure apps or an infosec tester charged with ensuring their security, APKHunt can be an invaluable resource for your work.
Android app pentesting, short for Android application penetration testing, is the process of analyzing an Android app for potential security vulnerabilities. It involves testing the app's functionality, logic, data flow, user interface, network communication, permissions, encryption, storage, and more. Android app pentesting helps to identify and fix security flaws that could compromise the app's confidentiality, integrity, or availability. It also helps to comply with security standards and regulations, such as OWASP MASVS.
Requirements for Using APKHunt
To use APKHunt for android app pentesting, you need to have the following requirements:
Git: A version control system that allows you to clone the APKHunt repository from GitHub.
Golang: A programming language that allows you to run APKHunt as a Go script.
JADX: A tool that allows you to decompile Android applications into Java source code.
Dex2jar: A tool that allows you to convert Android applications into Java archive files.
You also need to have a Linux environment, as APKHunt is only supported on Linux platforms. Additionally, you need to obtain consent from the app owners before performing any pentesting on their applications. This is to avoid breaking any laws or ethical codes.
Installation of APKHunt
To install and use APKhunt for android app pentesting, we have to clone the tool from its GitHub repository using the command below.
git clone (
When the download is complete we can navigate into the directory and install the required dependencies using the below commands.
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sudo apt install golang-go
sudo apt-get install jadx
sudo apt-get install dex2jar
Usage of APKHunt
To use APKHunt for android app penetration testing, we run commands using the below syntax.go run apkhunt.go [options]
The options are as follows:
Specify the path of the APK file to analyze.
go run apkhunt.go -a /home/user/app.apk
Specify the path of the directory containing multiple APK files to analyze.
go run apkhunt.go -d /home/user/apps/
Specify the path of the output directory where the results will be stored.
go run apkhunt.go -o /home/user/output/
Show the help message and exit.
go run apkhunt.go -h
The output format of APKHunt is a JSON file that contains the following information:
App name: The name of the app.
App version: The version of the app.
App package: The package name of the app.
App permissions: The permissions requested by the app.
App activities: The activities defined by the app.
App services: The services defined by the app.
App receivers: The receivers defined by the app.
App providers: The providers defined by the app.
Vulnerabilities: The vulnerabilities detected by APKHunt based on OWASP MASVS criteria.
The output location of APKHunt is specified by the -o option. If not specified, the default location is /home/user/APKHunt/output/.
Performing Android App Pentesting with APKHunt
Single app pentesting
To perform pentesting on a single app using APKHunt, we need to follow these steps:
Download the app from a trusted source and extract the APK file. We can use tools like APK Extractor or APK Downloader to do this.
Run APKHunt with the -a option and provide the path of the APK file. For example:
go run apkhunt.go -a /home/user/app.apk
Analyze the results and identify vulnerabilities. We can use tools like VS Code or Notepad++ to view and edit the JSON file. We can also use tools like Nmap, Burp Suite, or Drozer to perform further testing on the app's network communication, web interfaces, or IPC components.
Multiple app pentesting
To perform pentesting on multiple apps using APKHunt, we need to follow these steps:
Download multiple apps from a trusted source and extract the APK files in a folder. We can use tools like APK Extractor or APK Downloader to do this.
Run APKHunt with the -d option and provide the path of the folder. For example:
go run apkhunt.go -d /home/user/apps/
Analyze the results and identify vulnerabilities. We can use tools like VS Code or Notepad++ to view and edit the JSON files. We can also use tools like Nmap, Burp Suite, or Drozer to perform further testing on the apps' network communication, web interfaces, or IPC components.
In this article, we have learned what APKHunt is and how to use it for Android app pentesting. We have seen how APKHunt can help us to perform static code analysis on Android apps based on OWASP MASVS framework. We have also learned how to install, use, and interpret APKHunt's output. Finally, we have learned how to perform pentesting on single or multiple apps using APKHunt.
APKHunt is a powerful tool that can help us to improve the security and quality of our Android apps. By using APKHunt, we can identify and fix potential security vulnerabilities in our code before they become exploitable by attackers. We can also use APKHunt to verify and validate our security testing results and ensure compliance with security standards and regulations. Whether we are developers or testers, APKHunt can be a great ally in our quest for secure Android apps.
If you want to learn more about APKHunt, you can visit its GitHub repository [here]. You can also check out its documentation [here ) . You can also join the APKHunt community on Discord [here] to share your feedback, queries, or suggestions.
Here are some frequently asked questions about APKHunt and Android app pentesting:
What is the difference between static and dynamic code analysis?
Static code analysis is the process of analyzing the source code of an application without executing it. It helps to identify syntax errors, coding standards, security vulnerabilities, and other potential issues. Dynamic code analysis is the process of analyzing the behavior of an application while it is running. It helps to identify runtime errors, performance issues, memory leaks, and other functional problems.
What is OWASP MASVS and why is it important for Android app pentesting?
OWASP MASVS stands for OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard. It is a framework that defines a set of security requirements and best practices for mobile app development and testing. It covers various aspects of mobile app security, such as data protection, cryptography, authentication, network communication, platform interaction, code quality, and resilience. It also provides different levels of verification based on the risk profile and threat model of the app. OWASP MASVS is important for Android app pentesting because it helps to ensure that the app meets the minimum security standards and complies with the relevant regulations.
How can I obtain consent from the app owners before performing pentesting on their applications?
One way to obtain consent from the app ow