Sunday, December 3, 2023

4,000 Android apps on Google Play Expose Millions Of Passwords, Phone Numbers And Messages via Firebase

Firebase is a mobile and web application development by Firebase, Inc. in 2011. later it was acquired by Google in 2014.

The Firebase offers various server analytics, authentication, databases, configuration, file storage, push messaging, and others. All these services are hosted in the cloud and can be utilized easily.

Firebase services used by more than 30 percent of all apps on the Google Play Store, in that

Misconfigurations on Google Firebase

Security researchers from Comparitech found that 4.8 percent of mobile apps using Google Firebase to store data are not secured properly.

The misconfiguration allows anyone “to access databases containing users’ personal information, access tokens, and other data without a password or any other authentication.”

4,282 apps leaking sensitive information in the examined 515,735 Android apps on Google play, according to Comparitech’s security research team.

The misconfigured apps found to be installed by 4.22 billion times by Android users. using these apps may pose a risk to user privacy.

Following are some of the exposed data

  • E-mail addresses: 7,000,000+
  • Usernames: 4,400,000+
  • Passwords: 1,000,000+
  • Phone numbers: 5,300,000+
  • Full Name: 18,300,000+
  • Chat messages: 6,800,000+
  • GPS data: 6,200,000+
  • IP addresses: 156,000+
  • Street addresses: 560,000+

Games based apps found to be vulnerable than other category apps.

“Of the 155,066 Firebase apps analyzed, 11,730 had publicly exposed databases. 9,014 of them even included write permissions,” reads the blog post.

By having the write permissions user can inject fake news, spread malware, and Corrupt the application database.

With the exposed 11,730 apps, 4,282 leaked user information. These vulnerable database URLs found to be indexed by other search engines like Bing.

The vulnerability reported to Google on April 22, a Google spokesperson said “Firebase provides a number of features that help our developers configure their deployments securely. We provide notifications to developers about potential misconfigurations in their deployments and offer recommendations for correcting them. We are reaching out to affected developers to help them address these issues.”

App developers are recommended to follow the guidelines in Google’s own Firebase documentation.

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