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Last updated: May 08, 2023

Testing the Security Provider


Static Analysis

Applications based on the Android SDK should depend on GooglePlayServices. For example, in the gradle build file, you will find compile '' in the dependencies block. You need to make sure that the ProviderInstaller class is called with either installIfNeeded or installIfNeededAsync. ProviderInstaller needs to be called by a component of the application as early as possible. Exceptions thrown by these methods should be caught and handled correctly. If the application cannot patch its security provider, it can either inform the API of its less secure state or restrict user actions (because all HTTPS traffic should be deemed riskier in this situation).

If you have access to the source code, check if the app handle any exceptions related to the security provider updates properly, and if it reports to the backend when the application is working with an unpatched security provider. The Android Developer documentation provides different examples showing how to update the Security Provider to prevent SSL exploits.

Lastly, make sure that NDK-based applications bind only to a recent and properly patched library that provides SSL/TLS functionality.

Dynamic Analysis

When you have the source code:

  • Run the application in debug mode, then create a breakpoint where the app will first contact the endpoint(s).
  • Right click the highlighted code and select Evaluate Expression.
  • Type Security.getProviders() and press enter.
  • Check the providers and try to find GmsCore_OpenSSL, which should be the new top-listed provider.

When you do not have the source code:

  • Use Xposed to hook into the package, then hook into with the method getProviders (with no arguments). The return value will be an array of Provider.
  • Determine whether the first provider is GmsCore_OpenSSL.