The external security researcher community plays an integral role in making the Google Play ecosystem safe and secure. Through this partnership with the community, Google has been able to collaborate with third-party developers to fix thousands of security issues in Android applications before they are exploited and reward security researchers for their hard work and dedication.
In order to empower the next generation of Android security researchers, Google has collaborated with industry partners including HackerOne and PayPal to host a number of Android App Hacking Workshops. These workshops are an effort designed to educate security researchers and cybersecurity students of all skill levels on how to find Android application vulnerabilities through a series of hands-on working sessions, both in-person and virtual.
Through these workshops, we’ve seen attendees from groups such as Merritt College's cybersecurity program and alumni of Hack the Hood go on to report real-world security vulnerabilities to the Google Play Security Rewards program. This reward program is designed to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in apps on Google Play, and keep Android users, developers and the Google Play ecosystem safe.
Today, we are releasing our slide deck and workshop materials, including source code for a custom-built Android application that allows you to test your Android application security skills in a variety of capture the flag style challenges.
These materials cover a wide range of techniques for finding vulnerabilities in Android applications. Whether you’re just getting started or have already found many bugs - chances are you’ll learn something new from these challenges! If you get stuck and need a hint on solving a challenge, the solutions for each are available in the Android App Hacking Workshop here.
As you work through the challenges and learn more about the techniques and tips described in our workshop materials, we’d love to hear your feedback.
- If you want to learn more about how to prepare, launch, and run a Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP) or discover how to work with external security researchers, check out our VDP course here.
- If you’re a developer looking to build more secure applications, check out Android app security best practices here.