MobSF- Implement MobSF on Kali Linux for Dynamic and Static Security Testing

With the mobile application market exploding (currently 2.8m apps on the Google Play Store and 2.2m on the Apple store – not to mention Enterprise apps or apps not available on “Regular Markets”), Security Testing on mobile devices becomes critical to IT security for IOVIO and our customers.

A recent request from one our customers required that we provide Security and Penetration Testing against their mission critical applications, including Mobile Applications for Android and iOS. IOVIO’s weapons of choice for this assignment are Kali Linux and the MobSF (Mobile Security Framework), and automated Security Framework that allows application testing during run-time.

In this guide I’ll do my best to show you how to setup such an environment with minimum hassle.

So without further ado let’s start by opening a console and installing Phyton3-pip.

First, make sure you have Java SDK

cat >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list<< EOF deb trusty main deb-src trusty main EOF apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys EEA14886 apt-get update apt-get install oracle-java8-installer java -version apt-get install python3-pip

MobSF on Kali Linux - step 1
MobSF on Kali Linux - step 2
MobSF on Kali Linux - step 3

Now let’s clone the MobSF repository and navigate to the main directory.

git clone cd Mobile-Security-Framework-MobSF

MobSF on Kali Linux - step 4


Configure Static Analyzer

Before running the server we need to create and activate a virtual environment and install the MobSF requirements.

As an optional step install wkhtmltopdf first to generate PDF reports.

pip3 install virtualenv virtualenv -p python3 venv source venv/bin/activate pip3 install -r requirements.txt

MobSF on Kali Linux - step 5
MobSF on Kali Linux - step 6


Run MobSF Server

python3 runserver PORT_NO python3 runserver IP:PORT_NO

There is a very common error that occurs after running the server for the first time: you have unapplied migrations and your project may not work properly. To solve it all you have to do is apply the pending migrations.

MobSF on Kali Linux - step 7
python3 migrate

MobSF on Kali Linux - step 9

Now everything is ready to run: open your favorite browser and navigate to, or IP and Port that was configured.

You are now ready to load APKs or IPAs into the server and start performing Static Analysis of your apps.

MobSF on Kali Linux - step 10
MobSF on Kali Linux - step 11

On the following article I will show you how to configure the MobSF to communicate with an Android emulator and start executing Dynamic tests.Don’t forget to visit the project page to discover more about the MobSF.If you are interested in security testing services, have any questions, comments, tips or tricks or even if you want to share some of your own approaches then reach out.

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