Same Origin Bypass and Android Apps

trendmicro.pngThere has recently been a high profile ‘Same Origin Bypass’ security issue regarding the Android browser, prior to Android 4.4 KitKat, that allows a client session on one site to affect a client session on another. TrendLabs have just posted some information that shows that this vulnerability has wider reach than first thought. Like me, you might have thought it was only a web browser problem in that visiting one infected site can then cause problems when you visit further sites. However, as TrendLabs state… 

"A more significant problem right now might be apps that show a website within their own user interface. Messaging apps, or other apps where users can view an arbitrary URL, are a particular problem if the site is opened within the app and not sent to the user’s default browser."

I guess what they are getting at is that opening one infected URL followed by other uninfected URLs can compromise the security (data and behaviour) of the later sites. I urge you to think about if your Android app opens arbitrary URLs or even defined URLs, the content of which, you have no control over. Opening them into a WebView can cause unintended Javascript to be run. I have some further guidelines for using Android WebViews where I already advise not to use WebViews if your app involves processing any data that needs to remain secure.