Certificate pinning is a security measure implemented in Android applications to prevent Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks. While it enhances app security, it also poses challenges for ethical hackers trying to intercept and analyze encrypted network traffic. In this chapter, we’ll discuss certificate pinning, how to bypass it using Frida and Objection, and provide a step-by-step guide with installation instructions and commands.
Understanding Certificate Pinning
Normally, when an Android app establishes a secure connection (HTTPS) with a server, it validates the server’s SSL/TLS certificate to ensure it’s issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). However, this process can be exploited by an attacker using a rogue certificate from a compromised CA.
Certificate pinning strengthens this validation process by associating the app with a specific certificate or public key. This way, even if an attacker presents a valid certificate from a trusted CA, the app will not trust it unless it matches the pinned certificate or key.
Bypassing Certificate Pinning with Frida and Objection
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to bypass certificate pinning using Frida and Objection:
Step 1: Install Frida and Objection
1.1. Install Frida on your host OS using pip:
pip install frida-tools
1.2. Install Frida server on your Android device/emulator:
- Download the appropriate Frida server binary for your Android device from the official GitHub releases page: https://github.com/frida/frida/releases
- Push the binary to your device:
adb push frida-server /data/local/tmp/