How To install Google Play on Genymotion for Android Application Penetration Testing

As an Android Application Penetration Tester, or bug hunters, we need to download Android application in our playground (Testbed) device/emulator to play around with the desired application. There are many websites that provide .apk file of any Android applications for downloading into the PC such as www.play.google.com, APK Downloader v2, www.apkmirror.com, www.androidapksfree.com, www.apk4fun.com and etc.

I mostly work with Genymotion and Android Studio for running my Emulators and R.I.P Samsung S3. I tried to find a way to use Google Play on the Android Studio Emulators and still unsuccessful (Please let me know if you have a way to install Google Play service on the Android Studio). Meantime, I am using Genymotion for downloading the applications from Google Play.

For those who are new in Android application penetration testing, and prefer to use emulators rather than physical devices you can install the Google Play on Genymotion to always get the latest available version from the Google app store.

Note: Some of Android applications don’t run on emulators to avoid reverse engineering techniques, so you have to do it on your physical device.

Running Google Play on Genymotion:

  • Install Oracle Virtualbox.
  • Go to the Genymotion website, signup with a valid email (you will need it later) and download  Genymotion into your Desktop and install it ( Next, next, next, finish wizard)

Note: If you are currently installed either of them on your machine make sure you have upgraded them into the latest version.

Note: if your emulator is running lower version you may download for your desired version.

  • Now start your emulator and once it successfully booted, drag & drop the “Genymotion-ARM-Translation_v1.1.zip” on the emulator. And then reboot the phone.
  • Do the same step for Google Apps gapps-lp-20150222-signed.zip. Both files will flash your emulator.
  • After step 6 & 7, you google play service or Hangout… will crash several times. No worries, its normal 🙂 Open the installed Google Play application, login with your Gmail account, and let it run and update the required apps and service. You need to update the Google Play application as well. Once you update all of them, you are ready to go.
  • Enjoy Hunting and share your experiences with me.

I highly recommend you keep this emulator for only downloading apps from Google Play to avoid any updates during the testing.

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How to avoid IDS/Firewall Blocks your IP during Web Penetration Testing

This is very common during the Penetration testing, since we send an unexpected/payload request toward the servers, the subject web server may pick our IP address and sometimes they block our address. There are many ways such as TOR, VPN (Free/Commercial). Personally, I don’t like to setup the VPN or TOR, since there are other applications that running against the target which I prefer to run on normal network to avoid any slow connections due to VPNs. Although sometimes Spiders and Fuzzers may also alert servers and consequently they block my IP address. In addition, prefer to not send all my laptop traffic through the VPN and Proxies into the network. There are many personal data and application running on my Pentest machine as well.

Please keep in mind that, the only reason I recommend them is to easily change your IP to easily bypass firewall/IDS restriction during penetration testing progress. So you don’t need to call Admin to unblock your IP, or provide a new IP for you. Obviously I don’t have any personal account on my FireFox/Chrome to protect myself about data leakage and privacy issues.

Note: A hacker has none of the aforementioned ability to request Server administrator to unblock him, right? 🙂 Act Real.

I usually use the following two VPNs for  Firefox/Chrome adds-on during Web Penetration Testing.

Firefox:ZenMate Security, Privacy & Unblock VPN

This is an Adds-on that you can easily install and ready to go on the FireFox/Chrome browser to change your IP constantly whenever it is required. Although in free version you may only use four country’s IPs (Romania,Hong Kong, Germany and USA), in premium version you may use IP address of other countries as well. but I think these four are enough in this context.

1

Chrome: DOTVPN:

DotVPN is a Chrome based Adds-on extension that works perfectly. just install on your chrome browser and create a username/password and go for bug hunting.

2

so next time, if your connection become so slow to access to the target website, or they blocked  your access, just use these VPNs and you may change your IP easily time to time.

There are some other free VPNs such as Hotspot Shield VPN, ProxMate, Hola Unblocker, CyberGhost VPN, AWB Proxy, AutoProxy, which I use the DotVPN and ZenMate to change my IP on demand.