OWASP Top 10 Mobile Risks - M3: Insecure Authentication/Authorization Threat Agents

Strengthening Mobile App Security: Approov's Token-Based Approach Against OWASP M3 Threat

In mobile application security, the OWASP M3 threat, focusing on "Insecure Authentication/Authorization," presents significant challenges. This threat encompasses vulnerabilities in the authentication and authorization processes of mobile apps, which can be exploited through automated attacks, leading to unauthorized access and potential security breaches. Approov's token-based security approach offers a robust solution to mitigate these risks, enhancing the security of mobile apps and their APIs.

The M3 Threat Explained

OWASP M3 highlights the risks associated with insecure authentication and authorization schemes in mobile applications. Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to bypass authentication controls, submit unauthorized service requests, or access sensitive functionalities without proper permissions. The prevalence of such vulnerabilities underscores the importance of adopting secure and resilient authentication and authorization mechanisms.

Approov's Token-Based Security Solution

Approov's token-based approach to protecting APIs is specifically designed to address the challenges posed by the M3 threat. By leveraging secure, dynamic short-lived JSON tokens, Approov ensures that only authenticated and authorized requests are processed by the mobile app's backend server, effectively mitigating the risks of insecure authentication and authorization.

Dynamic Token Generation and Validation

Approov's solution generates dynamic tokens that validate the integrity and authenticity of mobile app requests in real-time. These tokens are encrypted and tied to specific app instances, making them nearly impossible to forge or reuse by attackers.

Enhancing Authentication Security

Approov enhances the security of mobile app authentication by ensuring that tokens are only issued to legitimate users following successful authentication. This process includes comprehensive checks to confirm the authenticity of the user and the integrity of the mobile app, preventing unauthorized access.

Strengthening Authorization Controls

In addition to securing authentication, Approov's token-based approach reinforces authorization controls by embedding permissions within the tokens themselves. This ensures that each request is not only authenticated but also authorized, based on the permissions encoded in the token.

Mitigating Common Attack Scenarios

Approov's solution effectively counters common attack scenarios associated with the M3 threat, such as:

  • Hidden Service Requests: By requiring valid, dynamically generated tokens for all backend service requests, Approov prevents unauthorized access, even if attackers discover hidden endpoints.
  • Interface Reliance: Approov ensures that backend services validate both the identity and the permissions of the requester, mitigating the risk of unauthorized execution of sensitive functionalities.
  • Weak Password Policies: Through the use of secure tokens, Approov reduces the reliance on passwords alone for authentication, thereby diminishing the effectiveness of brute force attacks.


The OWASP M3 threat poses a significant risk to mobile applications, emphasizing the need for robust authentication and authorization mechanisms. Approov's token-based security approach addresses these challenges head-on, providing a comprehensive solution that enhances the security of mobile apps and their APIs. By implementing Approov's dynamic token generation and validation, developers can safeguard their apps against unauthorized access and ensure that sensitive functionalities are securely protected.