derpyderp derpyderp - 1 month ago 13
Android Question

Sniffing an Android app to find API URL

I'm curious as to how I could figure out the API URL an Android application (any app I have installed) uses if it makes API calls to some online server (a RESTful service for example). I presume I have to capture packets on the device and maybe analyse them in Wireshark or something to find the URL? I'm fairly competent in Java/Android development, but a bit lost when it comes to any sort of network analysis business.

Any pointers to useful information or even a brief walk-through would be greatly appreciated.

Answer

you can do this with help of wireshark. I am listing steps here

  1. Install wireshark on your computer
  2. now we have to create Android virtual device(ADV) so we will download Android SDK from official site. Android SDK come with emulator for testing
  3. after setting up Android SDK, create a Android virtual Device(AVD) on which we will install app
  4. start that virtual device. you can use command line to start (emulator @<AVD name>)
  5. after creating virtual device install app using adb command adb install app_file_name.apk
  6. now we can start capturing the packets so I will suggest to close other application on your computer which are using network so our captured packets would be more relevant.
  7. now start wireshark with root access
  8. select interface which you want to capture and click start to start capturing. you can see screenshot at http://i.stack.imgur.com/C891Q.png or below

    wireshar start image

  9. now start using that app so packets will transfer to and fro and wireshark will capture it. you will see details in wireshark like this sreenshot at http://i.stack.imgur.com/9Brdl.png or below

    list of packets

  10. if you have used app covering all sort of activity then you can stop wireshark to capture packets.

  11. now start main business to analyse packets carefully but not all packets are usefull for our job. so lets filter packets which are relevant for you. lets your IP address is 192.168.0.32 then filter all the packets whose IP is this. so filter expression will be ip.addr==192.168.0.32 apply this filter. still we an apply another filter to list up only relevant packets only so possibly that app is accessing API with HTTP protocol so apply HTTP filter. expression would be http. you can apply both are filter at once ip.addr==192.168.0.32 and http press enter to apply. now you will see most relevant packets for you. you can see the screenshot at http://i.stack.imgur.com/rZ6Vu.png or below

    wireshark details

  12. see the info carefully for listed packets you will see lot of important details, API keys, cookies etc