A30: Android App Plaintext Login (65 pts)

What You Need for This Project


First, to prepare an Android emulator connected to ADB. Then, to observe network transmissions from an insecure app, and prove that they are not encrypted.

Preparing an Android Emulator

The emulator options are different for different operating systems. Follow the appropriate instructions below:

A30a: Installing Genymotion with ADB on a Mac or Linux Host

A30b: BlueStacks Android Emulator with ADB on Windows

Installing Equity Pandit

On your Android device, in Google Play, find and install the app, as shown below.

Archived APK

This project requires the 2016 version of the app, which was the version in Google Play in April, 2019, when I wrote this project. If that version is no longer available, use this archived copy of the app:


Preparing the App

Launch the app. Click "Create Account".

Fill in the form, as shown below, but don't click the "Sign Up" button yet.

Starting Wireshark

On your host system, launch Wireshark. If you don't have it, get it at:


In the main Wireshark window, double-click the network interface that is being used to reach the Internet. On my system, it is "Wi-Fi: en0", outlined in green in the image below.

Wirehark starts displaying packets. At the top, in the Filter bar, enter this display filter:

Press Enter to filter the traffic.

On your Android device, in EquityPandit, click the "Sign Up" button.

In Wireshark, two POST requests appear, as shown below.

Right-click the second POST request, the one calling "add_user.php", and click Follow, "TCP Stream".

The request appears, as shown below, containing your username and password in plaintext.

A30.1: Recording Your Success (15 pts)

The flag value is the portion of the request covered by a green rectangle in the image above.

To record your success, enter that flag into the scoring engine at the top of the main course page.

A30.2: Find the Server (10 pts)

Uninstall the EquityPandit app and install this app instead:


Execute a login request. The flag is the domain name of the server it sends a POST request to.

A30.3: Find the Second Flag (5 pts)

Use the same app: A30.2.apk. Explore the app and find the second flag.

A30.4: Find the Server (5 pts)

Install this app


Execute a login request. The flag is the domain name of the server it attempts to connects to.

A30.5: Find the Stored Password (10 pts)

Use the original EquityPandit app. Create an account and log in.

From Kali, connect to your Android device with adb connect.

If you are not root, first root your device. To root BlueStacks, see a later project.

Open a shell on the Android device with adb shell

Now you can use normal Bash commands, including these:

Find the locally stored copy of your password. The name of the file containing it is the flag.

A30.6: Find the Logged Password (10 pts)

Use the original EquityPandit app. Create an account, if necessary, and log in.

From Kali, find your Android device with the netdiscover command.

Connect to it with adb connect.

View the log with adb logcat

Find your password in the log, as shown below. The flag is the word covered by a green box in the image below.

A30.7: Find My Password (10 pts)

I made an account on the EquityPandit system with this email address: topsecret@mailinator.com

Find my password. My password is the flag.

Note: don't perform any scans or attacks against any server--we don't have authorization for that. It is possible to get my password by using the app itself, without performing any attack at all.

If you have any questions, talk to your supervisor or your instructor before taking any questionable actions.

Posted 4-9-19
Item 7 instructions clarified 4-17-19
Item 5 rooting note added 5-22-19