Friday, June 17, 2011

Intercepting Blackberry Application Traffic

Intercepting mobile traffic is one of the key areas of mobile application penetration testing and Blackberry mobile applicatiosn are no different. In this post, we will look at methods of intercepting blackberry application traffic.

It is important to note that the standalone blackberry simulator does not offer any mechanism to route HTTP traffic over a web proxy. To use a web proxy for traffic interception, one has to use blackberry device simulator + MDS and email simulator. Assuming you have both installed, following steps will allow you to intercept blackberry web traffic.

Case 1: Routing HTTP traffic via web proxy:

  1. Browse to "\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Email and MDS Services Simulators #.#.#\MDS\config"
  2. Open the file
  3. Under the HTTP HANDLER section, add your web proxy configuration information:
application.handler.http.proxyHost=<your proxy address>
application.handler.http.proxyPort=<your proxy port>

The following image shows the file HTTP HANDLER section for fiddler running on port 8888 on localhost.

Web Proxy Configuration
More details on proxy configuration can be seen here. Once you save these settings and launch MDS simulator, you will be able to monitor, intercept and modify all HTTP traffic. However, we still need to put in some extra work for SSL traffic.

Image shows HTTP traffic captured for

Case 2: Routing HTTPS traffic via web proxy:
The above mentioned configuration was not successful when attempted on SSL traffic. It was time for some workaround and I thought of using a reverse proxy. The idea of using reverse proxy had some limitations but it worked seamlessly and allowed me to intercept SSL traffic for a particular domain. To demonstrate this concept, I will be using Charles Proxy's Reverse Proxy. You can use any reverse proxy of your own choice. Lets configure the Charles proxy now.
  1. Obtain the IP address to which the application/browser talks
  2. Obtain the IP for the target domain. nslookup for revealed four DNS entries(,,, and one of them was chosen to be destination for reverse proxy settings. See the screenshots below for Charles Reverse Proxy settings.
  3. In the hosts file make an entry to forward all the target domain address to the IP at which reverse proxy is hosted. In our case, I entered the following for
  4. Now launch your browser and access
  5. The blackberry simulator will issue a certificate error. Choose the "Trust Certificate" option, provide certificate store password and  the save your settings.
  6. All the traffic will be routed via Charles now. Enjoy!

To summarize reverse proxy settings (Two sets of entries):
Entry 1: To ensure that all SSL traffic is forwarded to
Listening on :
Forwarding to: #one

Entry 2: To ensure that all plain HTTP is forwarded too
Listening on :
Forwarding to:
Image shows reverse proxy settings in Charles

Image shows the certificate error issued when is access via reverse proxy. Choosing the "Trust Certificate" options allows SSL traffic to be intercepted.