Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Needle- Open Source iOS Security Testing Framework

Needle- Open Source iOS Security Testing Framework

Needle is an open source, modular framework to streamline the process of conducting security assessments of iOS apps.


Assessing the security of an iOS application typically requires a plethora of tools, each developed for a specific need and all with different modes of operation and syntax. The Android ecosystem has tools like "drozer" that have solved this problem and aim to be a ‘one stop shop’ for the majority of use cases, however iOS does not have an equivalent.

Needle is the MWR's iOS Security Testing Framework, released at Black Hat USA in August 2016. It is an open source modular framework which aims to streamline the entire process of conducting security assessments of iOS applications, and acts as a central point from which to do so.

Needle is intended to be useful not only for security professionals, but also for developers looking to secure their code. A few examples of testing areas covered by Needle include: data storage, inter-process communication, network communications, static code analysis, hooking and binary protections. The only requirement in order to run Needle effectively is a jailbroken device.

The release of version 1.0.0 provided a major overhaul of its core and the introduction of a new native agent, written entirely in Objective-C. The new NeedleAgent is an open source iOS app complementary to Needle, that allows to programmatically perform tasks natively on the device, eliminating the need for third party tools.

Needle is open source software, maintained by MWR InfoSecurity.


Device Setup

The only prerequisite is a Jailbroken device.

Workstation Setup

Get a copy of Needle
git clone https://github.com/mwrlabs/needle.git

Install Dependencies


# Unix packages
sudo apt-get install python2.7 python2.7-dev sshpass sqlite3 lib32ncurses5-dev

# Python packages
sudo pip install readline paramiko sshtunnel frida mitmproxy biplist


# Core dependencies
brew install python
brew install libxml2
xcode-select --install

# Python packages
sudo -H pip install --upgrade --user readline
sudo -H pip install --upgrade --user paramiko
sudo -H pip install --upgrade --user sshtunnel
sudo -H pip install --upgrade --user frida
sudo -H pip install --upgrade --user biplist

# sshpass
brew install https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kadwanev/bigboybrew/master/Library/Formula/sshpass.rb

# mitmproxy
wget https://github.com/mitmproxy/mitmproxy/releases/download/v0.17.1/mitmproxy-0.17.1-osx.tar.gz
tar -xvzf mitmproxy-0.17.1-osx.tar.gz
sudo cp mitmproxy-0.17.1-osx/mitm* /usr/local/bin/

Supported Platforms

  • Workstation: Needle has been successfully tested on both Kali and macOS.
  • Device: iOS 8, 9, and 10 are currently supported.

Download Needle


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