Visible to the public Biblio

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2020-07-30
He, Yongzhong, Zhao, Xiaojuan, Wang, Chao.  2019.  Privacy Mining of Large-scale Mobile Usage Data. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Power, Intelligent Computing and Systems (ICPICS). :81—86.
While enjoying the convenience brought by mobile phones, users have been exposed to high risk of private information leakage. It is known that many applications on mobile devices read private data and send them to remote servers. However how, when and in what scale the private data are leaked are not investigated systematically in the real-world scenario. In this paper, a framework is proposed to analyze the usage data from mobile devices and the traffic data from the mobile network and make a comprehensive privacy leakage detection and privacy inference mining on a large scale of realworld mobile data. Firstly, this paper sets up a training dataset and trains a privacy detection model on mobile traffic data. Then classical machine learning tools are used to discover private usage patterns. Based on our experiments and data analysis, it is found that i) a large number of private information is transmitted in plaintext, and even passwords are transmitted in plaintext by some applications, ii) more privacy types are leaked in Android than iOS, while GPS location is the most leaked privacy in both Android and iOS system, iii) the usage pattern is related to mobile device price. Through our experiments and analysis, it can be concluded that mobile privacy leakage is pervasive and serious.
2020-07-27
Sudozai, M. A. K., Saleem, Shahzad.  2018.  Profiling of secure chat and calling apps from encrypted traffic. 2018 15th International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences and Technology (IBCAST). :502–508.
Increased use of secure chat and voice/ video apps has transformed the social life. While the benefits and facilitations are seemingly limitless, so are the asscoiacted vulnerabilities and threats. Besides ensuring confidentiality requirements for common users, known facts of non-readable contents over the network make these apps more attractive for criminals. Though access to contents of cryptograhically secure sessions is not possible, network forensics of secure apps can provide interesting information which can be of great help during criminal invetigations. In this paper, we presented a novel framework of profiling the secure chat and voice/ video calling apps which can be employed to extract hidden patterns about the app, information of involved parties, activities of chatting, voice/ video calls, status indications and notifications while having no information of communication protocol of the app and its security architecture. Signatures of any secure app can be developed though our framework and can become base of a large scale solution. Our methodology is considered very important for different cases of criminal investigations and bussiness intelligence solutions for service provider networks. Our results are applicable to any mobile platform of iOS, android and windows.
Pandey, Ashutosh, Khan, Rijwan, Srivastava, Akhilesh Kumar.  2018.  Challenges in Automation of Test Cases for Mobile Payment Apps. 2018 4th International Conference on Computational Intelligence Communication Technology (CICT). :1–4.
Software Engineering is a field of new challenges every day. With every passing day, new technologies emerge. There was an era of web Applications, but the time has changed and most of the web Applications are available as Mobile Applications as well. The Mobile Applications are either android based or iOS based. To deliver error free, secure and reliable Application, it is necessary to test the Applications properly. Software testing is a phase of software development life cycle, where we test an Application in all aspects. Nowadays different type of tools are available for testing an Application automatically but still we have too many challenges for applying test cases on a given Application. In this paper the authors will discuss the challenges of automation of test cases for a Mobile based payment Application.
Galuppo, Raúl Ignacio, Luna, Carlos, Betarte, Gustavo.  2018.  Security in iOS and Android: A Comparative Analysis. 2018 37th International Conference of the Chilean Computer Science Society (SCCC). :1–8.
This paper presents a detailed analysis of some relevant security features of iOS and Android -the two most popular operating systems for mobile devices- from the perspective of user privacy. In particular, permissions that can be modified at run time on these platforms are analyzed. Additionally, a framework is introduced for permission analysis, a hybrid mobile application that can run on both iOS and Android. The framework, which can be extended, places special emphasis on the relationship between the user's privacy and the permission system.
Dar, Muneer Ahmad, Nisar Bukhari, Syed, Khan, Ummer Iqbal.  2018.  Evaluation of Security and Privacy of Smartphone Users. 2018 Fourth International Conference on Advances in Electrical, Electronics, Information, Communication and Bio-Informatics (AEEICB). :1–4.
The growing use of smart phones has also given opportunity to the intruders to create malicious apps thereby the security and privacy concerns of a novice user has also grown. This research focuses on the privacy concerns of a user who unknowingly installs a malicious apps created by the programmer. In this paper we created an attack scenario and created an app capable of compromising the privacy of the users. After accepting all the permissions by the user while installing the app, the app allows us to track the live location of the Android device and continuously sends the GPS coordinates to the server. This spying app is also capable of sending the call log details of the user. This paper evaluates two leading smart phone operating systems- Android and IOS to find out the flexibility provided by the two operating systems to their programmers to create the malicious apps.
2020-06-03
Cedillo, Priscila, Camacho, Jessica, Campos, Karina, Bermeo, Alexandra.  2019.  A Forensics Activity Logger to Extract User Activity from Mobile Devices. 2019 Sixth International Conference on eDemocracy eGovernment (ICEDEG). :286—290.

Nowadays, mobile devices have become one of the most popular instruments used by a person on its regular life, mainly due to the importance of their applications. In that context, mobile devices store user's personal information and even more data, becoming a personal tracker for daily activities that provides important information about the user. Derived from this gathering of information, many tools are available to use on mobile devices, with the restrain that each tool only provides isolated information about a specific application or activity. Therefore, the present work proposes a tool that allows investigators to obtain a complete report and timeline of the activities that were performed on the device. This report incorporates the information provided by many sources into a unique set of data. Also, by means of an example, it is presented the operation of the solution, which shows the feasibility in the use of this tool and shows the way in which investigators have to apply the tool.

2020-06-01
Utomo, Subroto Budhi, Hendradjaya, Bayu.  2018.  Multifactor Authentication on Mobile Secure Attendance System. 2018 International Conference on ICT for Smart Society (ICISS). :1–5.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trends allows employees to use the smartphone as a tool in everyday work and also as an attendance device. The security of employee attendance system is important to ensure that employees do not commit fraud in recording attendance and when monitoring activities at working hours. In this paper, we propose a combination of fingerprint, secure android ID, and GPS as authentication factors, also addition of anti emulator and anti fake location module turn Mobile Attendance System into Mobile Secure Attendance System. Testing based on scenarios that have been adapted to various possible frauds is done to prove whether the system can minimize the occurrence of fraud in attendance recording and monitoring of employee activities.
2020-04-17
Mohsen, Fadi, Jafaarian, Haadi.  2019.  Raising the Bar Really High: An MTD Approach to Protect Data in Embedded Browsers. 2019 IEEE 43rd Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC). 1:786—794.
The safety of web browsers is essential to the privacy of Internet users and the security of their computing systems. In the last few years, there have been several cyber attacks geared towards compromising surfers' data and systems via exploiting browser-based vulnerabilities. Android and a number of mobile operating systems have been supporting a UI component called WebView, which can be embedded in any mobile application to render the web contents. Yet, this mini-browser component has been found to be vulnerable to various kinds of attacks. For instance, an attacker in her WebView-Embedded app can inject malicious JavaScripts into the WebView to modify the web contents or to steal user's input values. This kind of attack is particularly challenging due to the full control of attackers over the content of the loaded pages. In this paper, we are proposing and testing a server-side moving target defense technique to counter the risk of JavaScript injection attacks on mobile WebViews. The solution entails creating redundant HTML forms, randomizing their attributes and values, and asserting stealthy prompts for the user data. The solution does not dictate any changes to the browser or applications codes, neither it requires key sharing with benign clients. The results of our performance and security analysis suggest that our proposed approach protects the confidentiality and integrity of user input values with minimum overhead.
2020-03-23
Rustgi, Pulkit, Fung, Carol.  2019.  Demo: DroidNet - An Android Permission Control Recommendation System Based on Crowdsourcing. 2019 IFIP/IEEE Symposium on Integrated Network and Service Management (IM). :737–738.
Mobile and web application security, particularly the areas of data privacy, has raised much concerns from the public in recent years. Most applications, or apps for short, are installed without disclosing full information to users and clearly stating what the application has access to, which often raises concern when users become aware of unnecessary information being collected. Unfortunately, most users have little to no technical expertise in regards to what permissions should be turned on and can only rely on their intuition and past experiences to make relatively uninformed decisions. To solve this problem, we developed DroidNet, which is a crowd-sourced Android recommendation tool and framework. DroidNet alleviates privacy concerns and presents users with high confidence permission control recommendations based on the decision from expert users who are using the same apps. This paper explains the general framework, principles, and model behind DroidNet while also providing an experimental setup design which shows the effectiveness and necessity for such a tool.
2020-02-17
Malik, Yasir, Campos, Carlos Renato Salim, Jaafar, Fehmi.  2019.  Detecting Android Security Vulnerabilities Using Machine Learning and System Calls Analysis. 2019 IEEE 19th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security Companion (QRS-C). :109–113.
Android operating systems have become a prime target for cyber attackers due to security vulnerabilities in the underlying operating system and application design. Recently, anomaly detection techniques are widely studied for security vulnerabilities detection and classification. However, the ability of the attackers to create new variants of existing malware using various masking techniques makes it harder to deploy these techniques effectively. In this research, we present a robust and effective vulnerabilities detection approach based on anomaly detection in a system calls of benign and malicious Android application. The anomaly in our study is type, frequency, and sequence of system calls that represent a vulnerability. Our system monitors the processes of benign and malicious application and detects security vulnerabilities based on the combination of parameters and metrics, i.e., type, frequency and sequence of system calls to classify the process behavior as benign or malign. The detection algorithm detects the anomaly based on the defined scoring function f and threshold ρ. The system refines the detection process by applying machine learning techniques to find a combination of system call metrics and explore the relationship between security bugs and the pattern of system calls detected. The experiment results show the detection rate of the proposed algorithm based on precision, recall, and f-score for different machine learning algorithms.
2020-02-10
Talukder, Md Arabin Islam, Shahriar, Hossain, Qian, Kai, Rahman, Mohammad, Ahamed, Sheikh, Wu, Fan, Agu, Emmanuel.  2019.  DroidPatrol: A Static Analysis Plugin For Secure Mobile Software Development. 2019 IEEE 43rd Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC). 1:565–569.

While the number of mobile applications are rapidly growing, these applications are often coming with numerous security flaws due to the lack of appropriate coding practices. Security issues must be addressed earlier in the development lifecycle rather than fixing them after the attacks because the damage might already be extensive. Early elimination of possible security vulnerabilities will help us increase the security of our software and mitigate or reduce the potential damages through data losses or service disruptions caused by malicious attacks. However, many software developers lack necessary security knowledge and skills required at the development stage, and Secure Mobile Software Development (SMSD) is not yet well represented in academia and industry. In this paper, we present a static analysis-based security analysis approach through design and implementation of a plugin for Android Development Studio, namely DroidPatrol. The proposed plugins can support developers by providing list of potential vulnerabilities early.

2020-01-27
Inayoshi, Hiroki, Kakei, Shohei, Takimoto, Eiji, Mouri, Koichi, Saito, Shoichi.  2019.  Prevention of Data Leakage due to Implicit Information Flows in Android Applications. 2019 14th Asia Joint Conference on Information Security (AsiaJCIS). :103–110.
Dynamic Taint Analysis (DTA) technique has been developed for analysis and understanding behavior of Android applications and privacy policy enforcement. Meanwhile, implicit information flows (IIFs) are major concern of security researchers because IIFs can evade DTA technique easily and give attackers an advantage over the researchers. Some researchers suggested approaches to the issue and developed analysis systems supporting privacy policy enforcement against IIF-accompanied attacks; however, there is still no effective technique of comprehensive analysis and privacy policy enforcement against IIF-accompanied attacks. In this paper, we propose an IIF detection technique to enforce privacy policy against IIF-accompanied attacks in Android applications. We developed a new analysis tool, called Smalien, that can discover data leakage caused by IIF-contained information flows as well as explicit information flows. We demonstrated practicability of Smalien by applying it to 16 IIF tricks from ScrubDroid and two IIF tricks from DroidBench. Smalien enforced privacy policy successfully against all the tricks except one trick because the trick loads code dynamically from a remote server at runtime, and Smalien cannot analyze any code outside of a target application. The results show that our approach can be a solution to the current attacker-superior situation.
Luo, Linghui, Bodden, Eric, Späth, Johannes.  2019.  A Qualitative Analysis of Android Taint-Analysis Results. 2019 34th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE). :102–114.
In the past, researchers have developed a number of popular taint-analysis approaches, particularly in the context of Android applications. Numerous studies have shown that automated code analyses are adopted by developers only if they yield a good "signal to noise ratio", i.e., high precision. Many previous studies have reported analysis precision quantitatively, but this gives little insight into what can and should be done to increase precision further. To guide future research on increasing precision, we present a comprehensive study that evaluates static Android taint-analysis results on a qualitative level. To unravel the exact nature of taint flows, we have designed COVA, an analysis tool to compute partial path constraints that inform about the circumstances under which taint flows may actually occur in practice. We have conducted a qualitative study on the taint flows reported by FlowDroid in 1,022 real-world Android applications. Our results reveal several key findings: Many taint flows occur only under specific conditions, e.g., environment settings, user interaction, I/O. Taint analyses should consider the application context to discern such situations. COVA shows that few taint flows are guarded by multiple different kinds of conditions simultaneously, so tools that seek to confirm true positives dynamically can concentrate on one kind at a time, e.g., only simulating user interactions. Lastly, many false positives arise due to a too liberal source/sink configuration. Taint analyses must be more carefully configured, and their configuration could benefit from better tool assistance.
2019-11-26
Pulungan, Farid Fajriana, Sudiharto, Dodi Wisaksono, Brotoharsono, Tri.  2018.  Easy Secure Login Implementation Using Pattern Locking and Environmental Context Recognition. 2018 International Conference on Applied Engineering (ICAE). :1-6.

Smartphone has become the tool which is used daily in modern human life. Some activities in human life, according to the usage of the smartphone can be related to the information which has a high privilege and needs a privacy. It causes the owners of the smartphone needs a system which can protect their privacy. Unfortunately, the secure the system, the unease of the usage. Hence, the system which has an invulnerable environment but also gives the ease of use is very needful. The aspect which is related to the ease of use is an authentication mechanism. Sometimes, this aspect correspondence to the effectiveness and the efficiency. This study is going to analyze the application related to this aspect which is a lock screen application. This lock screen application uses the context data based on the environment condition around the user. The context data used are GPS location and Mac Address of Wi-Fi. The system is going to detect the context and is going to determine if the smartphone needs to run the authentication mechanism or to bypass it based on the analysis of the context data. Hopefully, the smartphone application which is developed still can provide mobility and usability features, and also can protect the user privacy even though it is located in the environment which its context data is unknown.

2019-09-04
Paiker, N., Ding, X., Curtmola, R., Borcea, C..  2018.  Context-Aware File Discovery System for Distributed Mobile-Cloud Apps. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom). :198–203.
Recent research has proposed middleware to enable efficient distributed apps over mobile-cloud platforms. This paper presents a Context-Aware File Discovery Service (CAFDS) that allows distributed mobile-cloud applications to find and access files of interest shared by collaborating users. CAFDS enables programmers to search for files defined by context and content features, such as location, creation time, or the presence of certain object types within an image file. CAFDS provides low-latency through a cloud-based metadata server, which uses a decision tree to locate the nearest files that satisfy the context and content features requested by applications. We implemented CAFDS in Android and Linux. Experimental results show CAFDS achieves substantially lower latency than peer-to-peer solutions that cannot leverage context information.
2019-06-10
Jain, D., Khemani, S., Prasad, G..  2018.  Identification of Distributed Malware. 2018 IEEE 3rd International Conference on Communication and Information Systems (ICCIS). :242-246.

Smartphones have evolved over the years from simple devices to communicate with each other to fully functional portable computers although with comparatively less computational power but inholding multiple applications within. With the smartphone revolution, the value of personal data has increased. As technological complexities increase, so do the vulnerabilities in the system. Smartphones are the latest target for attacks. Android being an open source platform and also the most widely used smartphone OS draws the attention of many malware writers to exploit the vulnerabilities of it. Attackers try to take advantage of these vulnerabilities and fool the user and misuse their data. Malwares have come a long way from simple worms to sophisticated DDOS using Botnets, the latest trends in computer malware tend to go in the distributed direction, to evade the multiple anti-virus apps developed to counter generic viruses and Trojans. However, the recent trend in android system is to have a combination of applications which acts as malware. The applications are benign individually but when grouped, these may result into a malicious activity. This paper proposes a new category of distributed malware in android system, how it can be used to evade the current security, and how it can be detected with the help of graph matching algorithm.

Karbab, ElMouatez Billah, Debbabi, Mourad.  2018.  ToGather: Automatic Investigation of Android Malware Cyber-Infrastructures. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security. :20:1-20:10.

The popularity of Android, not only in handsets but also in IoT devices, makes it a very attractive target for malware threats, which are actually expanding at a significant rate. The state-of-the-art in malware mitigation solutions mainly focuses on the detection of malicious Android apps using dynamic and static analysis features to segregate malicious apps from benign ones. Nevertheless, there is a small coverage for the Internet/network dimension of Android malicious apps. In this paper, we present ToGather, an automatic investigation framework that takes Android malware samples as input and produces insights about the underlying malicious cyber infrastructures. ToGather leverages state-of-the-art graph theory techniques to generate actionable, relevant and granular intelligence to mitigate the threat effects induced by the malicious Internet activity of Android malware apps. We evaluate ToGather on a large dataset of real malware samples from various Android families, and the obtained results are both interesting and promising.

2019-02-22
Bakour, K., Ünver, H. M., Ghanem, R..  2018.  The Android Malware Static Analysis: Techniques, Limitations, and Open Challenges. 2018 3rd International Conference on Computer Science and Engineering (UBMK). :586-593.

This paper aims to explain static analysis techniques in detail, and to highlight the weaknesses and challenges which face it. To this end, more than 80 static analysis-based framework have been studied, and in their light, the process of detecting malicious applications has been divided into four phases that were explained in a schematic manner. Also, the features that is used in static analysis were discussed in detail by dividing it into four categories namely, Manifest-based features, code-based features, semantic features and app's metadata-based features. Also, the challenges facing methods based on static analysis were discussed in detail. Finally, a case study was conducted to test the strength of some known commercial antivirus and one of the stat-of-art academic static analysis frameworks against obfuscation techniques used by developers of malicious applications. The results showed a significant impact on the performance of the most tested antiviruses and frameworks, which is reflecting the urgent need for more accurately tools.

2019-02-14
Xu, Z., Shi, C., Cheng, C. C., Gong, N. Z., Guan, Y..  2018.  A Dynamic Taint Analysis Tool for Android App Forensics. 2018 IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops (SPW). :160-169.

The plethora of mobile apps introduce critical challenges to digital forensics practitioners, due to the diversity and the large number (millions) of mobile apps available to download from Google play, Apple store, as well as hundreds of other online app stores. Law enforcement investigators often find themselves in a situation that on the seized mobile phone devices, there are many popular and less-popular apps with interface of different languages and functionalities. Investigators would not be able to have sufficient expert-knowledge about every single app, sometimes nor even a very basic understanding about what possible evidentiary data could be discoverable from these mobile devices being investigated. Existing literature in digital forensic field showed that most such investigations still rely on the investigator's manual analysis using mobile forensic toolkits like Cellebrite and Encase. The problem with such manual approaches is that there is no guarantee on the completeness of such evidence discovery. Our goal is to develop an automated mobile app analysis tool to analyze an app and discover what types of and where forensic evidentiary data that app generate and store locally on the mobile device or remotely on external 3rd-party server(s). With the app analysis tool, we will build a database of mobile apps, and for each app, we will create a list of app-generated evidence in terms of data types, locations (and/or sequence of locations) and data format/syntax. The outcome from this research will help digital forensic practitioners to reduce the complexity of their case investigations and provide a better completeness guarantee of evidence discovery, thereby deliver timely and more complete investigative results, and eventually reduce backlogs at crime labs. In this paper, we will present the main technical approaches for us to implement a dynamic Taint analysis tool for Android apps forensics. With the tool, we have analyzed 2,100 real-world Android apps. For each app, our tool produces the list of evidentiary data (e.g., GPS locations, device ID, contacts, browsing history, and some user inputs) that the app could have collected and stored on the devices' local storage in the forms of file or SQLite database. We have evaluated our tool using both benchmark apps and real-world apps. Our results demonstrated that the initial success of our tool in accurately discovering the evidentiary data.

Jenkins, J., Cai, H..  2018.  Leveraging Historical Versions of Android Apps for Efficient and Precise Taint Analysis. 2018 IEEE/ACM 15th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR). :265-269.

Today, computing on various Android devices is pervasive. However, growing security vulnerabilities and attacks in the Android ecosystem constitute various threats through user apps. Taint analysis is a common technique for defending against these threats, yet it suffers from challenges in attaining practical simultaneous scalability and effectiveness. This paper presents a novel approach to fast and precise taint checking, called incremental taint analysis, by exploiting the evolving nature of Android apps. The analysis narrows down the search space of taint checking from an entire app, as conventionally addressed, to the parts of the program that are different from its previous versions. This technique improves the overall efficiency of checking multiple versions of the app as it evolves. We have implemented the techniques as a tool prototype, EVOTAINT, and evaluated our analysis by applying it to real-world evolving Android apps. Our preliminary results show that the incremental approach largely reduced the cost of taint analysis, by 78.6% on average, yet without sacrificing the analysis effectiveness, relative to a representative precise taint analysis as the baseline.

2019-02-08
Aafer, Yousra, Tao, Guanhong, Huang, Jianjun, Zhang, Xiangyu, Li, Ninghui.  2018.  Precise Android API Protection Mapping Derivation and Reasoning. Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :1151-1164.

The Android research community has long focused on building an Android API permission specification, which can be leveraged by app developers to determine the optimum set of permissions necessary for a correct and safe execution of their app. However, while prominent existing efforts provide a good approximation of the permission specification, they suffer from a few shortcomings. Dynamic approaches cannot generate complete results, although accurate for the particular execution. In contrast, static approaches provide better coverage, but produce imprecise mappings due to their lack of path-sensitivity. In fact, in light of Android's access control complexity, the approximations hardly abstract the actual co-relations between enforced protections. To address this, we propose to precisely derive Android protection specification in a path-sensitive fashion, using a novel graph abstraction technique. We further showcase how we can apply the generated maps to tackle security issues through logical satisfiability reasoning. Our constructed maps for 4 Android Open Source Project (AOSP) images highlight the significance of our approach, as \textasciitilde41% of APIs' protections cannot be correctly modeled without our technique.

2019-01-31
Zhang, H., Chen, L., Liu, Q..  2018.  Digital Forensic Analysis of Instant Messaging Applications on Android Smartphones. 2018 International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC). :647–651.

In this paper, we discuss the digital forensic procedure and techniques for analyzing the local artifacts from four popular Instant Messaging applications in Android. As part of our findings, the user chat messages details and contacts were investigated for each application. By using two smartphones with different brands and the latest Android operating systems as experimental objects, we conducted digital investigations in a forensically sound manner. We summarize our findings regarding the different Instant Messaging chat modes and the corresponding encryption status of artifacts for each of the four applications. Our findings can be helpful to many mobile forensic investigations. Additionally, these findings may present values to Android system developers, Android mobile app developers, mobile security researchers as well as mobile users.

Kumbhar, S. S., Lee, Y., Yang, J..  2018.  Hybrid Encryption for Securing SharedPreferences of Android Applications. 2018 1st International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security (ICDIS). :246–249.

Most mobile applications generate local data on internal memory with SharedPreference interface of an Android operating system. Therefore, many possible loopholes can access the confidential information such as passwords. We propose a hybrid encryption approach for SharedPreferences to protect the leaking confidential information through the source code. We develop an Android application and store some data using SharedPreference. We produce different experiments with which this data could be accessed. We apply Hybrid encryption approach combining encryption approach with Android Keystore system, for providing better encryption algorithm to hide sensitive data.

Muslukhov, Ildar, Boshmaf, Yazan, Beznosov, Konstantin.  2018.  Source Attribution of Cryptographic API Misuse in Android Applications. Proceedings of the 2018 on Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :133–146.

Recent research suggests that 88% of Android applications that use Java cryptographic APIs make at least one mistake, which results in an insecure implementation. It is unclear, however, if these mistakes originate from code written by application or third-party library developers. Understanding the responsible party for a misuse case is important for vulnerability disclosure. In this paper, we bridge this knowledge gap and introduce source attribution to the analysis of cryptographic API misuse. We developed BinSight, a static program analyzer that supports source attribution, and we analyzed 132K Android applications collected in years 2012, 2015, and 2016. Our results suggest that third-party libraries are the main source of cryptographic API misuse. In particular, 90% of the violating applications, which contain at least one call-site to Java cryptographic API, originate from libraries. When compared to 2012, we found the use of ECB mode for symmetric ciphers has significantly decreased in 2016, for both application and third-party library code. Unlike application code, however, third-party libraries have significantly increased their reliance on static encryption keys for symmetric ciphers and static IVs for CBC mode ciphers. Finally, we found that the insecure RC4 and DES ciphers were the second and the third most used ciphers in 2016.

Razaghpanah, Abbas, Niaki, Arian Akhavan, Vallina-Rodriguez, Narseo, Sundaresan, Srikanth, Amann, Johanna, Gill, Philippa.  2018.  Studying TLS Usage in Android Apps. Proceedings of the Applied Networking Research Workshop. :5–5.

First standardized by the IETF in the 1990's, SSL/TLS is the most widely-used encryption protocol on the Internet. This makes it imperative to study its usage across different platforms and applications to ensure proper usage and robustness against attacks and vulnerabilities. While previous efforts have focused on the usage of TLS in the desktop ecosystem, there have been no studies of TLS usage by mobile apps at scale. In our study, we use anonymized data collected by the Lumen mobile measurement app to analyze TLS usage by Android apps in the wild. We analyze and fingerprint handshake messages to characterize the TLS APIs and libraries that apps use, and evaluate their weaknesses. We find that 84% of apps use the default TLS libraries provided by the operating system, and the remaining apps use other TLS libraries for various reasons such as using TLS extensions and features that are not supported by the Android TLS libraries, some of which are also not standardized by the IETF. Our analysis reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, demonstrating that the path to improving TLS security in the mobile platform is not straightforward. Based on work published at: Abbas Razaghpanah, Arian Akhavan Niaki, Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, Srikanth Sundaresan, Johanna Amann, and Phillipa Gill. 2017. Studying TLS Usage in Android Apps. In Proceedings of CoNEXT '17. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 13 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3143361.3143400