File(s) under permanent embargo
Taming transitive permission attack via bytecode rewriting on Android application
journal contributionposted on 2016-09-10, 00:00 authored by D Wang, H Jin, D Zou, P Xu, Tianqing Zhu, G Chen
Google Android is popular for mobile devices in recent years. The openness and popularity of Android make it a primary target for malware. Even though Android's security mechanisms could defend most malware, its permission model is vulnerable to transitive permission attack, a type of privilege escalation attacks. Many approaches have been proposed to detect this attack by modifying the Android OS. However, the Android's fragmentation problem and requiring rooting Android device hinder those approaches large-scale adoption. In this paper, we present an instrumentation framework, called SEAPP, for Android applications (or “apps”) to detect the transitive permission attack on unmodified Android. SEAPP automatically rewrites an app without requiring its source codes and produces a security-harden app. At runtime, call-chains are built among these apps and detection process is executed before a privileged API is invoked. Our experimental results show that SEAPP could work on a large number of benign apps from the official Android market and malicious apps, with a repackaged success rate of over 99.8%. We also show that our framework effectively tracks call-chains among apps and detects known transitive permission attack with low overhead. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.