Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Privacy mode helps secure Android smartphones

Date:
April 13, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed software that helps Android smartphone users prevent their personal information from being stolen by hackers.

The new security tool works by creating a privacy setting manager that allows users to customize the level of information each smartphone application can access.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed software that helps Android smartphone users prevent their personal information from being stolen by hackers.

Related Articles


"There are a lot of concerns about potential leaks of personal information from smartphones," says Dr. Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. "We have developed software that creates a privacy mode for Android systems, giving users flexible control over what personal information is available to various applications." The privacy software is called Taming Information-Stealing Smartphone Applications (TISSA).

TISSA works by creating a privacy setting manager that allows users to customize the level of information each smartphone application can access. Those settings can be adjusted any time that the relevant applications are being run -- not just when the applications are installed.

The TISSA prototype includes four possible privacy settings for each application. These settings are Trusted, Anonymized, Bogus and Empty. If an application is listed as Trusted, TISSA does not impose additional information access restrictions. If the user selects Anonymized, TISSA provides the application with generalized information that allows the application to run, without providing access to detailed personal information. The Bogus setting provides an application with fake results when it requests personal information. The Empty setting responds to information requests by saying the relevant information does not exist or is unavailable.

Jiang says TISSA could be easily modified to incorporate additional settings that would allow more fine-grained control of access to personal information. "These settings may be further specialized for different types of information, such as your contact list or your location," Jiang says. "The settings can also be specialized for different applications."

For example, a user may install a weather application that requires location data in order to provide the user with the local weather forecast. Rather than telling the application exactly where the user is, TISSA could be programmed to give the application generalized location data -- such as a random location within a 10-mile radius of the user. This would allow the weather application to provide the local weather forecast information, but would ensure that the application couldn't be used to track the user's movements.

The researchers are currently exploring how to make this software available to Android users. "The software modification is relatively minor," Jiang says, "and could be incorporated through an over-the-air update."

The paper, "Taming Information-Stealing Smartphone Applications (on Android)," was co-authored by Jiang; Yajin Zhou, a Ph.D. student at NC State; Dr. Vincent Freeh, an associate professor of computer science at NC State; and Dr. Xinwen Zhang of Huawei America Research Center. The paper will be presented in June at the 4th International Conference on Trust and Trustworthy Computing, in Pittsburgh, Pa. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and NC State's Secure Open Systems Initiative, which receives funding from the U.S. Army Research Office.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Privacy mode helps secure Android smartphones." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110413093223.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, April 13). Privacy mode helps secure Android smartphones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110413093223.htm
North Carolina State University. "Privacy mode helps secure Android smartphones." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110413093223.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Keep Your Android Device Safe This Holiday Season

How to Keep Your Android Device Safe This Holiday Season

Howdini (Nov. 24, 2014) Protect yourself against malware and hackers, especially during the hectic online shopping season. Mobile device security makes a great holiday gift and protects your loved ones from cyber attacks and identity theft. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Keep You and Your Family's Identitiy Safe Online This Holiday Season

How to Keep You and Your Family's Identitiy Safe Online This Holiday Season

Howdini (Nov. 24, 2014) The hectic holiday season is a prime time for online identity theft, so make sure you’re protected.Be cautious when shopping online Internet security software makes a great holiday gift and protects your loved ones from cyber attacks and identity theft. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins