Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Software analyzes apps for malicious behavior

Date:
March 7, 2014
Source:
University Saarland
Summary:
Apps on web-enabled mobile devices can be used to spy on their users. Computer scientists have developed software that shows whether an app has accessed private data. To accomplish this, the program examines the “bytecode” of the app in question.

Apps on web-enabled mobile devices can be used to spy on their users. Computer scientists at the Center for Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA) developed software that shows whether an app has accessed private data. To accomplish this, the program examines the "bytecode" of the app in question. The researchers show their program at the upcoming computer expo Cebit in Hannover.

Last year at the end of July the Russian software company "Doctor Web" detected several malicious apps in the app store "Google Play." Downloaded on a smartphone, the malware installed -- without the permission of the user -- additional programs which sent expensive text messages to premium services. Although Doctor Web, according to its own statement, informed Google immediately, the malicious apps were still available for download for several days. Doctor Web estimates that in this way up to 25,000 smartphones were used fraudulently.

Computer scientists from the German Saarland University have now developed software which can discover such malicious apps already in the app store. The software detects pieces of code where the app accesses sensitive data and where data is sent from the mobile device. If the software detects a connection between such a "source" and such a "sink," it reports that as suspect behavior. To give an example of such a malicious source-sink combination, Erik Derr explains: "Your address book is read; hundreds of instructions later and without your permission an SMS is sent or a website is visited." Derr is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Computer Science and does research at the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA), only a few yards away.

To identify a functional relation between source and sink, the computer scientists from Saarbrόcken use new methods of information flow analysis. As input they provide suspicious combinations of accesses on the application programming interface. As the software needs a lot of computational power and storage, it runs on a separate server. "So far we have tested up to 3000 apps with it. The software analyzes them fast enough that the approach can also be used in practice," Derr says.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University Saarland. "Software analyzes apps for malicious behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307084013.htm>.
University Saarland. (2014, March 7). Software analyzes apps for malicious behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307084013.htm
University Saarland. "Software analyzes apps for malicious behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307084013.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Plans To Speed Up Web Pages With New Image Format

Google Plans To Speed Up Web Pages With New Image Format

Newsy (July 21, 2014) — Google is using compressed images in WebP format to help boost page loading times. The files are 25-to-34 percent smaller than PNGs and JPEGs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguayan Creates Chess Game for Multiple Opponents

Uruguayan Creates Chess Game for Multiple Opponents

AFP (July 19, 2014) — It no longer takes two to play chess – or at least according to a new version of the game invented by Uruguayan Gabriel Baldi, where up to four opponents can play. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) — The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Won't Call Games With In-App Add-Ons Free, Apple Will

Google Won't Call Games With In-App Add-Ons Free, Apple Will

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — The European Commission asked Google and Apple not to label apps "free" if they include in-app purchases. Google has complied; Apple has resisted. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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