Chapter

Computer Security – ESORICS 2012

Volume 7459 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 1-18

Modeling and Enhancing Android’s Permission System

  • Elli FragkakiAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University
  • , Lujo BauerAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University
  • , Limin JiaAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University
  • , David SwaseyAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University

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Abstract

Several works have recently shown that Android’s security architecture cannot prevent many undesired behaviors that compromise the integrity of applications and the privacy of their data. This paper makes two main contributions to the body of research on Android security: first, it develops a formal framework for analyzing Android-style security mechanisms; and, second, it describes the design and implementation of Sorbet, an enforcement system that enables developers to use permissions to specify secrecy and integrity policies. Our formal framework is composed of an abstract model with several specific instantiations. The model enables us to formally define some desired security properties, which we can prove hold on Sorbet but not on Android. We implement Sorbet on top of Android 2.3.7, test it on a Nexus S phone, and demonstrate its usefulness through a case study.