Taming Information-Stealing Smartphone Applications (on Android)

  • Yajin Zhou
  • Xinwen Zhang
  • Xuxian Jiang
  • Vincent W. Freeh
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6740)


Smartphones have been becoming ubiquitous and mobile users are increasingly relying on them to store and handle personal information. However, recent studies also reveal the disturbing fact that users’ personal information is put at risk by (rogue) smartphone applications. Existing solutions exhibit limitations in their capabilities in taming these privacy-violating smartphone applications. In this paper, we argue for the need of a new privacy mode in smartphones. The privacy mode can empower users to flexibly control in a fine-grained manner what kinds of personal information will be accessible to an application. Also, the granted access can be dynamically adjusted at runtime in a fine-grained manner to better suit a user’s needs in various scenarios (e.g., in a different time or location). We have developed a system called TISSA that implements such a privacy mode on Android. The evaluation with more than a dozen of information-leaking Android applications demonstrates its effectiveness and practicality. Furthermore, our evaluation shows that TISSA introduces negligible performance overhead.


smartphone applications Android privacy mode 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yajin Zhou
    • 1
  • Xinwen Zhang
    • 2
  • Xuxian Jiang
    • 1
  • Vincent W. Freeh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceNC State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Huawei America Research CenterCanada

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