Formal Modeling and Reasoning about the Android Security Framework

  • Alessandro Armando
  • Gabriele Costa
  • Alessio Merlo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8191)

Abstract

Android OS is currently the most widespread mobile operating system and is very likely to remain so in the near future. The number of available Android applications will soon reach the staggering figure of 500,000, with an average of 20,000 applications being introduced in the Android Market over the last 6 months. Since many applications (e.g., home banking applications) deal with sensitive data, the security of Android is receiving a growing attention by the research community. However, most of the work assumes that Android meets some given high-level security goals (e.g. sandboxing of applications). Checking whether these security goals are met is therefore of paramount importance. Unfortunately this is also a very difficult task due to the lack of a detailed security model encompassing not only the interaction among applications but also the interplay between the applications and the functionalities offered by Android. To remedy this situation in this paper we propose a formal model of Android OS that allows one to formally state the high-level security goals as well as to check whether these goals are met or to identify potential security weaknesses.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Abadi, M., Fournet, C.: Access control based on execution history. In: Proceedings of the 10th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, pp. 107–121 (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Armando, A., Merlo, A., Migliardi, M., Verderame, L.: Would you mind forking this process? A denial of service attack on Android (and some countermeasures). In: Gritzalis, D., Furnell, S., Theoharidou, M. (eds.) SEC 2012. IFIP AICT, vol. 376, pp. 13–24. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bartoletti, M., Costa, G., Degano, P., Martinelli, F., Zunino, R.: Securing Java with Local Policies. Journal of Object Technology 8(4), 5–32 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bartoletti, M., Degano, P., Ferrari, G.L.: Planning and verifying service composition. Journal of Computer Security (JCS) 17(5), 799–837 (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bartoletti, M., Degano, P., Ferrari, G.L., Zunino, R.: Types and effects for resource usage analysis. In: Seidl, H. (ed.) FOSSACS 2007. LNCS, vol. 4423, pp. 32–47. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bartoletti, M., Degano, P., Ferrari, G.-L., Zunino, R.: Local policies for resource usage analysis. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 31(6), 1–43 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bierman, G.M., Parkinson, M.J., Pitts, A.M.: MJ: An imperative core calculus for Java and Java with effects. Technical report, University of Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bugiel, S., Davi, L., Dmitrienko, A., Fischer, T., Sadeghi, A.-R.: Xmandroid: A new android evolution to mitigate privilege escalation attacks. Technical Report TR-2011-04, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (April 2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Burguera, I., Zurutuza, U., Nadjm-Therani, S.: Crowdroid: behavior-based malware detection system for android. In: Proceedings of the 1st ACM Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Devices, SPSM 2011 (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chaudhuri, A.: Language-based security on Android. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN Fourth Workshop on Programming Languages and Analysis for Security, PLAS 2009, pp. 1–7. ACM, New York (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chin, E., Felt, A.P., Greenwood, K., Wagner, D.: Analyzing inter-application communication in Android. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2011, pp. 239–252. ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Android Developers. Security and permissions, http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/security/security.html
  13. 13.
    Felt, A.P., Chin, E., Hanna, S., Song, D., Wagner, D.: Android permissions demystified. In: Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2011, pp. 627–638 (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fuchs, A.P., Chaudhuri, A., Foster, J.S.: Scandroid: Automated security certification of android applicationsGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Igarashi, A., Pierce, B.C., Wadler, P.: Featherweight Java: A Minimal Core Calculus for Java and GJ. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, 132–146 (1999)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Luo, T., Hao, H., Du, W., Wang, Y., Yin, H.: Attacks on webview in the android system. In: Proceedings of the 27th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2011, pp. 343–352. ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nauman, M., Khan, S., Zhang, X.: Apex: extending android permission model and enforcement with user-defined runtime constraints. In: Proceedings of the 5th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security, ASIACCS 2010, pp. 328–332. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ongtang, M., Mclaughlin, S., Enck, W., Mcdaniel, P.: Semantically rich application-centric security in android. In: ACSAC 2009: Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (2009)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schlegel, R., Zhang, K., Zhou, X., Intwala, M., Kapadia, A., Wang, X.: Soundcomber: A Stealthy and Context-Aware Sound Trojan for Smartphones. In: Proceedings of the 18th Annual Network & Distributed System Security Symposium (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shabtai, A., Fledel, Y., Kanonov, U., Elovici, Y., Dolev, S., Glezer, C.: Google android: A comprehensive security assessment. IEEE Security Privacy 8(2), 35–44 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Shin, W., Kiyomoto, S., Fukushima, K., Tanaka, T.: A Formal Model to Analyze the Permission Authorization and Enforcement in the Android Framework. In: Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE Second International Conference on Social Computing, SOCIALCOM 2010, pp. 944–951. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Skalka, C., Smith, S.: History effects and verification. In: Chin, W.-N. (ed.) APLAS 2004. LNCS, vol. 3302, pp. 107–128. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhou, W., Zhou, Y., Jiang, X., Ning, P.: Detecting repackaged smartphone applications in third-party android marketplaces. In: Proceedings of the Second ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy, CODASPY 2012, pp. 317–326. ACM, New York (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhou, Y., Zhang, X., Jiang, X., Freeh, V.W.: Taming information-stealing smartphone applications (on android). In: McCune, J.M., Balacheff, B., Perrig, A., Sadeghi, A.-R., Sasse, A., Beres, Y. (eds.) TRUST 2011. LNCS, vol. 6740, pp. 93–107. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Armando
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gabriele Costa
    • 2
  • Alessio Merlo
    • 3
  1. 1.Fondazione Bruno KesslerItaly
  2. 2.Università degli Studi di GenovaItaly
  3. 3.Università E-CampusItaly

Personalised recommendations