Nadimpalli, Srinath (2015-05). Universal Skeptic Binder-Droid - Towards Arresting Malicious Communication of Colluding Apps in Android. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Since its first release, Android has been increasingly adopted by people and companies worldwide. It is currently estimated that around 1.1 billion Android devices are in use. Even though Android was built with Security principles and comes with a sound security model, it is a favorite target for malware authors. McAfee observed a 76% year on year growth in Android malware during the year 2014 alone. Thus malware is a predominant threat in Android ecosystem. A common attack vector for Android malware is the use of colluding apps. Colluding apps involve two or more applications and operate in two phases. In Phase 1, one application steals private sensitive data of the user In Phase 2, the same application sends the data to another application via covert communication channels. There are several covert channels in Android frameworks. Until now, several solutions in the literature have focused on preventing the extraction of sensitive data from the phone. We, to the best of our knowledge, are the first to stop the flow of sensitive info via the covert channels. We propose, Universal Skeptic Binder-Droid, an enhanced Binder module which enforces policies regarding the use of communication channels and prevents apps from colluding. With our proposed system, we have the added advantage of dynamically configuring policies at run time. Our initial implementation and results on our test bed reflect on the effectiveness and the ease of use of such a system.

publication date

  • May 2015