Detection of App Collusion Potential Using Logic Programming

Jorge Blasco, Thomas M. Chen, Igor Muttik, Markus Roggenbach

Android is designed with a number of built-in security features such as app sandboxing and permission-based access controls. Android supports multiple communication methods for apps to cooperate. This creates a security risk of app collusion. For instance, a sandboxed app with permission to access sensitive data might leak that data to another sandboxed app with access to the internet. In this paper, we present a method to detect potential collusion between apps. First, we extract from apps all information about their accesses to protected resources and communications. Then we identify sets of apps that might be colluding by using rules in first order logic codified in Prolog. After these, more computationally demanding approaches like taint analysis can focus on the identified sets that show collusion potential. This "filtering" approach is validated against a dataset of manually crafted colluding apps. We also demonstrate that our tool scales by running it on a set of more than 50,000 apps collected in the wild. Our tool allowed us to detect a large set of real apps that used collusion as a synchronization method to maximize the effects of a payload that was injected into all of them via the same SDK.

Knowledge Graph

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