On Root Detection Strategies for Android Devices

Raphael Bialon

The Android operating system runs on the majority of smartphones nowadays. Its success is driven by its availability to a variety of smartphone hardware vendors on the one hand, and the customization possibilities given to its users on the other hand. While other big smartphone operating systems restrict user configuration to a given set of functionality, Android users can leverage the whole potential of their devices. This high degree of customization enabled by a process called rooting, where the users escalate their privileges to those of the operating system, introduces security, data integrity and privacy concerns. Several rooting detection mechanisms for Android devices already exist, aimed at different levels of detection. This paper introduces further strategies derived from the Linux ecosystem and outlines their usage on the Android platform. In addition, we present a novel remote rooting detection approach aimed at trust and integrity checks between devices in wireless networks.

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