FlexDroid: Enforcing In-App Privilege Separation in Android

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Mobile applications are increasingly integrating third-party libraries to provide various features, such as advertising, analytics, social networking, and more. Unfortunately, such integration with third-party libraries comes with the cost of potential privacy violations of users, because Android always grants a full set of permissions to third-party libraries as their host applications. Unintended accesses to users’ private data are underestimated threats to users’ privacy, as complex and often obfuscated third-party libraries make it hard for application developers to estimate the correct behaviors of thirdparty libraries. More critically, a wide adoption of native code (JNI) and dynamic code executions such as Java reflection or dynamic code reloading, makes it even harder to apply state-ofthe-art security analysis. In this work, we propose FLEXDROID, a new Android security model and isolation mechanism, that provides dynamic, fine-grained access control for third-party libraries. With FLEXDROID, application developers not only can gain a full control of third-party libraries (e.g., which permissions to grant or not), but also can specify how to make them behave after detecting a privacy violation (e.g., providing a mock user’s information or kill). To achieve such goals, we define a new notion of principals for third-party libraries, and develop a novel security mechanism, called inter-process stack inspection that is effective to JNI as well as dynamic code execution. Our usability study shows that developers can easily adopt FLEXDROID’s policy to their existing applications. Finally, our evaluation shows that FLEXDROID can effectively restrict the permissions of third-party libraries with negligible overheads
Internet Society
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Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS)

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CS-Conference Papers(학술회의논문)
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