A SEALANT for Inter-App Security Holes in Android


Android's communication model has a major security weakness: malicious apps can manipulate other apps into performing unintended operations and can steal end-user data, while appearing ordinary and harmless. This paper presents SEALANT, a technique that combines static analysis of app code, which infers vulnerable communication channels, with runtime monitoring of inter-app communication through those channels, which helps to prevent attacks. SEALANT's extensive evaluation demonstrates that (1) it detects and blocks inter-app attacks with high accuracy in a corpus of over 1,100 real-world apps, (2) it suffers from fewer false alarms than existing techniques in several representative scenarios, (3) its performance overhead is negligible, and (4) end-users do not find it challenging to adopt.

Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), acceptance rate: 17.1% = 68/398