We are happy to announce that our paper “DroidSearch: A Tool for Scaling Android App Triage to Real-World App Stores” has been accepted for publication at the IEEE Technically Co-Sponsored “Science and Information Conference 2015” (SAI) in London, UK.
While many precise analysis tools for detecting malware and finding vulnerabilities in Android applications exist, they usually do not scale to the large number of applications in today’s real-world markets such as Google Play. We therefore present DroidSearch, a search engine that aids a multi-staged analysis in which fast pre-filtering techniques allow security experts to quickly retrieve candidate applications that should be subjected to further automated and/or manual analysis. DROIDSEARCH is supported by DROIDBASE, a middleware and back-end database which associates apps with metadata and the results of lightweight analyses on bytecode and configuration files that DROIDBASE automatically manages and executes.
Experiments on more than 235,000 applications from six different application stores including Google Play reveal many interesting findings. For instance, DROIDSEARCH identifies 40 known malware applications in Google Play and detects over 35,000 applications that use both http and https connections for accessing the same resources, effectively rendering the https protection ineffective. It also reveals 11,995 applications providing access to potentially sensitive data through unprotected content providers.