Harvester will be presented at NDSS 2016

We are happy to announce our new publication “Harvesting Runtime Values in Android Applications That Feature Anti-Analysis Techniques” which will be presented at NDSS 2016. Harvester combines static and dynamic code analysis techniques to extract runtime values (e.g. URLs, SMS messages/numbers, etc.) from Android binaries. Furthermore, it can also be used for de-obfuscating Android applications. More details can be found here.

Looking forward to a great conference.

SSE Group together with Intel Security are presenting at VirusBulletin 2015 conference

A joint project together with McAfee (Intel Security) revealed very interesting insights into current Android Malware, in particular into Command and Control communications. We will be presenting our results at the VirusBulletin 2015 conference. We are also planning to publish a blog post with more concrete information, but if you are at VirusBulletin conference, feel free to join our talk on Thursday 1 October 09:00 – 09:30.

Title: We know what you did this summer: Android banking trojan exposing its sins in the cloud

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SSE Group Detects Massive Data Leaks in Apps using Backend-as-a-Service


With the help of CodeInspect, Appicaptor and an internally developed tool, researchers from TU Darmstadt and Fraunhofer SIT have found that many mobile applications store private information in the cloud, in an easily accessible manner.

Many users of mobile applications want their data to be synced across multiple platforms (iOS/Android/Windows/OSX/…). For app developers it is typically hard to support synchronization, as they need to set up backend servers on which the data can be stored and synchronized. Cloud providers such as Amazon and Parse.com therefore provide backends as a service (BaaS). With BaaS, app developers can simply connect to pre-configured servers using a few lines of program code. This makes data storage and synchronization through the cloud very easy. Some apps use BaaS to share public data, which is ok as long as the data is configured to be read-only. Many apps, however, use BaaS also to store confidential data such as user names, email addresses, contact information, passwords and other secrets, photos and generally any kind of data one can think of. Such data should only be accessible to the individual app user who stored the data. The researchers found more than 56 million sets of unprotected data, including email addresses, passwords, health records and other sensitive information of app users, which may be easily stolen and often manipulated. Read the official release here.

Slides and Live-Demo about CodeInspect from the CARO 2015 workshop are online

We gave a talk about CodeInspect at the CARO 2015 workshop in Hamburg. The slides and the live-demo (video) are available here: https://goo.gl/LblcR5

The main elements of the CodeInspect demo are:

  • Jimple manipulation
  • Interactive debugging
  • Hyperlinks in XML files (e.g., layout.xml or AndroidManifest.xml)
  • Java Source Code Enhancement

If you are interested in further videos about CodeInspect, you can find them here: http://sseblog.ec-spride.de/2014/12/codeinspect/


SSE Group together with McAfee Research Lab has identified a new threat campaign currently underway in South Korea

With the help of our new CodeInspect tool, we – together with the McAfee Research Lab – have identified a new threat campaign currently underway in South Korea;
attempting to exploit the huge media frenzy surrounding the release of the movie ‘The Interview’. Continue reading

CodeInspect says “Hello World”: A new Binary Analysis Tool for Android and Java Bytecode

We are very happy to announce a new tool in our toolchain: CodeInspect – A Jimple-based Reverse-Engineering framework for Android and Java applications.

Developing an Android application in an IDE is very convenient since features like code completion, Open Declaration, renaming variables, searching files etc. help the developer a lot. Especially code-debugging is a very important feature in IDEs. Usually, all those features are available for the source code and not for the bytecode, since they support the developer not a reverse-engineer. Well, but all those features would be be also very helpful for reverse-engineering Android or Java applications. This is the reason why we came up with a new reverse-engineering framework that works on the intermediate representation Jimple and supports all the features above and a lot more. In the following we give a detailed description about CodeInspect and its features. Continue reading