Automated, Dynamic Android App Vulnerability and Privacy Leak Analysis: Design Considerations, Required Components and Available Tools

AuthorHeid, Kris; Heider, Jens
TypeConference Paper
AbstractSmartphones apps aid humans in plenty of situations. There exists an app for everything. However, without the user's awareness, some apps contain vulnerabilities or leak private data. Static and dynamic app analysis are ways to find these software properties. Especially setting up a dynamic analysis environment is not a trivial task. Several peculiarities of Android have to be considered, existing tools for different aspects have to be evaluated, selected and setup to work together. Existing literature is often outdated and only covers tools for one aspect but doesn't combine them together in a big picture. This paper presents a generic design for an automated dynamic app analysis environment and highlights the required components as well as functionality to reveal security and privacy issues. Available tools are listed, realizing different aspects of the proposed environment design. Tool features are evaluated and tool usability for an automated large scale dynamic app analysis is compared. This document should serve as a reference to all who need to implement dynamic analysis on Android (or some aspects) and require an overview of available and usable solutions.
ConferenceEuropean Interdisciplinary Cybersecurity Conference (EICC) 2021