Perplexed Messengers from the Cloud: Automated Security Analysis of Push-Messaging Integrations

This paper is to appear at the 22nd ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security 2015 (CCS), authored by Yangyi Chen, Tongxin Li, XiaoFeng Wang, Kai Chen and Xinhui Han.

Abstract

In this paper, we report the first large-scale, systematic study on the security qualities of emerging push-messaging services, focusing on their app-side service integrations. We identified a set of security properties different push-messaging services (e.g., Google Cloud Messaging) need to have, and automatically verified them in different integrations using a new technique, called Seminal.…

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Upgrading Your Android, Elevating My Malware: Privilege Escalation Through Mobile OS Updating

Pileup Vulnerabilities in OS Updating

People tend to believe that an OS upgrade makes their mobile devices much securer and more reliable, because the new OS version presumably fixes security loopholes and enhances the system’s security protection. However, our recent study on the current Android upgrade mechanism brings to light a whole new set of vulnerabilities pervasively existing in almost all Android versions, which allow a seemingly harmless malicious app (“unprivileged app” in the security term) running on a version of Android to automatically acquire significant capabilities without users’ consent once they upgrade to newer versions!

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