A taxonomy of privilege escalation attacks in Android applications
by Mohammed Rangwala; Ping Zhang; Xukai Zou; Feng Li
International Journal of Security and Networks (IJSN), Vol. 9, No. 1, 2014

Abstract: Google's Android is one of the most popular mobile operating system platforms today, being deployed on a wide range of mobile devices from various manufacturers. It is termed as a privilege-separated operating system which implements some novel security mechanisms. Recent research and security attacks on the platform, however, have shown that the security model of Android is flawed and is vulnerable to transitive usage of privileges among applications. Privilege escalation attacks have been shown to be malicious and with the wide spread and growing use of the system, the platform for these attacks is also growing wider. This provides a motivation to design and implement better security frameworks and mechanisms to mitigate these attacks. This paper discusses; 1) the security features currently provided by the Android platform; 2) a definition, few working examples and classifications of privilege escalation attacks in Android applications; 3) a classification and comparison of different frameworks and security extensions proposed in recent research.

Online publication date: Tue, 11-Feb-2014

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