Title: Secure android covert channel with robust survivability to service provider restrictions

Authors: Avinash Srinivasan; Jie Wu; Justin Shi

Addresses: Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA ' Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA ' Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA

Abstract: The overarching field of information hiding has been extensively researched. However, the potential for use of smartphones - communicating over cellular service provider networks - has yet to be fully explored. In this paper, we propose Android-Stego - a covert communication framework for Android smartphones. We have presented results analysing real-world cellular service-providers' restrictions on MMS messages and the corrective actions they take using a prototype implementation of Android-Stego. With the prototype implementation, we have also analysed the messages at both the sending and the receiving ends to determine the service providers' actions on MMS messages - such as compression and/or format conversion.

Keywords: covert communication; information hiding; mobile security; robust security; information secrecy; steganography; Android security; covert channels; service provider restrictions; smartphones; MMS messages; multimedia messaging service.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2017.081061

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2017 Vol.12 No.1, pp.27 - 39

Received: 02 Oct 2015
Accepted: 12 Jul 2016

Published online: 08 Dec 2016 *

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