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Precise Static Analysis of Taint Flow for Android Application Sets

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This thesis describes a static taint analysis for Android that combines the FlowDroid and Epicc analyses to track inter- and intra-component data flow.

Software Engineering Institute


Malicious and unintentionally insecure Android applications can leak users' sensitive data. One approach to defending against data leaks is to analyze applications to detect potential information leaks. This thesis describes a new static taint analysis for Android that combines and augments the FlowDroid and Epicc analyses to precisely track both inter-component and intra-component data flow in a set of Android applications. The analysis takes place in two phases: given a set of applications, we first determine the data flows enabled individually by each application and the conditions under which these are possible; we then build on these results to enumerate the potentially dangerous dataflows enabled by the set of applications as a whole. Our method requires analysis of the source code or bytecode of each app only once, and results can be used for analysis of tainted flows possible for any combination of apps. This analysis can be used to ensure that a set of installed apps meets the user's data flow policy requirements. This thesis describes our analysis method, implementation, and experimental results.