Screening smartphone applications using behavioral signatures

Suyeon Lee, Jehyun Lee, Heejo Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


The sharp increase of smartphone malwares has become one of the most serious security problems. The most significant part of the growth is the variants of existing malwares. A legacy approach for malware, the signature matching, is efficient in temporal dimension, but it is not practical because of its lack of robustness against the variants. A counter approach, the behavior analysis to handle the variant issue, takes too much time and resources. We propose a variant detection mechanism using runtime semantic signature. Our key idea is to reduce the control and data flow analysis overhead by using binary patterns for the control and data flow of critical actions as a signature. The flow information is a significant part of behavior analysis but takes high analysis overhead. In contrast to the previous behavioral signatures, the runtime semantic signature has higher family classification accuracy without the flow analysis overhead, because the binary patterns of flow parts is hardly shared by the out of family members. Using the proposed signature, we detect the new variants of known malwares by static matching efficiently and accurately. We evaluated our mechanism with 1,759 randomly collected real-world Android applications including 79 variants of 4 malware families. As the experimental result, our mechanism showed 99.89% of accuracy on variant detection. We also showed that the mechanism has a linear time complexity as the number of target applications. It is fully practical and advanced performance than the previous works in both of accuracy and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity and Privacy Protection in Information Processing Systems - 28th IFIP TC 11 International Conference, SEC 2013, Proceedings
EditorsLech J. Janczewski, Henry B. Wolfe, Sujeet Shenoi
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783642392177
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event28th IFIP TC 11 International Conference, SEC 2013 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 2013 Jul 82013 Jul 12

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


Conference28th IFIP TC 11 International Conference, SEC 2013
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013.


  • Android
  • Malware
  • Runtime semantic signature
  • Smartphone security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management


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