Understanding Android Obfuscation Techniques: A Large-Scale Investigation in the Wild

by   Shuaike Dong, et al.

In this paper, we seek to better understand Android obfuscation and depict a holistic view of the usage of obfuscation through a large-scale investigation in the wild. In particular, we focus on four popular obfuscation approaches: identifier renaming, string encryption, Java reflection, and packing. To obtain the meaningful statistical results, we designed efficient and lightweight detection models for each obfuscation technique and applied them to our massive APK datasets (collected from Google Play, multiple third-party markets, and malware databases). We have learned several interesting facts from the result. For example, malware authors use string encryption more frequently, and more apps on third-party markets than Google Play are packed. We are also interested in the explanation of each finding. Therefore we carry out in-depth code analysis on some Android apps after sampling. We believe our study will help developers select the most suitable obfuscation approach, and in the meantime help researchers improve code analysis systems in the right direction.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


A Large Scale Investigation of Obfuscation Use in Google Play

Android applications are frequently plagiarized or maliciously repackage...

Hidden in Plain Sight: Obfuscated Strings Threatening Your Privacy

String obfuscation is an established technique used by proprietary, clos...

Comment on "AndrODet: An adaptive Android obfuscation detector"

We have identified a methodological problem in the empirical evaluation ...

Mapping System Level Behaviors with Android APIs via System Call Dependence Graphs

Due to Android's open source feature and low barriers to entry for devel...

A Large-scale Temporal Measurement of Android Malicious Apps: Persistence, Migration, and Lessons Learned

We study the temporal dynamics of potentially harmful apps (PHAs) on And...

Scalable Online Vetting of Android Apps for Measuring Declared SDK Versions and Their Consistency with API Calls

Android has been the most popular smartphone system with multiple platfo...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset