Designing system-level defenses against cellphone malware

Liang Xie, Xinwen Zhang, Ashwin Chaugule, Trent Jaeger, Sencun Zhu

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

32 Scopus citations


Cellphones are increasingly becoming attractive targets of various malware, which not only cause privacy leakage, extra charges, and depletion of battery power, but also introduce malicious traffic into networks. In this work, we seek system-level solutions to handle these security threats. Specifically, we propose a mandatory access control-based defense to blocking malware that launch attacks through creating new processes for execution. To combat more elaborated malware which redirect program flows of normal applications to execute malicious code within a legitimate security domain, we further propose using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as Graphic Turing test. Through extensive experiments based on both Symbian and Linux smartphones, we show that both our system-level countermeasures effectively detect and block cellphone malware with low false positives, and can be easily deployed on existing smartphone hardware.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 28th IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, SRDS 2009
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2009
Event28th IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, SRDS 2009 - Niagara Falls, NY, United States
Duration: Sep 27 2009Sep 30 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems
ISSN (Print)1060-9857


Other28th IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, SRDS 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNiagara Falls, NY

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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