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NaClDroid: Native Code Isolation for Android Applications

  • Elias AthanasopoulosEmail author
  • Vasileios P. Kemerlis
  • Georgios Portokalidis
  • Angelos D. Keromytis
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9878)

Abstract

Android apps frequently incorporate third-party libraries that contain native code; this not only facilitates rapid application development and distribution, but also provides new ways to generate revenue. As a matter of fact, one in two apps in Google Play are linked with a library providing ad network services. However, linking applications with third-party code can have severe security implications: malicious libraries written in native code can exfiltrate sensitive information from a running app, or completely modify the execution runtime, since all native code is mapped inside the same address space with the execution environment, namely the Dalvik/ART VM. We propose NaClDroid, a framework that addresses these problems, while still allowing apps to include third-party code. NaClDroidprevents malicious native-code libraries from hijacking Android applications using Software Fault Isolation. More specifically, we place all native code in a Native Client sandbox that prevents unconstrained reads, or writes, inside the process address space. NaClDroidhas little overhead; for native code running inside the NaCl sandbox the slowdown is less than 10 % on average.

Keywords

SFI NaCl Android 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the European Commission through project H2020 ICT-32-2014 “SHARCS” under Grant Agreement No. 644571 and the U.S. Office of Naval Research under award number N00014-16-1-2261. Any opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Government, or the ONR.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias Athanasopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vasileios P. Kemerlis
    • 2
  • Georgios Portokalidis
    • 3
  • Angelos D. Keromytis
    • 4
  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Stevens Institute of TechnologyHobokenUSA
  4. 4.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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