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Stay in Your Cage! A Sound Sandbox for Third-Party Libraries on Android

  • Fabo Wang
  • Yuqing ZhangEmail author
  • Kai Wang
  • Peng Liu
  • Wenjie Wang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9878)

Abstract

Third-party libraries are widely used in Android application development. While they extend functionality, third-party libraries are likely to pose a threat to users. Firstly, third-party libraries enjoy the same permissions as the applications; therefore libraries are over-privileged. Secondly, third-party libraries and applications share the same internal file space, so that applications’ files are exposed to third-party libraries. To solve these problems, a considerable amount of effort has been made. Unfortunately, the requirement for a modified Android framework makes their methods impractical.

In this paper, a developer-friendly tool called LibCage is proposed, to prohibit permission abuse of third-party libraries and protect user privacy without modifying the Android framework or libraries’ bytecode. At its core, LibCage builds a sandbox for each third-party library in order to ensure that each library is subject to a separate permission set assigned by developers. Moreover, each library is allocated an isolated file space and has no access to other space. Importantly, LibCage works on Java reflection as well as dynamic code execution, and can defeat several possible attacks. We test on real-world third-party libraries, and the results show that LibCage is capable of enforcing a flexible policy on third-party libraries at run time with a modest performance overhead.

Keywords

File Space Java Code Performance Overhead Java Library Internal File 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61272481, 61572460), the National Key Research and Development Project (2016YFB0800703), the National Information Security Special Projects of National Development, the Reform Commission of China [(2012)1424], and the Open Project Program of the State Key Laboratory of Information Security (2015-MS-06) and China 111 Project (No. B16037). Peng Liu is supported by NSF SBE-1422215, ARO W911NF-13-1-0421 (MURI), and ARO W911NF-15-1-0576.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabo Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuqing Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kai Wang
    • 2
  • Peng Liu
    • 3
  • Wenjie Wang
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Integrated Services NetworksXidian UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.National Computer Network Intrusion Protection CenterUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Information Sciences and TechnologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Information Security, Institute of Information EngineeringChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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