Smartphone security evaluation - The malware attack case

Alexios Mylonas, Stelios Dritsas, Bill Tsoumas, Dimitris Gritzalis

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

52 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of smartphones, devices transforming from simple communication devices to 'smart' and multipurpose devices, is constantly increasing. Amongst the main reasons are their small size, their enhanced functionality and their ability to host many useful and attractive applications. However, this vast use of mobile platforms makes them an attractive target for conducting privacy and security attacks. This scenario increases the risk introduced by these attacks for personal mobile devices, given that the use of smartphones as business tools may extend the perimeter of an organization's IT infrastructure. Furthermore, smartphone platforms provide application developers with rich capabilities, which can be used to compromise the security and privacy of the device holder and her environment (private and/or organizational). This paper examines the feasibility of malware development in smartphone platforms by average programmers that have access to the official tools and programming libraries provided by smartphone platforms. Towards this direction in this paper we initially propose specific evaluation criteria assessing the security level of the well-known smartphone platforms (i.e. Android, BlackBerry, Apple iOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile), in terms of the development of malware. In the sequel, we provide a comparative analysis, based on a proof of concept study, in which the implementation and distribution of a location tracking malware is attempted. Our study has proven that, under circumstances, all smartphone platforms could be used by average developers as privacy attack vectors, harvesting data from the device without the users knowledge and consent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSECRYPT 2011 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Security and Cryptography
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Security and Cryptography, SECRYPT 2011 - Seville, Spain
Duration: 18 Jul 201121 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameSECRYPT 2011 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Security and Cryptography


ConferenceInternational Conference on Security and Cryptography, SECRYPT 2011


  • Attack
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Malware
  • Security
  • Smartphone


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