You can’t touch this: Consumer-centric android application repackaging detection

Iakovos Gurulian, Konstantinos Markantonakis, Lorenzo Cavallaro, Keith Mayes

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Application repackaging is a widely used method for malware distribution, revenue stealing and piracy. Repackaged applications are modified versions of original applications, that can potentially target large audiences based on the original application's popularity. In this paper, we propose an approach for detecting repackaged applications. Our approach takes advantage of the attacker's reluctance to significantly alter the elements that characterise an application without notably impacting the application's distribution. These elements include the application's name and icon. The detection is initiated from the client side, prior to an application's installation, making it application store agnostic. Our experimental results show that detection based on our algorithm is effective and efficient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Early online date30 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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