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LibD: Scalable and Precise Third-party Library Detection in Android Markets

Menghao Li
2017
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Description

With the thriving of the mobile app markets, third-party libraries are pervasively integrated in the Android applications. Third-party libraries provide functionality such as advertisements, location services, and social networking services, making multi-functional app development much more productive. However, the spread of vulnerable or harmful third-party libraries may also hurt the entire mobile ecosystem, leading to various security problems. The Android platform suffers severely from such problems due to the way its ecosystem is constructed and maintained. Therefore, third-party Android library identification has emerged as an important problem which is the basis of many security applications such as repackaging detection and malware analysis. According to our investigation, existing work on Android library detection still requires improvement in many aspects, including accuracy and obfuscation resilience. In response to these limitations, we propose a novel approach to identifying third-party Android libraries. Our method utilizes the internal code dependencies of an Android app to detect and classify library candidates. Different from most previous methods which classify detected library candidates based on similarity comparison, our method is based on feature hashing and can better handle code whose package and method names are obfuscated. Based on this approach, we have developed a prototypical tool called LibD and evaluated it with an update-to-date and large-scale dataset. Our experimental results on 1,427,395 apps show that compared to existing tools, LibD can better handle multi-package third-party libraries in the presence of name-based obfuscation, leading to significantly improved precision without the loss of scalability.
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