Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2020

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Certified Copy? Understanding Security Risks of Wi-Fi Hotspot based Android Data Clone Services

Wi-Fi hotspot-based data clone services are increasingly used by Android users to transfer their user data and preferred configurations while upgrading obsolete phones to new models. Unfortunately, since data clone needs to manipulate sensitive information that are protected by the Android system, it can easily introduce security vulnerabilities if not properly designed. In this paper we present an empirical security analysis to investigate eight widely used Wi-Fi hotspot-based data clone services deployed to millions of Android phones. Our study evaluates those services with respect to data export/import, data transmission, and Wi-Fi configuration that the secure data clone procedure should satisfy. Since these data clone services are closed source, we design Poirot, an analysis system to recover workflows of the data clone services and detect potential flaws. Our study reveals a series of critical security issues in the data clone services. We demonstrate two types of attacks by exploiting the data clone service as a new attack surface. A vulnerable data clone service allows attackers to retrieve sensitive user data without permissions, and even inject malicious contents to compromise the system.

Siqi Ma

Hehao Li
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Wenbo Yang
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Juanru Li
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Surya Nepal
Data61, CSIRO

Elisa Bertino
Purdue University

Paper (ACM DL)




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