Toward engineering a secure android ecosystem: A survey of existing techniques

Meng Xu, Chengyu Song, Yang Ji, Ming Wei Shih, Kangjie Lu, Cong Zheng, Ruian Duan, Yeongjin Jang, Byoungyoung Lee, Chenxiong Qian, Sangho Lee, Taesoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The openness and extensibility of Android have made it a popular platform for mobile devices and a strong candidate to drive the Internet-of-Things. Unfortunately, these properties also leave Android vulnerable, attracting attacks for profit or fun. To mitigate these threats, numerous issue-specific solutions have been proposed. With the increasing number and complexity of security problems and solutions, we believe this is the right moment to step back and systematically re-evaluate the Android security architecture and security practices in the ecosystem. We organize the most recent security research on the Android platform into two categories: the software stack and the ecosystem. For each category, we provide a comprehensive narrative of the problem space, highlight the limitations of the proposed solutions, and identify open problems for future research. Based on our collection of knowledge, we envision a blueprint for engineering a secure, next-generation Android ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number38
JournalACM Computing Surveys
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 ACM.


  • Android
  • Ecosystem
  • Mobile malware
  • Survey


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