[Dailydave] Android Attacks Slides

Bas Alberts bas.alberts at immunityinc.com
Mon Apr 2 15:11:48 EDT 2012

If I recall correctly that's just an overview slide based on terminology
used by Google when describing Android's basic security architecture.


There's really no implied statement made on whether or not that permission 
model is actually effective. It's just a term that was adopted from the 
Google documentation and the talk itself did not really focus on
the permission model.

The discussion about how fine grained or effective Android's permission
model is becomes fairly moot in general when you consider effective
attacks on the kernel or otherwise privileged attack surfaces exposed 
to any native Android app (as demonstrated in the talk).

As a sidenote, we presented this in January 2011, whereas the papers you're 
referring to were published late 2011. It seems that Academia hadn't 
layed down the yellow brick road to englightenment for us yet, but if we
ever do an Android talk again we'll be sure to put "finer" in quotes.


On Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 05:50:23PM -0400, Jeffrey Walton wrote:
> Hi Guys,
> Android Attacks (Bas Alberts/Massimiliano Oldani),
> http://www.immunityinc.com/infiltrate/2011/presentations/Android_Attacks.pdf.
> Perhaps I'm reading Slide 15 wrong:
>     Fine grained Permission/Capability model
>         ● Per installed Application (Manifest)
>         ● Per URI (Intent permission flags)
> I believe Android lacks Fine Grained permissions:
> Felt, Adrienne Porte; Chin, Erika; Hanna, Steve; Song, Dawn; Wagner,
> David. "Android Permissions Demystified,"
> http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~afelt/android_permissions.pdf.
> Jeon, Jinseong; Micinski, Kristopher K.; Vaughan, Jeffrey A.; Reddy,
> Nikhilesh; Zhu, Yixin; Foster, Jeffrey S.; Millstein, Todd." Dr.
> Android and Mr. Hide: Fine-grained security policies on unmodified
> Android," http://www.cs.umd.edu/~jfoster/papers/acplib.pdf.
> In fact, the permissions are so coarse grained and borked that Google
> was giving everone READ_PHONE_STATE whether they wanted it or not (the
> practice has been changed). And READ_PHONE_STATE  includes call
> status, incoming number, identity iformation such as IMSI, etc. See
> "Android permissions: Phone Calls: read phone state and identity,"
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1747178/android-permissions-phone-calls-read-phone-state-and-identity.
> Jeff
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