RevealDroid:Lightweight, Obfuscation-Resilient Detection and Family Identification of Android Malware

Project Dates: 
January 2016
Research Area(s): 
Project Description: 

The number of malicious Android apps is increasing rapidly. Android malware can damage or alter other files or settings, install additional applications, etc. To determine such behaviors, a security analyst can significantly benefit from identifying the family to which an Android malware belongs, rather than only detecting if an app is malicious. Techniques for detecting Android malware, and determining their families, lack the ability to handle certain obfuscations that aim to thwart detection. Moreover, some prior techniques face scalability issues, preventing them from detecting malware in a timely manner.

To address these challenges, we present a novel machine learning-based Android malware detection and family identification approach, RevealDroid, that operates without the need to perform complex program analyses or to extract large sets of features. Specifically, our selected features leverage categorized Android API usage, reflection-based features, and features from native binaries of apps. We assess RevealDroid for accuracy, efficiency, and obfuscation resilience using a large dataset consisting of more than 54,000 malicious and benign apps. Our experiments show that RevealDroid achieves an accuracy of 98% for detection of malware and an accuracy of 95% for determination of their families. We further demonstrate RevealDroid’s superiority against state-of-the-art approaches.