Detecting Repackaged Android Applications Using Perceptual Hashing
McDonald, J. Todd
Glisson, William Bradley
Andel, Todd R.
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The last decade has shown a steady rate of Android device dominance in market share and the emergence of hundreds of thousands of apps available to the public. Because of the ease of reverse engineering Android applications, repackaged malicious apps that clone existing code have become a severe problem in the marketplace. This research proposes a novel repackaged detection system based on perceptual hashes of vetted Android apps and their associated dynamic user interface (UI) behavior. Results show that an average hash approach produces 88% accuracy (indicating low false negative and false positive rates) in a sample set of 4878 Android apps, including 2151 repackaged apps. The approach is the first dynamic method proposed in the research community using image-based hashing techniques with reasonable performance to other known dynamic approaches and the possibility for practical implementation at scale for new applications entering the Android market.