Back to overview

Security Smells in Android

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Ghafari Mohammad, Gadient Pascal, Nierstrasz Oscar,
Project Agile Software Analysis
Show all

Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Page(s) 121 - 130
Title of proceedings 17th IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM)
DOI 10.1109/scam.2017.24

Open Access

Type of Open Access Website


The ubiquity of smartphones, and their very broad capabilities and usage, make the security of these devices tremendously important. Unfortunately, despite all progress in security and privacy mechanisms, vulnerabilities continue to proliferate. Research has shown that many vulnerabilities are due to insecure programming practices. However, each study has often dealt with a specific issue, making the results less actionable for practitioners. To promote secure programming practices, we have reviewed related research, and identified avoidable vulnerabilities in Android-run devices and the security code smells that indicate their presence. In particular, we explain the vulnerabilities, their corresponding smells, and we discuss how they could be eliminated or mitigated during development. Moreover, we develop a lightweight static analysis tool and discuss the extent to which it successfully detects several vulnerabilities in about 46,000 apps hosted by the official Android market.