IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems
Online ISSN : 1745-1361
Print ISSN : 0916-8532
Special Section on Information and Communication System Security
APPraiser: A Large Scale Analysis of Android Clone Apps
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2017 Volume E100.D Issue 8 Pages 1703-1713


Android is one of the most popular mobile device platforms. However, since Android apps can be disassembled easily, attackers inject additional advertisements or malicious codes to the original apps and redistribute them. There are a non-negligible number of such repackaged apps. We generally call those malicious repackaged apps “clones.” However, there are apps that are not clones but are similar to each other. We call such apps “relatives.” In this work, we developed a framework called APPraiser that extracts similar apps and classifies them into clones and relatives from the large dataset. We used the APPraiser framework to study over 1.3 million apps collected from both official and third-party marketplaces. Our extensive analysis revealed the following findings: In the official marketplace, 79% of similar apps were attributed to relatives, while in the third-party marketplace, 50% of similar apps were attributed to clones. The majority of relatives are apps developed by prolific developers in both marketplaces. We also found that in the third-party market, of the clones that were originally published in the official market, 76% of them are malware.

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© 2017 The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers
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