AndroPRINT: Analysing the Fingerprintability of the Android API

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In recent Android versions, access to various (unique) identifiers has been restricted or completely removed for third-party applications. However, many information sources can still be combined to create a fingerprint, effectively substituting the need for these unique identifiers. Until now, finding these fingerprintable sources required manually sifting through the API documentation to identify each information source individually. This paper presents AndroPRINT, a framework that automatically recognizes fingerprintable information sources on Android devices. For this purpose it automatically invokes methods, queries fields, and retrieves data from content providers. We show that this framework allows automating the elaborate task of finding such fingerprintable information sources in different experiments. In these experiments, a variety of information sources could be identified, which provide a vast amount of unique features for fingerprinting. Furthermore, AndroPRINT detected undocumented unique device identification features, which are a result of manufacturer adaptations. These vendor customisations even revealed personal data, such as the user’s email address and cryptographic keys used for cross-device communication. The fact that this information can be retrieved without the user noticing means that vendor customisations can effectively defeat the tight permission system of modern smartphone operating systems.
Translated title of the contributionAndroPRINT: Analyse der Fingerprintbarkeit der Android API
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security
Place of PublicationIreland
Number of pages10
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 2020
Event15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security: ARES 2020 - Virtuell, Unknown
Duration: 25 Aug 202028 Aug 2020

Conference

Conference15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security
CountryUnknown
CityVirtuell
Period25/08/2028/08/20

Cite this

Palfinger, G., & Prünster, B. (Accepted/In press). AndroPRINT: Analysing the Fingerprintability of the Android API. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security Ireland.