SPLlift awarded the IT-Sicherheitspreis (2nd place)

On Thursday, SPLlift, our approach for Analyzing Software Product Lines in Minutes instead of Years, was awarded the second price at the German IT-Sicherheitspreis. This was joint work with Mira Mezini (to the right), Claus Brabrand, Marcio Ribeiro, Paulo Borba and Tarsis Toledo. Many thanks for the fruitful collaboration! And Many thanks to Horst Görtz and his Foundation for donating this award!

1st place went to Kastel’s project on Blurry-Box Cryptography, the first provably secure software-protection dongle. Congrats!

New Course Secure Software Development (SecDev)

Next Semester, the Secure Software Engineering Group will offer a new seminar course “Secure Software Development (SecDev)”. The goal of the course is to provide software developers with the knowledge and first experience they need for developing secure software. Additionally, they will learn how to develop knowledge and share it and how to investigate a research problem on secure software development.The main topics are:

  1. Secure software development life-cycle
  2. Threat modeling
  3. Risk assessment
  4. Security requirements
  5. Security architecture
  6. Secure coding standards
  7. Security code analysis
  8. Security testing
  9. Security code review
  10. Empirical analysis for secure software development

More information can be found on the course website.


Wanted: Research Assistant on the Secure Integration of Cryptographic Software


Is this for you?

The following code uses the symmetric encryption scheme AES, for instance to store some application data encrypted on disk. The code contains at least four different severe API-usage mistakes that may cause the code to crash or to be insecure:

String secretKey = "x$&78_;:$%$ä0$%=$%4352";
byte[] keyBytes = secretKey.getBytes();
SecretKeySpec secretKeySpec = new SecretKeySpec(keyBytes, "AES");
Cipher cipher = Cipher.getInstance("AES");

Can you spot these mistakes? The more you can find, and the more you enjoy finding them, the more likely the position might be the right one for you. Continue reading

DroidForce accepted at ARES’14

We are proud that our paper “DROIDFORCE: Enforcing Complex, Data-Centric, System-Wide Policies in Android” has been accepted at this year’s ARES conference. It was a collaborative paper together with Enrico Lovat (TU Munich) from the group of Prof. Dr. Alexander Pretschner. The abstract of the paper:

Smartphones are nowadays used to store and process many kinds of privacy-sensitive data such as contacts, photos, and e-mails. Sensors provide access to the phone’s physical location, and can record audio and video. While this is convenient for many applications, it also makes smartphones a worthwhile target for attackers providing malicious applications. Current approaches to runtime enforcement try to mitigate unauthorized leaks of confidential data. However, they are often capable of enforcing only a very limited set of policies, like preventing data leaks only within single components or monitoring access only to specific sensitive system resources.

In this work, we present DROIDFORCE, an approach for enforcing complex, data-centric, system-wide policies on Android applications. DROIDFORCE allows users to specify fine-grained constraints on how and when which data may be processed on their phones, regardless of whether the malicious behavior is distributed over different colluding components or even applications. Policies can be dynamically exchanged at runtime and no modifications to the operating system nor root access to the phone are required.

DROIDFORCE works purely on the application level. It provides a centralized policy decision point as a dedicated Android application and it instruments a decentralized policy enforcement point into every target application. Analyzing and instrumenting an application takes in total less than a minute and secured applications exhibit no noticeable slowdown in practice. 

The complete paper can be downloaded from here (note: it is only a preprint, the final version will be published at ARES in September).