Community services for 2016

I am happy to announce that for 2016 I have confirmed membership in the program committees in all of the major software engineering conferences, i.e., ICSE, FSE and ASE. ISSTA disallows invitations for the third time in a row, which is why I will contribute as co-chair of the artifact evaluation. Also I will be a member of the CODASPY PC. For ASPLOS, the reviewing period clashes with the one of ICSE, which is why I decided to only contribute to the ERC. Let there be many good submissions!

Two new papers to appear at ISC

On our website we have now available two new papers accepted at ISC. The first paper originated out of our collaboration with SAP. It reports on a qualitative empirical study determining Factors Impacting the Effort Required to Fix Security Vulnerabilities. Thanks to our collaborators for the great work! The second work is on Dynamically Provisioning Isolation in Hierarchical Architectures, a novel, lightweight and effective means to counter side channels and covert channels in the cloud. Enjoy!

New SSE Papers Accepted

Several new papers written by members of the Secure Software Engineering Group have now been accepted at renowned international venues. The papers cover topics such as the reduction of false positives in static data flow analysis, the in-depth analysis of modern, sophisticated malware applications, and the challenges of developing secure software using agile techniques.

Continue reading

SSE Group Detects Massive Data Leaks in Apps using Backend-as-a-Service


With the help of CodeInspect, Appicaptor and an internally developed tool, researchers from TU Darmstadt and Fraunhofer SIT have found that many mobile applications store private information in the cloud, in an easily accessible manner.

Many users of mobile applications want their data to be synced across multiple platforms (iOS/Android/Windows/OSX/…). For app developers it is typically hard to support synchronization, as they need to set up backend servers on which the data can be stored and synchronized. Cloud providers such as Amazon and therefore provide backends as a service (BaaS). With BaaS, app developers can simply connect to pre-configured servers using a few lines of program code. This makes data storage and synchronization through the cloud very easy. Some apps use BaaS to share public data, which is ok as long as the data is configured to be read-only. Many apps, however, use BaaS also to store confidential data such as user names, email addresses, contact information, passwords and other secrets, photos and generally any kind of data one can think of. Such data should only be accessible to the individual app user who stored the data. The researchers found more than 56 million sets of unprotected data, including email addresses, passwords, health records and other sensitive information of app users, which may be easily stolen and often manipulated. Read the official release here.

Slides and Live-Demo about CodeInspect from the CARO 2015 workshop are online

We gave a talk about CodeInspect at the CARO 2015 workshop in Hamburg. The slides and the live-demo (video) are available here:

The main elements of the CodeInspect demo are:

  • Jimple manipulation
  • Interactive debugging
  • Hyperlinks in XML files (e.g., layout.xml or AndroidManifest.xml)
  • Java Source Code Enhancement

If you are interested in further videos about CodeInspect, you can find them here: