Peeking into Your App without Actually Seeing It: UI State Inference and Novel Android Attacks

@inproceedings{Chen2014PeekingIY,
  title={Peeking into Your App without Actually Seeing It: UI State Inference and Novel Android Attacks},
  author={Qi Alfred Chen and Zhiyun Qian and Zhuoqing Morley Mao},
  booktitle={USENIX Security Symposium},
  year={2014}
}
The security of smartphone GUI frameworks remains an important yet under-scrutinized topic. In this paper, we report that on the Android system (and likely other OSes), a weaker form of GUI confidentiality can be breached in the form of UI state (not the pixels) by a background app without requiring any permissions. Our finding leads to a class of attacks which we name UI state inference attack. The underlying problem is that popular GUI frameworks by design can potentially reveal every UI… CONTINUE READING
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