A Comparative Study of Misapplied Crypto in Android and iOS Applications

Johannes Feichtner

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


Many applications for Android and iOS process sensitive data and, therefore, rely on cryptographic APIs natively provided by the operating system. For this to be effective, essential rules need to be obeyed, as otherwise the attainable level of security would be weakened or entirely defeated. In this paper, we inspect the differences between Android and iOS concerning the proper usage of platform-specific APIs for cryptography. For both platforms, we present concrete strategies to detect critical mistakes and introduce a new framework for Android that excels in pinpointing the origin of problematic security attributes. Applied on real-world apps with cryptography, we find that out of 775 investigated apps that vendors distribute for both Android and iOS, 604 apps for iOS (78%) and 538 apps for Android (69%) suffer from at least one security misconception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Joint Conference on e-Business and Telecommunications - Volume 2: SECRYPT
Place of PublicationPortugal
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-758-378-0,
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event16th International Conference on Security and Cryptography - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 26 Jul 201928 Jul 2019


Conference16th International Conference on Security and Cryptography
Abbreviated titleSECRYPT 2019
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


  • Static Analysis
  • Slicing
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Cryptography
  • Application Security


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