Android Market Analysis with Activation Patterns

Peter Teufl*, Stefan Kraxberger, Clemens Orthacker, Günther Lackner, Michael Gissing, Alexander Marsalek, Johannes Leibetseder, Oliver Prevenhueber

*Corresponding author for this work

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


The increasing market share of the Android platform is partly caused by a growing number of applications (apps) available on the Android market: by now (January 2011) roughly 200.000. This popularity in combination with the lax market approval process attracts the injection of malicious apps into the market. Android features a fine-grained permission system allowing the user to review the permissions an app requests and grant or deny access to resources prior to installation. In this paper, we extract these security permissions along other metadata of 130.211 apps and apply a new analysis method called Activation Patterns. Thereby, we are able to gain a new understanding of the apps through extracting knowledge about security permissions, their relations and possible anomalies, executing semantic search queries, finding relations between the description and the employed security permissions, or identifying clusters of similar apps. The paper describes the employed method and highlights its benefits in several analysis examples - e.g. screening the market for possible malicious apps that should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity and Privacy in Mobile Information and Communication Systems - Third International ICST Conference, MobiSec 2011, Revised Selected Papers
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2012
Event3rd ICST Conference on Security and Privacy for Mobile Information and Communication Systems, MobiSec 2011 - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 17 May 201119 May 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering
Volume94 LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211


Conference3rd ICST Conference on Security and Privacy for Mobile Information and Communication Systems, MobiSec 2011


  • Activation Patterns
  • Android Malware
  • Android Market
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Machine Learning
  • Security Permissions
  • Semantic Search
  • Unsupervised Clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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