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24 May 2012, 16:28

Android Malware Genome Project launched

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Android Malware Genome Project logo
Source: Android Malware Genome Project
At this year's IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy, security researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) announced the launch of the Android Malware Genome Project. The goal of the new initiative is to find, collect and analyse Android malware and share it with other researchers around the world.

Xuxian Jiang, project founder and NCSU Computer Science Assistant Professor, says that the team has already collected more than 1,200 samples of Android malware, including GingerMaster and DroidKungFu, and has organised them into various malware families. Jiang told Dark Reading that "the purpose is to engage the research community to better our understanding of mobile threats and develop effective solutions against them".

However, the data isn't freely available online. Users must first be vetted to gain access to the information. Jiang says that this is in order to prevent misuse of the dataset by attackers and malware authors. A list of criteria and instructions to apply for access are provided on the project's policy page. To date, the dataset has been released to more than 25 universities, research labs and other organisations. These include Purdue University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Göttingen in Germany as well as Mobile Defense, SRI International, and Israeli security firm Lacoon Security LTD.

Further information can be found on the Android Malware Genome Project web site and in a 15 page paper by Jiang and Yajin Zhou titled "Dissecting Android Malware: Characterization and EvolutionPDF". The project is being sponsored, in part, by grants from the US National Science Foundation (NSF).


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