Using Malware Analysis to Tailor SQUARE for Mobile Platforms

Gregory Paul Alice, Nancy R. Mead


As the number of mobile-device software applications has grown, so has the amount of malware targeting them. More than 650,000 pieces of malware now target the Android platform. As mobile malware becomes more sophisticated and begins to approach threat levels seen on PC platforms, software development security practices for mobile applications will need to adopt the security practices for PC applications to reduce consumers’ exposure to financial and privacy breaches on mobile platforms. This technical note explores the development of security requirements for the K-9 Mail application, an open source email client for the Android operating system. The project’s case study (1) used the Security Quality Requirements Engineering (SQUARE) methodology to develop K-9 Mail’s security requirements and (2) used malware analysis to identify new security requirements in a proposed extension to the SQUARE process. This second task analyzed the impacts of DroidCleaner, a piece of Android malware, on the security goals of the K-9 Mail application. Based on the findings, new requirements are created to ensure that similar malware cannot compromise the privacy and confidentiality of email contents.


Categories: Cybersecurity Engineering, Malware Analysis

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About the Speakers

Gregory Paul Alice
Nancy R. Mead

Nancy R. Mead is a senior member of the technical staff in the CERT Program at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Carnegie Mellon University. Mead is also a faculty member in the Master of Software Engineering and Master of Information Systems Management programs at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests are in the areas of information security, software requirements engineering, and software architectures. Mead has more than 150 publications and invited presentations. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) and a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Dr. Mead received her PhD in mathematics from the Polytechnic Institute of New York, and received a BA and an MS in mathematics from New York University.