Mobility

Security Versus Energy Tradeoffs in Host-Based Mobile Malware Detection

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Executive Summary

The rapid growth of mobile malware necessitates the presence of robust malware detectors on mobile devices. However, running malware detectors on mobile devices may drain their battery, causing users to disable these protection mechanisms to save power. This paper studies the security versus energy tradeoffs for a particularly challenging class of malware detectors, namely root-kit detectors. The authors investigate the security versus energy tradeoffs along two axes: attack surface and malware scanning frequency, for both code and data based root-kit detectors. Their findings, based on a real implementation on a mobile handheld device, reveal that protecting against code-driven attacks is relatively cheap, while protecting against all data-driven attacks is prohibitively expensive.

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