Why Does Your Data Leak? Uncovering the Data Leakage in Cloud from Mobile Apps presented at IEEESymposium 2019

by Zhiqiang Lin, Yinqian Zhang, Chaoshun Zuo,

URL : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs3WBHcGx7Y

Summary : Increasingly, more and more mobile applications (apps for short) are using the cloud as the back-end, in particular the cloud APIs, for data storage, data analytics, message notification, and monitoring. Unfortunately, we have recently witnessed massive data leaks from the cloud, ranging from personally identifiable information to corporate secrets. In this paper, we seek to understand why such significant leaks occur and design tools to automatically identify them. To our surprise, our study reveals that lack of authentication, misuse of various keys (e.g., normal user keys and superuser keys) in authentication, or misconfiguration of user permissions in authorization are the root causes. Then, we design a set of automated program analysis techniques including obfuscation-resilient cloud API identification and string value analysis, and implement them in a tool called LeakScope to identify the potential data leakage vulnerabilities from mobile apps based on how the cloud APIs are used. Our evaluation with over 1.6 million mobile apps from the Google Play Store has uncovered 15, 098 app servers managed by mainstream cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft that are subject to data leakage attacks. We have made responsible disclosure to each of the cloud service providers, and they have all confirmed the vulnerabilities we have identified and are actively working with the mobile app developers to patch their vulnerable services.