Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Shivakant Mishra

Second Advisor

Clayton H. Lewis

Third Advisor

John R. Black

Abstract

The Android operating system was designed to afford users secure, but unrestricted use of their device. The crux of this solution is that the burden of system administrator has been, possibly unknowingly, placed upon each individual user. The goal of this paper is to identify the significant threats Android users are faced with, and recommend possible solutions. Through the course of this study, an Android application was developed and voluntarily downloaded, collecting a significant set of data from users. This data, combined with additional literary and product research, has identified multiple shortcomings in the existing Android security landscape. In particular, difficulty using the Permission mechanism, inconsistent communication regarding security patches and their distribution, and a general lack of usage of the user-controlled security features was identified.

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