Mystique: Evolving Android Malware for Auditing Anti-Malware Tools

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In the arms race of attackers and defenders, the defense is usually more challenging than the attack due to the unpredicted vulnerabilities and newly emerging attacks every day. Currently, most of existing malware detection solutions are individually proposed to address certain types of attacks or certain evasion techniques. Thus, it is desired to conduct a systematic investigation and evaluation of anti-malware solutions and tools based on different attacks and evasion techniques. In this paper, we first propose a meta model for Android malware to capture the common attack features and evasion features in the malware. Based on this model, we develop a framework, MYSTIQUE, to automatically generate malware covering four attack features and two evasion features, by adopting the software product line engineering approach. With the help of MYSTIQUE, we conduct experiments to 1) understand Android malware and the associated attack features as well as evasion techniques; 2) evaluate and compare the 57 off-the-shelf anti-malware tools, 9 academic solutions and 4 App market vetting processes in terms of accuracy in detecting attack features and capability in addressing evasion. Last but not least, we provide a benchmark of Android malware with proper labeling of contained attack and evasion features.