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Identifier 000457358
Title Encryption workarounds for Android
Alternative Title Παράκαμψη κρυπτογράφησης για Android
Author Μπάσα, Σκέρντι Μ.
Thesis advisor Μαρκάτος, Ευάγγελος
Reviewer Μαγκούτης, Κωνσταντίνος
Τζίτζικας, Ιωάννης
Μανιφάβας, Χάρης
Abstract Encryption on Android involves the process of encoding user data both on the device and during transit using either symmetric or asymmetric encryption keys. When a device is encrypted, all data created by the user is automatically encrypted before being stored on the disk, and decryption occurs automatically when the data is accessed by an authorized process. The purpose of encryption is to ensure that unauthorized parties cannot read the data even if they gain access to it. Android offers two methods of device encryption: file-based encryption and fulldisk encryption. File-based encryption, introduced in Android 7.0, allows different files to be encrypted with different keys that can be unlocked independently. On the other hand, full-disk encryption has been supported since Android 4.4, but as of Android 10, it is being phased out in favor of file-based encryption. Over the years more and more encryption enabled Android devices and applications have been used by criminals to carry out illegal activities or to cover their traces, making it difficult for forensic investigations to search for digital evidence. As such, encryption has become an increasing concern for LEAs and a wide range of encryption bypassing tools are being used to perform investigations on evidence found in crime scenes. According to some studies, encryption bypassing is categorized into six categories: find a copy of the key, guess the key, compel the key from someone who knows it, exploit a flaw, access plaintext when the device is in use, locate a plaintext copy of the encrypted artifact. In this thesis we introduce a tool with Android encryption bypassing capabilities offering logical extraction analysis and decryption of multiple widely used Android applications such as Signal, Wickr and WeChat. Our tool also offers password brute-forcing capabilities and enables the orchestration of phishing attacks aimed at the lockscreen. Furthermore we document the capabilities and shortcomings of each of the techniques implemented in the tool, while also listing the improvements developers could use to fortify their applications and the habits users should follow to protect their data stored in Android devices and applications. From the experience we gained while implementing the tool we conclude that while using encryption does not ensure the invincibility of the system, our techniques are also not always effective. Their success often depends on conditions related to the inner encryption implementation of the system and actions that where performed by the user prior to the acquisition of the evidence.
Language English
Subject Mobile
Issue date 2023-07-21
Collection   School/Department--School of Sciences and Engineering--Department of Computer Science--Post-graduate theses
  Type of Work--Post-graduate theses
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