FOAP: Fine-Grained Open-World Android App Fingerprinting


Jianfeng Li, Hao Zhou, Shuohan Wu, and Xiapu Luo, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Ting Wang, Pennsylvania State University; Xian Zhan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Xiaobo Ma, Xi'an Jiaotong University


Despite the widespread adoption of encrypted communication for mobile apps, adversaries can still identify apps or infer selected user activities of interest from encrypted mobile traffic via app fingerprinting (AF) attacks. However, most existing AF techniques only work under the closed-world assumption, thereby suffering potential precision decline when faced with apps unseen during model training. Moreover, serious privacy leakage often occurs when users conduct some sensitive operations, which are closely associated with specific UI components. Unfortunately, existing AF techniques are too coarse-grained to acquire such fine-grained sensitive information. In this paper, we take the first step to identify method-level fine-grained user action of Android apps in the open-world setting and present a systematic solution, dubbed FOAP, to address the above limitations. First, to effectively reduce false positive risks in the open-world setting, we propose a novel metric, named structural similarity, to adaptively filter out traffic segments irrelevant to the app of interest. Second, FOAP achieves fine-grained user action identification via synthesizing traffic and binary analysis. Specifically, FOAP identifies user actions on specific UI components through inferring entry point methods correlated with them. Extensive evaluations and case studies demonstrate that FOAP is not only reasonably accurate but also practical in fine-grained user activity inference and user privacy analysis.

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@inproceedings {277234,
title = {{FOAP}: {Fine-Grained} {Open-World} Android App Fingerprinting},
booktitle = {31st USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 22)},
year = {2022},
address = {Boston, MA},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,