Android Hacker's Handbook - PDF

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Android Hacker's Handbook by Joshua J. Drake

Like most disciplines, information security began as a cottage industry. It is has grown organically from hobbyist pastime into a robust industry replete with executive titles, “research and development” credibility, and the ear of academia as an industry where seemingly aloof fi elds of study such as number theory, cryptography, natural language processing, graph theory, algorithms, and niche computer science can be applied with a great deal of industry impact. Information security is evolving into a proving ground for some of these fascinating fi elds of study. Nonetheless, information security (specifi cally “vulnerability research”) is bound to the information technology sector as a whole and therefore follows the same trends.


As we all very well know from our personal lives, mobile computing is quite obviously one of the greatest recent areas of growth in the information technology. More than ever, our lives are chaperoned by our mobile devices, much more so than the computers we leave on our desks at close of business or leave closed on our home coffee tables when we head into our offi ces in the morning. Unlike those devices, our mobile devices are always on, taken between these two worlds, and are hence much more valuable targets for malicious actors.


Unfortunately information security has been slower to follow suit, with only a recent shift toward the mobile space. As a predominantly “reactionary” industry, information security has been slow (at least publicly) to catch up to mobile/embedded security research and development. To some degree mobile security is still considered cutting edge, because consumers and users of mobile devices are only just recently beginning to see and comprehend the threats associated with our mobile devices. These threats have consequently created a market for security research and security products.


For information security researchers, the mobile space also represents a fairly new and sparsely charted continent to explore, with diverse geography in the form of different processor architectures, hardware peripherals, software stacks, and operating systems. All of these create an ecosystem for a diverse set of vulnerabilities to exploit and study.


According to IDC, Android market share in Q3 2012 was 75 percent of the worldwide market (as calculated by shipment volume) with 136 million units shipped. Apple’s iOS had 14.9 percent of the market in the same quarter, BlackBerry and Symbian followed behind with 4.3 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. After Q3 2013, Android’s number had risen to 81 percent, with iOS at 12.9 percent and the remaining 6.1 percent scattered among the other mobile operating systems. With that much market share, and a host of interesting information security incidents and research happening in the Android world, we felt a book of this nature was long overdue.


Wiley has published numerous books in the Hacker’s Handbook series, including the titles with the terms “Shellcoder’s,” “Mac,” “Database,” “Web Application,” “iOS,” and “Browser” in their names. The Android Hacker’s Handbook represents the latest installment in the series and builds on the information within the entire collection.


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