Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

2017 IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops


Web-based or hybrid mobile applications (apps) are widely used and supported by various modern hybrid app development frameworks. In this architecture, any JavaScript code, local or remote, can access available APIs, including JavaScript bridges provided by the hybrid framework, to access device resources. This JavaScript inclusion capability is dangerous, since there is no mechanism to determine the origin of the code to control access, and any JavaScript code running in the mobile app can access the device resources through the exposed APIs. Previous solutions are either limited to a particular platform (e.g., Android) or a specific hybrid framework (e.g., Cordova) or only protect the device resources and disregard the sensitive elements in the web environment. Moreover, most of the solutions require the modification of the base platform. In this paper, we present HybridGuard, a novel policy enforcement framework that can enforce principal-based, stateful policies, on multiple origins without modifying the hybrid frameworks or mobile platforms. In HybridGuard, hybrid app developers can specify principal-based permissions, and define fine-grained, and stateful policies that can mitigate a significant class of attacks caused by potentially malicious JavaScript code included from third-party domains, including ads running inside the app. HybridGuard also provides a mechanism and policy patterns for app developers to specify fine-grained policies for multiple principals. HybridGuard is implemented in JavaScript, therefore, it can be easily adapted for other hybrid frameworks or mobile platforms without modification of these frameworks or platforms. We present attack scenarios and report experimental results to demonstrate how HybridGuard can thwart attacks against hybrid mobile apps.

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Peer Reviewed


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