Accessibility service utilization rates in android applications shared on Twitter

Shuichi Ichioka, Estelle Pouget, Takao Mimura, Jun Nakajima, Toshihiro Yamauchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The number of malware detected has been increasing annually, and 4.12% of malware reported in 2018 attacked Android phones. Therefore, preventing attacks by Android malware is critically important. Several previous studies have investigated the percentage of apps that utilize accessibility services and are distributed from Google Play, that have been reportedly used by Android malware. However, the Social Networking Services (SNSs) that are used to spread malware have distributed apps not only from Google Play but also from other sources. Therefore, apps distributed from within and outside of Google Play must be investigated to capture malware trends. In this study, we collected apps shared on Twitter in 2018, which is a representative SNS, and created a Twitter shared apps dataset. The dataset consists of 32,068 apps downloaded from the websites of URLs collected on Twitter. We clarified the proportion of apps that contained malware and proportion of apps utilizing accessibility services. We found that both, the percentage of malware and percentage of total apps using accessibility services have been increasing. Notably, the percentages of malware and un-suspicious apps using accessibility services were quite similar. Therefore, this problem cannot be solved by automatically blocking all apps that use accessibility services. Hence, specific countermeasures against malware using accessibility services will be increasingly important for online security in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Security Applications - 21st International Conference, WISA 2020, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsIlsun You
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030652982
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event21st International Conference on Information Security Applications, WISA 2020 - Jeju Island, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Aug 26 2020Aug 28 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12583 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference21st International Conference on Information Security Applications, WISA 2020
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CityJeju Island


  • Accessibility service
  • Android app
  • Malware
  • SNS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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