News at the University of New Brunswick

Comprehensive android dataset will combat malware and improve smartphone security

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Sep 8, 2020

Category: myUNB , UNB Fredericton

In collaboration with Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) at the University of New Brunswick has released a benchmark comprehensive android cybersecurity dataset named CCCS-CIC-AndMal-2020.

This dataset, which includes a total of 400,000 android apps and is the first in a series of two, was created by a team led by Dr. Arash Habibi Lashkari, CIC’s research coordinator and assistant professor at UNB Fredericton’s faculty of computer science.

The project is funded by the Harrison McCain Foundation Young Scholar Awards and the Mitacs Globalink Program provided the Research Internship opportunity. The goal of the Harrison McCain Foundation is to create opportunities for outstanding new or young faculty to advance their research programs through the Young Scholar Awards.

“This project is an excellent example of the international collaborations happening at UNB,” says Danielle Connell, Mitacs business development specialist. “Through Mitacs’ Globalink Research Internship program, a student travelled from Tunisia to New Brunswick to work with Dr. Lashkari in the CIC on this ground-breaking research.”

“The student’s experience at UNB has broadened their horizons, grown their academic networks and exposed them to new research and development environments,” adds Connell. “Mitacs is enabling UNB to reach new institutions around the world, empowering students to build academic bridges which will help Canada address our most pressing issues.”

The representative dataset, which is substantially larger than previously released datasets used by both industry and academia worldwide, will shed light on the complete taxonomy of all the malware families of captured malware apps by dividing them into eight categories. These categories include sensitive data collection, media, hardware, actions/activities, internet connection, C&C, antivirus and storage and settings.

“With unprecedented upsurge in android malware, it has become the root cause of various security problems on the internet,” says Dr Lashkari. “A representative dataset that includes prominent malware categories and families will definitely help to combat the menacing effect of smartphone malware.”

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Unsplash