Android Security Symposium 2015

Secure copy protection for mobile apps

About the speaker

Nils T. Kannengiesser

Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
Nils Kannengiesser is a teaching/research associate at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). His major is Information Technology and he studied in Kiel (Germany) as well as College Station (USA). His current research is about Android Security and Copy Protection using Secure Elements.


Highly sophisticated copy protections exist in the desktop world for decades already and were most often used to prevent users from creating illegal copies of CDs or DVDs, while the applications were checking for a valid disc. Instead modern smartphones gather their apps from official markets by default and these apps are bound to a user's account in theory. Of course, it's possible to access the app files and redistribute them to other users and devices. While it might be no issue for free apps, developers of paid apps risk the loss of revenue. For this reason Google provided developers libraries for license verifications (LVL). Nevertheless the provided methods can be easily cracked and many developers seem to be unaware of the risks even nowadays. In this talk we want to present an approach for copy protection using secure elements on smartphones with Android.


Get the slides here.