Asia 2015: Android Assault

Black Hat Asia 2015 is just over two months away, so it's high time to start exploring the numerous exciting Black Hat Briefings that'll be on offer. Black Hat's signature Briefings offer an oft-imitated, seldom equaled combo of hardcore technical insights presented by world-class experts, but you probably knew that. Today's inaugural trio of Briefings all touch on Google's incredibly popular mobile operating system...

The new Android Runtime (ART) brings some nice improvements, but it's new technology, so there's bound to be some, I dunno, ways to create user-mode rootkits? Indeed, that's exactly what you'll hear about in Hiding Behind Android Runtime (ART), in which Paul Sabanal will demonstrate a way to achieve persistence on devices despite recent advances that make modifying the system partition increasingly difficult. Expect a deep dive into ART internals that will cover the file formats and mechanisms relevant to achieving this root, as well as discussion of the method's limitations and a live demo.

Switching gears, the once-stodgy consumer payment industry has seen a flurry of change lately, with the growing adoption of contactless "smart" cards being just one development. Come to Relaying EMV Contactless Transactions Using Off-the-Shelf Android Devices to hear about another: the first discovered vulnerabilities in the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) Contactless platform. With this attack, a victim can have their contactless card used for an illicit purchase just by standing nearby. Presenter Jordi Van den Breekel will also discuss vulnerabilities found in other contactless platforms, including out-of-spec, non-unique codes used in Visa cards, a denial-of-service attack, and much more. You might want to leave your wallet at the hotel, just to be safe.

Finally, tools like APKProtect, DexGuard, BangCle, Ijiami, and LIAPP give Android developers some semblance of code protection. They employ varied anti-analysis techniques such as anti-debugging, anti-jdwp, self-debugging and straight-up obfuscation. So, no more easy cracking of compiled APKs, right? Well, you ought to have a word with Yeonung Park, whose Briefing We Can Still Crack You! General Unpacking Method for Android Packer (no root) will propose and demonstrate a novel, general unpacking method that circumvents the anti-analysis measures and doesn't even need root. (What a showoff.)

Black Hat Asia 2015 takes place March 24 to 27 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and this is the last week for super-low early-bird rates. Get registered already!

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