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Two-factor Authentication in Smartphones: Implementations and Attacks

Ericson, Christofer LU (2015) EITM01 20151
Department of Electrical and Information Technology
Abstract
Two-factor authentication is the method of combining two so called authentication factors in order to enhance the security of user authentication. An authentication factor is defined as ”Something the user knows, has or is”. Something the user knows is often the traditional username and password, something the user has is something that the user is in physical possession of and something the user is is a physical trait of the user, such as biometrics. Two-factor authentication greatly enhances security attributes compared to traditional password-only methods. With the advent of the smartphone, new convenient authentication methods have been developed in order to take advantage of the versatility such devices provide. However, older... (More)
Two-factor authentication is the method of combining two so called authentication factors in order to enhance the security of user authentication. An authentication factor is defined as ”Something the user knows, has or is”. Something the user knows is often the traditional username and password, something the user has is something that the user is in physical possession of and something the user is is a physical trait of the user, such as biometrics. Two-factor authentication greatly enhances security attributes compared to traditional password-only methods. With the advent of the smartphone, new convenient authentication methods have been developed in order to take advantage of the versatility such devices provide. However, older two-factor authentication methods such as sending codes via SMS are still widely popular and in the case of the smartphone opens up new attack vectors for criminals to exploit by creating malware that is able to gain control over SMS functionality. This thesis explores, discusses and compares three distinct two-factor authentication methods used in smartphones today in the sense of security and usability. These are mTAN (mobile Transaction Authentication Number), TOTP (Time-based One Time Password Algorithm) and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). Both practial and theoretical attacks against these methods are reviewed with a focus on malicious software and advantages and disadvantages of each method are presented. An in-depth analysis of an Android smartphone SMS-stealing trojan is done in order to gain a deeper understanding of how smartphone malware operates. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ericson, Christofer LU
supervisor
organization
course
EITM01 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
report number
LU/LTH-EIT 2015-462
language
English
id
7792889
date added to LUP
2015-09-03 16:08:09
date last changed
2015-09-03 16:08:09
@misc{7792889,
  abstract     = {Two-factor authentication is the method of combining two so called authentication factors in order to enhance the security of user authentication. An authentication factor is defined as ”Something the user knows, has or is”. Something the user knows is often the traditional username and password, something the user has is something that the user is in physical possession of and something the user is is a physical trait of the user, such as biometrics. Two-factor authentication greatly enhances security attributes compared to traditional password-only methods. With the advent of the smartphone, new convenient authentication methods have been developed in order to take advantage of the versatility such devices provide. However, older two-factor authentication methods such as sending codes via SMS are still widely popular and in the case of the smartphone opens up new attack vectors for criminals to exploit by creating malware that is able to gain control over SMS functionality. This thesis explores, discusses and compares three distinct two-factor authentication methods used in smartphones today in the sense of security and usability. These are mTAN (mobile Transaction Authentication Number), TOTP (Time-based One Time Password Algorithm) and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). Both practial and theoretical attacks against these methods are reviewed with a focus on malicious software and advantages and disadvantages of each method are presented. An in-depth analysis of an Android smartphone SMS-stealing trojan is done in order to gain a deeper understanding of how smartphone malware operates.},
  author       = {Ericson, Christofer},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Two-factor Authentication in Smartphones: Implementations and Attacks},
  year         = {2015},
}