An Android-based network that integrates Google Street View data with spoofed GPS coordinates will aid researchers in studying malware propagation over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in California believe the Android network will provide real-time information on how people behave in case of disaster or terrorist attacks. MegaDroid will help identify security problems and set up scenarios that target Android-running devices.
“Smartphones are now ubiquitous and used as general-purpose computing devices as much as desktop or laptop computers,” said David Fritz, Sandia cyber researcher. “But even though they are easy targets, no one appears to be studying them at the scale we’re attempting.“
The tool could also be used to analyze leakage and data-protection methods, enabling companies to identify weak spots and patch security vulnerabilities. With endless practical applications for MegaDroid, researchers believe the network could be extended to analyze any security issue iOS and Android devices may face.
“You could also extend the technology to other platforms besides Android,” said Sandia Scalable and Secure Systems Research manager Keith Vanderveen. “Apple’s iOS, for instance, could take advantage of our body of knowledge and the tool kit we’re developing.“
The 300,000 virtual Android devices will serve as a ground platform for other projects, because researchers at Sandia plan to publicly release the code behind MegaDroid so others can build upon their work. Saying that “tools are only useful if they’re used,” Fritz believes MegaDroid will prove to be an efficient testing solution.