CSC News

November 09, 2020

Enck’s Paper Wins 2020 SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award

Congratulations to Dr. William Enck, associate professor in the NC State Computer Science Department, along with fellow researchers Peter Gilbert (Oasis Labs), Byung-Gon Chun (Seoul National University), Landon P. Cox (Microsoft Research), Jaeyeon Jung (Samsung), Patrick McDaniel (The Pennsylvania State University), and Anmol N. Sheth (A9), for winning the 2020 ACM Special Interest Group in Operating Systems (SIGOPS) Hall of Fame Award.


The winning paper is “TaintDroid:  An Information-Flow Tracking System for Realtime Privacy Monitoring on Smartphones.”  The paper appeared in OSDI ’10:  Proceedings of the 9th USENIX Conference on Operating Systems Design and Implementation. 


According to the selection committee, “This paper was instrumental in demonstrating that taint tracking could be made both efficient and fine-grained. For unmodified smartphone applications, with minimal monitoring overhead, the authors found dozens of potential leaks of sensitive and private information. This work sparked an important research agenda on smartphone privacy that continues to this day.”


The abstract follows:


Abstract:  Today's smartphone operating systems frequently fail to provide users with adequate control over and visibility into how third-party applications use their private data. We address these shortcomings with TaintDroid, an efficient, system-wide dynamic taint tracking and analysis system capable of simultaneously tracking multiple sources of sensitive data. TaintDroid provides realtime analysis by leveraging Android's virtualized execution environment. TaintDroid incurs only 14% performance overhead on a CPU-bound micro-benchmark and imposes negligible overhead on interactive third-party applications. Using TaintDroid to monitor the behavior of 30 popular third-party Android applications, we found 68 instances of potential misuse of users' private information across 20 applications. Monitoring sensitive data with TaintDroid provides informed use of third-party applications for phone users and valuable input for smartphone security service firms seeking to identify misbehaving applications.


To read the winning paper, click here.


The SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award was instituted in 2005 to recognize the most influential Operating Systems papers that were published at least ten years in the past. The selection committee for 2020 consisted of Tom Anderson, Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau, and Brad Chen.



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