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FlowDroid Static Data Flow Tracker
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README.MD

Build Status

FlowDroid Data Flow Analysis Tool

This repository hosts the FlowDroid data flow analysis tool. FlowDroid statically computes data flows in Android apps and Java programs. Its goal is to provide researchers and practitioners with a tool and library on which they can base their own research projects and product implementations. We are happy to see that FlowDroid is now widely used in academia as well as industry.

Obtaining The Tool

You can either build FlowDroid on your own using Maven, or you can download a release from here on Github.

Downloading The Release

The Release Page contains all pre-built JAR files for each release that we officially publish. We recommend using the latest and greatest version unless you have a specific issue that prevents you from doing so. In that case, please let us know (see contact below).

For a quick start with FlowDroid, look at "Using The Data Flow Tracker" below. If you only want to use the command-line tool, all you need is the "soot-infoflow-cmd-jar-with-dependencies.jar" file.

Building The Tool With Maven

From version 2.5 on, FlowDroid is built using Maven. Use

EXPORT ANDROID_JARS=<Android JAR folder>
EXPORT DROIDBENCH=<DroidBench folder>
mvn install

to build the tool and run all unit tests. The Android JAR folder is the "platforms" directory inside your Android SDK installation folder. The DroidBench folder is the location of DroidBench, our micro-benchmark suite. These two environment variables are only required for running the unit tests.

If you do not want DroidBench, or are in a hurry and just want to build the tool without the tests (they can take quite some time to complete, we have more than 400 of them), try

mvn -DskipTests install

Either way, you will find the built JAR files in the "target" folder of the respective modules. Maven should take care of all dependencies that are required for the build. Unless you need to build FlowDroid on a machine without an Internet connection, thing should be pretty easy.

Building The Tool With Eclipse

We work on FlowDroid using the Eclipse IDE. All modules are Eclipse projects and can be imported into the Eclipse IDE. They will appear as Maven projects there and Eclipse should take care of downloading all required dependencies for you.

Using The Data Flow Tracker

You can use FlowDroid either through its command-line interface (module soot-infoflow-cmd) or as a library. In general, if you would like to implement something and need a data flow tracker as a component, you are better off by integrating the FlowDroid modules as JAR files. If you just need the results quickly, simply run the command-line interface.

FlowDroid is supported on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Running The Command-Line Tool

If you want to use the command-line tool to run the data flow tracker, you can use the following command:

java -jar soot-infoflow-cmd/target/soot-infoflow-cmd-jar-with-dependencies.jar \
    -a <APK File> \
    -p <Android JAR folder> \
    -s <SourcesSinks file>

The Android JAR folder is the "platforms" directory inside your Android SDK installation folder. The definition file for sources and sinks defines what shall be treated as a source of sensitive information and what shall be treated as a sink that can possibly leak sensitive data to the outside world. These definitions are specific to your use case. However, if you are looking for privacy issues, you can use our default file "SourcesAndSinks.txt" in the "soot-infoflow-android" folder as a starting point.

For finding out about the other options of the command-line tool, you can run the tool with the "--help" option or have a look at the MainClass.initializeCommandLineOptions()" method in the source code (module soot-infoflow-cmd).

Configuring FlowDroid for Performance

For some apps, FlowDroid will take very long for large apps. There are various options with which you can configure a tradeoff between performance, precision and recall.

  • -ns Do not track taints on static fields and disregard static initializers.
  • -ne Do not track exceptional flows.

You can also define timeouts:

  • -dt N Aborts the data flow analysis after N seconds and returns the results obtained so far.
  • -ct N Aborts the callback collection during callgraph construction after N seconds and continues with the (incomplete) callgraph constructed so far.
  • -rt N Aborts the result collection after N seconds and returns the results obtained so far.

Note that timeouts are additive. All three stages must complete or run into a timeout for the tool to return and deliver results.

Using FlowDroid as a library

If you want to include FlowDroid as a library into your own solution, you can directly reference the respective JAR files. If you use Maven, you can add FlowDroid as a reference and have Maven resolve all required components. Depending on what you want to analyze (Android apps or Java programs), your dependencies may vary.

In this section, we will collect code and configuration snippets for common tasks with FlowDroid.

Publications

If you want to read the details on how FlowDroid works, the PhD thesis of Steven Arzt is a good place to start.

Contributing to FlowDroid

Contributions are always welcome. FlowDroid is an open source project that we published in the hope that it will be useful to the research community as a whole. If you have a new feature of a bug fix that you would like to see in the official code repository, please open a merge request here on Github and contact us (see below) with a short description of what you have done.

License

FlowDroid is licensed under the LGPL license, see LICENSE file. This basically means that you are free to use the tool (even in commercial, closed-source projects). However, if you extend or modify the tool, you must make your changes available under the LGPL as well. This ensures that we can continue to improve the tool as a community effort.

Contact

If you experience any issues, you can ask for help on the Soot mailing list. You can also contact us at Steven.Arzt@sit.fraunhofer.de.

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