Mobile Security (SS 2023)

Course Number 705012 | Sommersemester 2023


This course is a seminar-style class which focuses on security aspects of mobile devices. We study the security mechanisms of smartphones and show how to employ them to protect sensitive information. Based on that, we analyze mobile applications regarding security-critical deficiencies, examine platform and application vulnerabilities and discuss how they can be exploited by attackers.
  • Security Architectures of Android and iOS
    • Access protection (PIN, Patterns, ...), Secure Element, OS updates, permissions, sandboxing, ...
    • Which mechanisms are provided in order to protect sensitive data?
    • How do they work?
  • Common security mistakes in mobile applications
    • Responsibilities of app developers
    • Proper use of access protection for files and data
    • Securing communication channels
  • Key and data storage on mobile devices
    • Device encryption, key derivation functions, key management, risks
    • Which kind of keys do you manage on your device?
    • In practice, what are the risks you have to cope with?
  • Application analysis
    • Tools and approaches, vulnerabilities and exploits, handling sensitive data, security-critical mistakes
  • Attacking today's smartphones
    • Side-channels, Man-in-the-middle, jailbreaking, consequences
  • The bigger picture
    • What is the attack surface of the hardware?
    • How to conduct research in mobile security?


Lecture Slides (Updated Weekly)

The lecture for Mobile Security enables you to acquire knowledge about trending topics in the field of Android and iOS. Attendance is not mandatory but you are encouraged to participate continuously in order to get the "big picture". Slides will be uploaded and linked after each lecture.

Date Topic
17.03.2023 Introduction & Motivation
24.03.2023 Key & Data Storage on Mobile Devices, Assignment 1
31.03.2023 iOS Platform Security Also see: iOS Security Guide
21.04.2023 iOS Application Security Also see: Evasi0n Jailbreak: Userspace, Kernel Patches, Source Code
28.04.2023 Android Platform Security Also see: The Android Platform Security Model
05.05.2023 Android Application Security I
12.05.2023 Android Application Security II
26.05.2023 Mobile Hardware Security
02.06.2023 Mobile Network Security
09.06.2023 Mobile Security Research, Q&A for Assignment 2 Note: Since this was officially a lecture-free day, I recorded the lecture and uploaded it to TeachCenter (login required).
16.06.2023 Presentation of your task 2 results

Practicals and Misc

Everything related to the practicals and further material can be found on the assignments page.


For better coordination during the course, you are invited to join the # mobilesec Discord channel. To ensure that you won't miss any essential information, there will also be old-school updates via email.

Administrative Information

Important Dates

  • 20.03.2023: Deadline to register for the lecture and the practicals class.
  • 31.03.2023: Assignments: Select a topic for task 2 and write me an e-mail
  • 17.04.2023: Assignments - Task 1: Submit your results as described on the slides for task 1.
  • 12.06.2023: Assignments - Task 2 : Deadline for sending the deliverable and slides via e-mail to
  • 16.06.2023: Assignments - Task 2 : Final presentations
  • June 2023: Lecture: Written exam

Lecture Exams

Basically, each student who wants to obtain a grade for the lecture has to pass an exam. You may select and register for an exam date via TUGRAZonline.


Florian Draschbacher

PhD Student

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