19 May 2022
More than 100 students have participated in the “Researchers at Schools” activity, organized by IMDEA Networks on May 17th (Internet and Telecommunications Day) as part of the Madrid 2022 European Researchers’ Night project. The Leganés high schools IES Luis Vives, IES San Nicasio, and IES Siglo XXI attended the talk given by our PhD student Álvaro Feal on privacy risks in Android applications and then they were able to visit the 5TONIC lab.
Feal told them how Android applications can include code from other entities or companies (third-party libraries) that take advantage of the information available on the phone to access personal data of users. These companies use this data to generate profits, through user tracking or the use of advertisements targeted to people with specific characteristics, which can pose a risk to their privacy.
He also explained how parental control applications behave inappropriately and pose a risk to the privacy of children and their parents. To conclude, he told them about a study conducted in 2019 in which they detected vulnerabilities in the Android operating system that allowed thousands of apps to collect sensitive information of millions of users, such as their geolocation and unique identifiers, without their knowledge and consent through covert-channels and side-channels attacks.
The students really enjoyed the presentation in which Feal summarized the results obtained in different scientific papers published in the prestigious PETS and USENIX Security conferences and which have received awards from the AEPD.
They were also able to visit 5TONIC with Neftalí González, Systems Administrator at IMDEA Networks. The lab was founded by IMDEA Networks and Telefónica with the aim of providing an open global environment where members of industry and academia work together on specific innovation and research projects related to 5G and 6G technologies.
MADRIDNIGHT is a science outreach project, coordinated by Fundación madri+d and funded by the European Union within the Horizon Europe Program, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions with grant agreement no. 101061343.