Skip to Main Content
Nowadays, mobile devices are an important part of our everyday lives since they enable us to access a large variety of ubiquitous services. In recent years, the availability of these ubiquitous and mobile services has significantly increased due to the different form of connectivity provided by mobile devices, such as GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. In the same trend, the number and typologies of vulnerabilities exploiting these services and communication channels have increased as well. Therefore, smartphones may now represent an ideal target for malware writers. As the number of vulnerabilities and, hence, of attacks increase, there has been a corresponding rise of security solutions proposed by researchers. Due to the fact that this research field is immature and still unexplored in depth, with this paper we aim to provide a structured and comprehensive overview of the research on security solutions for mobile devices. This paper surveys the state of the art on threats, vulnerabilities and security solutions over the period 2004-2011, by focusing on high-level attacks, such those to user applications. We group existing approaches aimed at protecting mobile devices against these classes of attacks into different categories, based upon the detection principles, architectures, collected data and operating systems, especially focusing on IDS-based models and tools. With this categorization we aim to provide an easy and concise view of the underlying model adopted by each approach.