Posted by Martijn Grooten on Mar 20, 2019
The two most common methods for analysing potentially malicious files each have their shortcomings. Dynamic analysis only looks at what actually happens when the code is run and can thus be frustrated by anti-analysis techniques. Static analysis doesn't have this shortcoming, but is hindered by obfuscation used in the file.
In a paper presented at VB2018 in Montreal, Check Point researchers Yoni Moses and Yaniv Mordekhay proposed a method that combines static and dynamic analysis to defeat obfuscation in Android apps. They tested it successfully on hundreds of both malicious and benign Android apps and concluded that, to research modern threats, a more holistic approach like this is needed.
Those interested in Android malware in general and anti-analysis methods in particular would do well to read the paper by Google researcher Maddie Stone, presented at the same conference.