• mobile devices;
  • anomaly-based intrusion detection system;
  • user behaviour;
  • machine learning classifiers


Mobile devices have evolved and experienced an immense popularity over the last few years. This growth however has exposed mobile devices to an increasing number of security threats. Despite the variety of peripheral protection mechanisms described in the literature, authentication and access control cannot provide integral protection against intrusions. Thus, a need for more intelligent and sophisticated security controls such as intrusion detection systems (IDSs) is necessary. Whilst much work has been devoted to mobile device IDSs, research on anomaly-based or behaviour-based IDS for such devices has been limited leaving several problems unsolved. Motivated by this fact, in this paper, we focus on anomaly-based IDS for modern mobile devices. A dataset consisting of iPhone users data logs has been created, and various classification and validation methods have been evaluated to assess their effectiveness in detecting misuses. Specifically, the experimental procedure includes and cross-evaluates four machine learning algorithms (i.e. Bayesian networks, radial basis function, K-nearest neighbours and random Forest), which classify the behaviour of the end-user in terms of telephone calls, SMS and Web browsing history. In order to detect illegitimate use of service by a potential malware or a thief, the experimental procedure examines the aforementioned services independently as well as in combination in a multimodal fashion. The results are very promising showing the ability of at least one classifier to detect intrusions with a high true positive rate of 99.8%. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.