Smartphone as a Socially Enabling Technology
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Holz
Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) Abstract
Smartphone as a Socially Enabling Technology Prof. Dr. Thorsten Holz Ruhr-Universität
Bochum (RUB) Abstract Since about ten years, smartphones transform the way we
deal with information and communicate with each other. Finding the car in the parking
lot, displaying the current planet constellation, or transforming the iPhone into a
kaleidoscope or a baby phone – smartphone apps are able to do just about anything
and they have a major impact on our life. In this talk, we will shed some light on
recent developments in this area and focus on several areas where smartphones have
a significant impact. We conclude the talk with an overview of an important area in this
context, the security of apps: sometimes they are capable of things that do not appear
to be vital for their function. Why does the flashlight app want to access the address
book? Why does the football app require the right to send text messages that have
charges associated with them? When installing an application on their mobile phone, a
user has to grant it certain rights. Frequently enough, they authorize the program to
perform more operations than its function actually requires. We will discuss both
technical and social reasons for this problem and hint at potential solutions.
Short Biography
Thorsten Holz is a full professor in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information
Technology Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. His research interests include systemsoriented aspects of secure systems, with a specific focus on applied computer security.
Currently, his work concentrates on bots/botnets, honeypots/honeynets, automated
analysis of malicious software, and studying latest attack vectors. He received the
Dipl.-Inform. degree in Computer Science from RWTH Aachen, Germany (2005), and
the Ph.D. degree from University of Mannheim (2009). Prior to joining Ruhr-University
Bochum in April 2010, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Automation Systems
Group at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. In 2011, Thorsten received the
Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and in 2014,
he received an ERC Starting Grant to develop binary analysis techniques for embedded
systems. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and served on the PC
of the leading security conferences.

Smartphone as a Socially Enabling Technology Abstract Short