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How to Block Memory Editing & Injection Attacks in Android & iOS Apps

Last updated August 11, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Block Memory Editing Tools in Mobile Apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What are Memory Editing Tools?

Memory Injections and Memory Editing tools are used in modifying the Apps memory, which in turn can alter the Apps behavior.

Memory injection is also a common game cheating method, which involves altering the running memory of a mobile game dynamically while the game is running.

Why Block Memory Editing Tools in Mobile Apps ?

Cyber-criminals often use a dynamic instrumentation tool such as Frida to inspect functions as they are called, modify their arguments, and perform custom calls to functions inside a target process – all while the app is running.

Memory injection can be used for cheating in mobile games by altering game scores, in-app values, player attributes, and other game behaviors by creating a new memory-mapped region that can be executed, or a function hook. Fraudsters first scan the memory of the game to learn where certain values or game states are stored. They can then use a tool like Frida to hook into the application (function hooking or method hooking) to interact with the running processes and inject their own JavaScript code, which alters the game’s memory. Memory editing can be done for any mobile game where the player’s actions are stored in local memory, which is true for most mobile games.  

Blocking Memory Editing Tools on Mobile apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Block Memory Editing Tools without an SDK or gateway:

  1. Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.

    1. Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System

    2. Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
    3. Mobile App Formats: .ipa For iOS device or .apk or .aab
  2. Build the Protection: Block Memory Editing Tools.

    1. Building Block Memory Editing Tools by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Block Memory Editing Tools feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Block Memory Editing Tools

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Block Memory Editing Tools feature
        Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).

      3. Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Block Memory Editing Tools feature via Appdome Console , to add the Block Memory Editing Tools feature to this Fusion Set.

      4. open the Fusion Set Detail Summary by clicking the “...” symbol on the far-right corner of the Fusion Set, as shown in Figure 1 above, and get the Fusion Set ID from the Fusion Set Detail Summary (as shown below): fusion Set Detail Summary image

        Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
        Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).

      5. Follow the instructions below to use the Fusion Set ID inside any standard mobile DevOps or CI/CD toolkit like Bitrise, App Center, Jenkins, Travis, Team City, Cirlce CI or other system:
        1. Build an API for the app – for instructions, see the tasks under Appdome API Reference Guide
        2. Look for sample APIs in Appdome’s GitHub Repository
    2. Building the Block Memory Editing Tools feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Block Memory Editing Tools protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Fraud Tab > Mobile Cheat Prevention section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Block Memory Editing Tools, as shown below, If needed, customize the Threat Notification to be displayed to the mobile end-user in a standard OS dialog notification when Appdome Blocks Memory Editing Tools. Block Memory Editing Tools option

        Figure 3: Block Memory Editing Tools option
        Note: The App Compromise Notification contains an easy to follow default remediation path for the mobile app end user. You can customize this message as required to achieve brand specific support, workflow or other messaging.

      3. When you select the Block Memory Editing Tools you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Block Memory Editing Tools

        Fusion Set applied Block Memory Editing Tools

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Block Memory Editing Tools protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Block Memory Editing Tools:
        1. Threat-Events™ OFF > Appdome Enforce

          If the Threat-Events™ setting is cleared (not selected). Appdome will detect and defend the user and app by enforcing Block Memory Editing Tools.

        2. Threat-Events™ ON > In-App Detection

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects when memory editing and injections tools are being used and passes Appdome’s Threat-Event™ attack intelligence to the app’s business logic for processing, enforcement, and user notification. For more information on consuming and using Appdome Threat-Events™ in the app, see section Using Threat-Events™ for Block Memory Editing Tools Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

        3. Threat-Events™ ON > In-App Defense

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Memory Editing Tools (same as Appdome Enforce) and passes Appdome’s Threat-Event™ attack intelligence the app’s business logic for processing. For more information on consuming and using Appdome Threat-Events™ in the app, see section Using Threat-Events™ for Block Memory Editing Tools Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      5. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 2).
    Congratulations!  The Block Memory Editing Tools protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Block Memory Editing Tools feature in Mobile Apps.

    After building Block Memory Editing Tools, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Block Memory Editing Tools protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Block Memory Editing Tools protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below: Block Memory Editing Tools shown in Certificate secure

    Figure 5: Certified Secure™ certificate

    Each Certified Secure™ certificate provides DevOps and DevSecOps organizations the entire workflow summary, audit trail of each build, and proof of protection that Block Memory Editing Tools has been added to each Mobile app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Block Memory Editing Tools and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for Memory Editing Tools Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Memory Editing Tools are detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Memory Editing Tools in Mobile Apps, use AddObserverForName in Notification Center, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Memory Editing Tools shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Memory Editing Tools are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Block Memory Editing Tools Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block Memory Editing Tools
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, APPDOME ENFORCE Appdome detects, defends and notifies user (standard OS dialog) using customizable messaging.
ON, IN-APP DETECTON Appdome detects the attack or threat and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (app chooses how and when to enforce).
ON, IN-APP DEFENSE Uses Appdome Enforce mode for any attack or threat and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (gather intel on attacks and threats without losing any protection).
Certified Secure™ Threat Event Check
Visible in ThreatScope™
Developer Parameters for Blocking Memory Editing Tools Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME ActiveDebuggerThreatDetected
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6928
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
messageMessage displayed for the user on event
externalIDThe external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersionOS version of the current device
deviceModelCurrent device model
deviceManufacturerThe manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppTokenThe task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfoInfo about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmnPLMN of the device
deviceIDCurrent device ID
reasonCodeReason code of the occured event
buildDateAppdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatformOS name of the current device
carrierNameCarrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersionIs the OS version up to date
deviceBrandBrand of the device
deviceBoardBoard of the device
buildUserBuild user
buildHostBuild host
sdkVersionSdk version
timeZoneTime zone
deviceFaceDownIs the device face down
locationLongLocation long
locationLatLocation lat
locationStateLocation state
wifiSsidWifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatusWifi SSID permission status
reasonReason for detections

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), Mobile developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in Mobile applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Memory Editing Tools are detected.

The following is a code sample for native Mobile apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Block Memory Editing Tools:

Prerequisites to Using Block Memory Editing Tools:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Block Memory Editing Tools , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Block Memory Editing Tools. There is no SDK and no library to code or implement in the app and no gateway to deploy in your network. All protections are built into each app and the resulting app is self-defending and self-protecting.

Releasing and Publishing Mobile Apps with Block Memory Editing Tools

After successfully securing your app by using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include:

All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.

Protections Similar to Block Memory Editing Tools

Here are a few related resources:

How to Prevent Key Injection in Android apps

How to Prevent Malicious Misuse of Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

How to Block Speed Hacking, Prevent Mobile Game Cheating

If you have any questions, please send them our way at support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

Thank you!

Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to secure every app on the planet by making mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project.