How to Detect Banned Devices in Android Apps

Last updated December 6, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Detect Banned Devices in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What are banned devices?

Banned devices are Android mobile devices that are not included in Google Support’s list of publicly launched devices supported for use with Google Play and your apps. Supported devices are devices that have passed the Android Compatibility Program, which defines technical details of the Android platform and provides tools that allow OEMs to ensure that developer applications run on a variety of devices.

Why Detect Banned Devices in Android Apps?

Organizations may have to prevent mobile apps from running on banned devices in order to comply with a specific internal company policy or an external regulation or government mandate. While restricting the device in Google Play may help in limiting the distribution via the standard way, applications can always be side-loaded via tools such as adb or Android Assistant.
Using Appdome’s Banned Devices feature is a ‘defense in depth’ approach implemented deep within the logic of the mobile app itself. Appdome Android Banned Devices prevention detects if the app is running on untrusted or banned devices. Appdome customers can specify mobile device manufacturers and prevent mobile apps from running on these banned devices.
Appdome automatically identifies the manufacturer of the Android device, once the application loads, and enables you to block the app from running on pre-defined unwanted devices.

Prerequisites for Using Detect Banned Devices:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Detect Banned Devices , you’ll need:

Detect Banned Devices on Android apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Detect Banned Devices 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. Android Formats: .apk or .aab
    4. Detect Banned Devices Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and other Android apps
  2. Build the feature: Detect Banned Devices.

    1. Building Detect Banned Devices by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Detect Banned Devices feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Detect Banned Devices

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Detect Banned Devices 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 Detect Banned Devices feature via Appdome Console, to add the Detect Banned Devices 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 Detect Banned Devices feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Detect Banned Devices protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > OS Integrity section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Detect Banned Devices, 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 Detects Banned Devices. Detect Banned Devices option

        Figure 3: Detect Banned Devices 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 Detect Banned Devices you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Detect Banned Devices

        Fusion Set applied Detect Banned Devices

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Detect Banned Devices protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Detect Banned Devices:
        1. Threat-Events™ OFF > In-App Defense

          If the Threat-Events™ setting is cleared (not selected). Appdome will detect and defend the user and app by enforcing Detect Banned Devices.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects if the app is running on untrusted or banned devices 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 Detect Banned Devices Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Banned Devices (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 Detect Banned Devices Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      5. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Detect Banned Devices protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Detect Banned Devices feature in Android Apps.

    After building Detect Banned Devices, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Detect Banned Devices protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Detect Banned Devices protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below: Detect Banned Devices 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 Detect Banned Devices has been added to each Android app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Detect Banned Devices and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for Banned Devices Intelligence and Control in Android Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Banned Devices is detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Banned Devices in Android Apps, use registerReceiver in the Application OnCreate, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Banned Devices shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Banned Devices are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Detect Banned Devices Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Detect Banned Devices
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, IN-APP DEFENSE Appdome detects, defends and notifies user (standard OS dialog) using customizable messaging.
ON, IN-APP DETECTION 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 Detecting Banned Devices Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME BannedManufacturer
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6801
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
message Message displayed for the user on event
externalID The external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersion OS version of the current device
deviceModel Current device model
deviceManufacturer The manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppToken The task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfo Info about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmn PLMN of the device
deviceID Current device ID
reasonCode Reason code of the occured event
buildDate Appdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatform OS name of the current device
carrierName Carrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersion Is the OS version up to date
deviceBrand Brand of the device
deviceBoard Board of the device
buildUser Build user
buildHost Build host
sdkVersion Sdk version
timeZone Time zone
deviceFaceDown Is the device face down
locationLong Location long
locationLat Location lat
locationState Location state
wifiSsid Wifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatus Wifi SSID permission status

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), Android developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in Android applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Banned Devices is detected.

The following is a code sample for native Android apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Detect Banned Devices:


Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Detect Banned Devices. 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 Detect Banned Devices

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:

Related Articles:

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

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