How to Detect EdXposed Framework, Protect Android Apps

Last updated August 22, 2022 by Appdome

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

What is EdXposed Framework?

EdXposed Framework  is a carryover project that stemmed from the original Xposed rooting framework. EdXposed improves on Xposed by using what is known as a Riru module to inject code into Android’s Zygote process as part of initializing Android. Zygote is a low-level Android OS process that enables shared code across Dalvik and Android Runtime virtual machines. The net result is a more efficient way of Rooting Android, as EdXposed ‘modules’ can work across different versions and different ROMs without any changes. As all changes are made in the memory space, you only need to deactivate the module and reboot to get your original system back.

This combination of EdXposed and Riru modules allows users to install EdXposed Framework on devices running Android 10, Pie, and Oreo.  EdXposed is used by pen testers and hackers to modify the flow of an Android app at runtime, by writing custom modules for hooking into the said Android apps.

Why Detect EdXposed Framework in Android Apps ?

While a developer or a pen tester may use EdXposed during the development stages of your app, once the app is complete you can safely assume that any use of EdXposed is made by a malicious party in order to modify your Android app.

Using EdXposed requires having a rooted Android device, as well as the setting Enable Unknown Sources turned on, as this setting allows attackers to install programs whose source is not an approved store (like custom exposed modules) onto an Android device. Therefore, adding  Appdome’s Root Prevention to any Android app protects the app against EdXposed. In addition, you can also add the Detect Unknown Sources  protection, thus further tightening the security of your Android app.

Detecting EdXposed Framework on Android apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Detect EdXposed Framework 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
  2. Build the Protection: Root Prevention.

    1. Building Root Prevention by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Root Prevention 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 Root Prevention feature via Appdome Console, to add the Root Prevention 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 Root Prevention feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Root Prevention 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) Root Prevention, as shown below. Root Prevention option

        Figure 3: Detect EdXposed Framework option

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

        Fusion Set applied Root Prevention

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Root Prevention protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Root Prevention:
        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 EdXposed Framework.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects RootedDevice 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 Root Prevention Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against EdXposed Framework (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 Root Prevention Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

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

Using Threat-Events™ for EdXposed Framework Intelligence and Control in Android Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for EdXposed Framework are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Detect EdXposed Framework Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Root Prevention
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, IN-APP DEFENSE 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 Detecting EdXposed Framework Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME RootedDevice
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6901
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
internalErrorInternal error code as hex
extendedMessageTextInternal error code
rInternalErrorCodeInternal error code
reasonReason for the root detection

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 EdXposed Framework is detected.

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

Prerequisites to Using Root Prevention:

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

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Root Prevention. 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 Root Prevention

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 Root Prevention

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.

NEED HELP?

let's solve it together

HezyMaking your security project a success!
By filling out this form, you opt-in to recieve emails from us.