How to Detect EdXposed Framework to Protect Android Apps

Last updated December 6, 2023 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?

The reason for blocking EdXposed by adding Appdome’s Root Detection to any Android app is that while a developer or a pen tester may use EdXposed during the development stages of your app, once the app is complete you can 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.

In addition to root detection, you can also add the Detect Unknown Sources  protection, thus further tightening the security of your Android app.

Prerequisites for Using Root Detection:

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

Detect EdXposed Framework on Android apps 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
    4. Root Detection Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and other Android apps
  2. Build the feature: Root Detection.

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

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

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

      To build the Root Detection protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > OS Integrity section.
      2. When you select the Root Detection 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 Detection

        Fusion Set applied Root Detection

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

      3. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Root Detection:
        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 if the device has been rooted 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 Detection 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 Detection Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Root Detection protection is now added to 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 Detection
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 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
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 longitude conditioned by location permission
locationLat Location latitude conditioned by location permission
locationState Location state conditioned by location permission
wifiSsid Wifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatus Wifi SSID permission status
internalError Internal error code as hex
extendedMessageText Internal error code
rInternalErrorCode Internal error code
reason Reason 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 Detection:

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

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 or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

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