How to Encrypt iOS App Photos Outside Camera Roll

Last updated March 24, 2024 by Appdome

Learn to Prevent other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is App Only Photos Protection?

Appdome’s App Only Photos feature, protects mobile app privacy and data by keeping mobile app photos private and preventing other apps from accessing photos taken from the protected app, thereby ensuring that photos taken by a protected application are accessible only within the context of the protected app – no other apps can access those photos.

Why Prevent Other iOS Apps from Accessing Your App's Photos?

App Only Photos protects any mobile app photos taken by the application. When a photo is taken by a user within the application, Appdome intercepts the “saving” request and saves the photo to the application’s private files, which makes the photos inaccessible to the iOS camera app to another mobile app on the device.  Furthermore, with Appdome’s TOTALData Encryption the app photos and sensitive data will be encrypted using AES 256  encryption.

Prerequisites for Using App Only Photos:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos , you’ll need:

Prevent other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos on iOS apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Prevent other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos 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. iOS Formats: .ipa
    4. App Only Photos Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, Swift, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: App Only Photos.

    1. Building App Only Photos by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the App Only Photos 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 App Only Photos feature via Appdome Console, to add the App Only Photos 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, Circle 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 App Only Photos feature via Appdome Console

      To build the App Only Photos protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > Mobile Privacy section.
      2. When you select the App Only Photos you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains App Only Photos

        Fusion Set applied App Only Photos

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added App Only Photos protection

      3. Optional Configuration with App Only Photos:
        1. Combined Camera Roll

          Make the public (device) camera roll accessible to your application. Private photos will only be accessible to your application.

        2. Photos Favicon

          Add this customized icon as a favicon to private photos’ thumbnails.

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The App Only Photos protection is now added to the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos Intelligence and Control in iOS Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos is detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos in iOS Apps, use AddObserverForName in Notification Center, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name App Only Photos
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 x
Visible in ThreatScope™ x
Developer Parameters for Preventing other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF
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
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

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), iOS developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in iOS applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when other iOS apps from accessing your app's photos is detected.

The following is a code sample for native iOS apps, which uses all values in the specification above for App Only Photos:


Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured iOS Apps by using App Only Photos. 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 App Only Photos

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:

Blur Application Screens for Mobile User Privacy in iOS Apps

How to Protect iOS Apps from Screen Sharing Malware

How to Protect Android & iOS Apps from Copy/Paste Attacks

 

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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