How to Block Runtime Code Manipulations in Android & iOS Apps

Last updated August 11, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Block Runtime Code Manipulation in Mobile apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Runtime Code Manipulation?

Runtime Code manipulation is a hacking technique involving executing or changing existing classes and methods of your application while the application is running.

Why Block Runtime Code Manipulation in Mobile Apps ?

Here’s why you would want to Block Runtime Code Manipulations in Android & iOS Apps

IOS: The dynamic traits of Objective-C allow you to not only change methods and allows to handle or redirect messages by overwriting certain methods but also add/set/remove properties and ivars of a class which makes it fragile to misuse.

Android: Android allows you to load classes from an .apk file containing a classes.dex entry which can be used to execute code not installed as part of your application.

Blocking Runtime Code Manipulation on Mobile apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Block Runtime Code Manipulation 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: OneShield.

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

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

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

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

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > ONEShield™ section . Like all other options in ONEShield™, Runtime Code Manipulation is turned on by default, as shown below: OneShield option

        Figure 3: Block Runtime Code Manipulation 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.

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

        Fusion Set applied OneShield

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added OneShield protection

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

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

Prerequisites to Using OneShield:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Block Runtime Code Manipulation , you’ll need:

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

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 OneShield

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

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