How to Detect Cydia iOS Jailbreak, Protect iOS Apps
Learn to Detect Jailbreak in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.
What is Cydia?
Cydia is an alternative app store that allows mobile end users to find and install software not authorized by Apple on jailbroken iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices. It also refers to the digital distribution platform for software on iOS accessed through Cydia software. Downloading Cydia requires jailbreaking the iOS-based device, thus allowing users to escalate privileges in order to obtain access to, and modify, the iOS File System.
How does Appdome Detect Cydia in iOS Apps?
As an integral part of the Jailbreak Prevention protection, Appdome blocks various utilities widely used by hackers to perform jailbreaking, including Cydia. In so doing Appdome allows users to avoid all security risk involved in jailbreaking, an operation that seriously compromises the mobile security model. Any iOS app that runs on a Jailbroken device is in a vulnerable state, where hackers can amplify and increase the magnitude of their attacks.
Any malicious actor who succeeds in jailbreaking an iOS-based device will find it much easier to disable anti-tampering protections as well as security protections, to modify the iOS file system, to change properties files, and to modify the device’s behavior in general. When iOS apps run on Jailbroken devices you really cannot trust any of the signals, messages, or behaviors associated with the device (or anything running on the device).
Detecting Jailbreak on iOS apps by Using Appdome
On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Detect Jailbreak without an SDK or gateway:
Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.
Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System
Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
iOS Formats: .ipa
Build the feature: Jailbreak Prevention.
Congratulations! The Jailbreak Prevention protection is now added to the mobile app
Building Jailbreak Prevention by using Appdome’s DEV-API:
Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Jailbreak Prevention feature as shown below:
Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Jailbreak Prevention feature via Appdome Console, to add the Jailbreak Prevention feature to this Fusion Set.
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):
Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).
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:
Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Jailbreak Prevention feature
Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).
Building the Jailbreak Prevention feature via Appdome Console
To build the Jailbreak Prevention protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.
Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > OS Integrity section
How: Toggle (turn ON) Jailbreak Prevention, 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 Jailbreak.
Figure 3: Detect Jailbreak 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.
When you select the Jailbreak 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 Jailbreak Prevention
Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Jailbreak Prevention protection
Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
Certify the Jailbreak Prevention feature in iOS Apps.
After building Jailbreak Prevention, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Jailbreak Prevention protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Jailbreak Prevention protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below:
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 Jailbreak Prevention has been added to each iOS app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Jailbreak Prevention and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app
Prerequisites to Using Jailbreak Prevention:
To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Detect Jailbreak , you’ll need:
- Appdome account (create a free Appdome account here)
- A license for Jailbreak Prevention
- Mobile App (.ipa For iOS)
- Signing Credentials (see Signing Secure Android apps and Signing Secure iOS apps)
Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Jailbreak 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 Jailbreak 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:
- Customizing, Configuring & Branding Secure Mobile Apps
- Deploying/Publishing Secure mobile apps to Public or Private app stores
- Releasing Secured Android & iOS Apps built on Appdome.
All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.
Features Similar to Jailbreak Prevention
If you have any questions, please send them our way at support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.
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.