How to use Appdome's OneShield: Anti-Tampering

Last updated May 26, 2024 by Appdome

Learn to Enforce Anti-Tampering in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is OneShield Anti-Tampering?

OneShield Anti-Tampering is a security solution aimed at preventing unauthorized modifications (or tampering) of a mobile app. Tampering can involve modifying the mobile app itself, either the compiled version, its running process, or its operating environment. Such alterations can lead to unintended app behaviors, potentially compromising the app’s security and functionality.

Why is OneShield Anti-Tampering Essential?

Tampering can affect your app’s behavior, making it unreliable or insecure. For instance, if you’ve developed an app and it doesn’t run on a rooted test device, this prevents you from conducting some tests. Protecting against tampering ensures that your app runs as intended and remains safe from potential security breaches.

Mobile Anti-Tampering protects against the following static and dynamic modifications to the application:

OneShield Anti-Tampering Checkmarks

Obfuscate Security Features
Appdome’s code can be obfuscated to hide its presence. This is particularly useful for clients who prefer not to publicly disclose the third-party security vendors they’re using. Such obfuscation not only maintains privacy but also makes it challenging for potential hackers to ascertain which protective layer they should target.

Checksum Validation
A checksum, often referred to as a “hash”, is a unique string of numbers and letters generated from the original file using specific algorithms (e.g., MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256/512). A checksum validation lets you verify that a received file hasn’t been tampered with. If the validation checksum matches the original file’s checksum, you can be assured of the file’s integrity.

App Integrity/Structure Scan
Appdome examines your app’s composition, data structure, data elements, and communication paths. This thorough scan confirms the app’s integrity, ensures it has been built correctly, and verifies that there aren’t any malicious elements within.

Prevent Static App Patching
This feature ensures the app remains in its original state, safeguarding it from tampering or the addition of malicious elements. It guarantees the security of users and retains the app’s original code.

Prevent Code Tampering
Preventing code tampering ensures that the original source code remains intact, thereby ensuring that the app runs safely and as intended by its developers.

Prevent App Repacking

App repacking involves hackers manipulating an app’s original code or injecting harmful code into it, subsequently repackaging this altered app for distribution. By actively preventing app repacking, you not only preserve the authenticity and originality of your app but also ensure the continuous safety and trust of your users.

Prerequisites for Using Anti-Tampering:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Enforce Anti-Tampering , you’ll need:

Enforce Anti-Tampering on Android apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Enforce Anti-Tampering 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. Anti-Tampering Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and other Android apps
  2. Build the feature: Anti-Tampering.

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

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

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

      To build the Anti-Tampering protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > Secure Communication section.
      2. When you select the Anti-Tampering you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Anti-Tampering

        Fusion Set applied Anti-Tampering

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Anti-Tampering protection

      3. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Anti-Tampering:
        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 Enforce Anti-Tampering.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects Anti-Tampering 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 Anti-Tampering Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Anti-Tampering (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 Anti-Tampering Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

Using Threat-Events™ for Anti-Tampering Intelligence and Control in Android Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Anti-Tampering are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Enforce Anti-Tampering Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Anti-Tampering
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 Enforcing Anti-Tampering Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME Anti-Tampering
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6801
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

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 Anti-Tampering is detected.

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


Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Anti-Tampering. 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 Anti-Tampering

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 support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

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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.

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