How to Detect Google Play Store Emulators with Appdome Protected Android Applications

Last updated June 6, 2024 by Appdome

Learn to Detect Google Play Store Emulators in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

Why Detect Google Play Store Emulators?

Detect Google Play Store Emulators provides the capability to ensure that mobile applications can recognize and distinguish between Android Studio Emulators and Google Play Emulators used by Google Play. This functionality is critical for allowing the app to accurately identify these emulators as safe and sanctioned environments, enabling automated tests to interact with the app without triggering the security mechanisms intended to defend against unauthorized emulators.

How Does Recognizing Google Play Store Emulators Support Mobile App Development?

Detecting Google Play Store emulators provides substantial benefits for Android developers. By recognizing and approving the use of Google Play’s specific emulators, developers can ensure that automated testing processes—like user interaction simulations and other app operations—do not inadvertently activate the application’s security protocols. This seamless integration between automated testing and the app’s security features allows the application to comply with Google Play’s stringent testing requirements while maintaining its defensive integrity. Consequently, this feature not only streamlines the development and testing workflow but also enhances the app’s security by accurately targeting and triggering security responses to genuine threats.

Included Features with ONEShield™ for Google Emulators:

Threat Events In-App Detection: Appdome detects if Google emulators are present on the application and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (your app chooses how and when to enforce). We recommend implementing the detection of Google Play emulators during production releases.

Failsafe Enforcement: This feature allows developers to selectively manage the enforcement of specific detections, providing an additional layer of customization to security settings. Simply toggle the Failsafe Enforcement option within the Appdome settings to activate this feature.

Both features are included as part of the ONEShield™ license, enhancing security and flexibility without additional costs.

To learn more about failsafe enforcement and threat events, please refer to this knowledge base article: Threat-Events in Android & iOS Apps Explained.

 

Prerequisites for Using Detect Google Play Store Emulators:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Detect Google Play Store Emulators , you’ll need:

Detect Google Play Store Emulators on Android apps using Appdome

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

    1. Building Detect Google Play Store Emulators by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Detect Google Play Store Emulators 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 Detect Google Play Store Emulators feature via Appdome Console, to add the Detect Google Play Store Emulators 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 Detect Google Play Store Emulators feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Detect Google Play Store Emulators protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > ONEShield™ section.
      2. When you select the Detect Google Play Store Emulators you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Detect Google Play Store Emulators

        Fusion Set applied Detect Google Play Store Emulators

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Detect Google Play Store Emulators protection

      3. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Detect Google Play Store Emulators:
        1. Threat-Events™ ON > In-App Detection

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects if Android Studio or Google Play Emulators are being used 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 Detect Google Play Store Emulators Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Detect Google Play Store Emulators protection is now added to the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for Google Play Store Emulators Intelligence and Control in Android Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Google Play Store Emulators are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Detect Google Play Store Emulators Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Detect Google Play Store Emulators
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 Google Play Store Emulators Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME GoogleEmulatorDetected
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 Google Play Store Emulators is detected.

The following is a code sample for native Android apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Detect Google Play Store Emulators:


Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Detect Google Play Store Emulators. 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 Detect Google Play Store Emulators

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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