How to Prevent Session Hijacking Attacks in Android & iOS Apps

Last updated March 17, 2024 by Appdome

Learn to Prevent Session Hijacking in Mobile apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Session Hijacking?

The Session Hijacking attack exploits the web session control mechanism, which is normally managed for a session token.
Session Hijacking attack compromises the session token by stealing or predicting a valid session token to gain unauthorized access to the Web Server.

The session token could be compromised in different ways; Some of the most common are: Predictable session token, Session Sniffing, and Man-in-the-middle attack.

Why Prevent Session Hijacking in Mobile Apps?

In a session hijacking attack, a hacker takes control of a user’s browsing session to gain access to their personal information and passwords.
If a hacker can steal a user’s session ID, they may also be able to infect the user’s device with malware. This can allow them to gain control of the target’s device and steal their data.

Appdome detects, prohibits, and protects app connections from session hijacking by validating the server SSL certificate chain’s authenticity and providing authenticity proof to the server on behalf of the client.

Prerequisites for Using Prevent Session Hijacking:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent Session Hijacking , you’ll need:

Prevent Session Hijacking on Mobile apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Prevent Session Hijacking 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, or .apk or .aab for Android
    4. Prevent Session Hijacking Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, JS, C#, C++, Swift, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, and more
  2. Build the feature: Prevent Session Hijacking.

    1. Building Prevent Session Hijacking by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Prevent Session Hijacking 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 Prevent Session Hijacking feature via Appdome Console, to add the Prevent Session Hijacking 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. Copy 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 Prevent Session Hijacking feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Prevent Session Hijacking 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 enable MiTM 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 Prevent Session Hijacking

        Fusion Set applied Prevent Session Hijacking

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Prevent Session Hijacking protection

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

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

Using Threat-Events™ for Session Hijacking Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Session Hijacking is detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Session Hijacking in Mobile Apps, use AddObserverForName in Notification Center, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Session Hijacking shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Session Hijacking are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent Session Hijacking Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Prevent Session Hijacking
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 Preventing Session Hijacking Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME SslCertificateValidationFailed
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6500
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
host The host that failed certificate validation
DeveventDetailedErrorMessage Error message
extendedMessageText Extended message
certificateCN Certificate common name
certificateSHA1 Certificate SHA1

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), Mobile developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in Mobile applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Session Hijacking is detected.

The following is a code sample for native Mobile apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Prevent Session Hijacking:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Mobile Apps by using Prevent Session Hijacking. 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 Prevent Session Hijacking

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:

How to Use Session Headers in Mobile Bot Defense

How to Enforce Rate Limiting in MobileBOT™ Defense

How to Use Appdome MobileBOT™ Defense

If you have any questions, please send them our way at or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

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