How to use Runtime Bundle Validation in Android & iOS apps

Last updated November 28, 2023 by Appdome

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

What is Appdome Runtime Bundle Validation?

Appdome Runtime Bundle Validation ensures the integrity of iOS and Android apps by running checksums on every file included in the app bundle. Appdome saves cryptographic hashes of the files in the application and compares them to the actual files that are used during runtime. In addition, because some files are changed by Google and Apple after publishing the app, Appdome saves specific content portions for these files and compares the relevant content, as opposed to performing a blind hash validation. This ensures highly accurate detection and minimizes false positives.

Why Should Developers Validate the Integrity of Android and iOS Apps At Runtime?

Any Android or iOS app can be modified and re-signed by malicious actors, either by adding to or altering the application executable and/or libraries to make an app behave or function differently. In addition hackers can change assets and resources in order to change the look and feel of an app. This type of malicious activity is often done for the purpose of tricking mobile app users into installing fake malicious apps which they believe are legitimate/useful apps, or to unknowingly download Trojans, botnets, or other malware that can be controlled or updated remotely. Running on a jailbroken or rooted device, the fraudster can also bypass signature checks or other security controls, which makes the app and/or users highly susceptible to abuse, trickery and other forms of mobile fraud.

To prevent unauthorized file-level modifications, mobile developers can use Appdome’s  Runtime Bundle Validation to validate the integrity of each code section of the app on a file-by-file basis, to prevent against highly targeted, sophisticated app alternations that attempt to conceal the activity.

Prerequisites for Using Runtime Bundle Validation:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent Runtime Bundle Validation , you’ll need:

Prevent Runtime Bundle Validation on Mobile apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Prevent Runtime Bundle Validation 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. Runtime Bundle Validation Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, JS, C#, C++, Swift, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, and more
  2. Build the feature: Runtime Bundle Validation.

    1. Building Runtime Bundle Validation by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

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

      To build the Runtime Bundle Validation protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Fraud Tab > Mobile Cheat Prevention section.
      2. When you select the Runtime Bundle Validation you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Runtime Bundle Validation

        Fusion Set applied Runtime Bundle Validation

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Runtime Bundle Validation protection

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

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

Using Threat-Events™ for Runtime Bundle Validation Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Runtime Bundle Validation are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent Runtime Bundle Validation Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Runtime Bundle Validation
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 x
Visible in ThreatScope™ x
Developer Parameters for Preventing Runtime Bundle Validation Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF
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), 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 Runtime Bundle Validation is detected.

The following is a code sample for native Mobile apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Runtime Bundle Validation:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Mobile Apps by using Runtime Bundle Validation. 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 Runtime Bundle Validation

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:

Check out the following related KB articles:

How to Prevent App Signing by Unauthorized Developers

How to Prevent non-approved Android, iOS app store publishing

How to Prevent Code Tampering in Android & iOS Apps

If you have any questions, please send them our way at 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.

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