How to Block GameGuardian & Cheating Apps in Android Games

Last updated August 23, 2022 by Appdome

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

What is GameGuardian?

GameGuardian is a powerful game cheating/ hacking/ alteration tool (also known as a cheat engine) for Android, which comes in the form of an Android app that is used for modifying, hacking, and cheating in mobile games primarily by editing the memory of a live mobile game. Using GameGuardian, hackers can perform modifications such as altering in-game money/coins, changing the app/game’s internal clock to gain a relative advantage against other players, modifying or bypassing in-app purchases, and bypassing licensing checks.

Why do I need to Block GameGuardian ?

Besides the ability to run scripts, GameGuardian comes with a set of built-in features such as:

  • Game acceleration/ deceleration (speed hacking)
  • Search and modify memory content (unknown value scanning)
  • Resource/Stat manipulation (Altering in-game money/coins/gold)
  • Disabling mobile ads
  • Skipping Levels
  • Bypass In-app purchases
  • Dumping of the game memory
  • Disable random functions and replace their output

All these GameGuardian cheating features and many more can be automated by game cheaters.

Blocking GameGuardian on Android apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Block GameGuardian 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
  2. Build the Protection: Block GameGuardian.

    1. Building Block GameGuardian by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Block GameGuardian 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 Block GameGuardian feature via Appdome Console, to add the Block GameGuardian 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, Cirlce 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 Block GameGuardian feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Block GameGuardian 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. How: Toggle (turn ON) Block GameGuardian, as shown belowGameGuardian, If needed, Customize the Threat Notification to be displayed to the mobile end-user in a standard OS dialog notification when Appdome Blocks . Block GameGuardian option

        Figure 3: Block GameGuardian 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.

      3. When you select the Block GameGuardian you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Block GameGuardian

        Fusion Set applied Block GameGuardian

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Block GameGuardian protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Block GameGuardian:
        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 Block GameGuardian.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects that GameGuardian is running 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 Block GameGuardian Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against GameGuardian (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 Block GameGuardian Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      5. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Block GameGuardian protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Block GameGuardian feature in Android Apps.

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

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

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for GameGuardian are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Block GameGuardian Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block GameGuardian
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, IN-APP DEFENSE Appdome detects, defends and notifies user (standard OS dialog) using customizable messaging.
ON, IN-APP DETECTON 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 Blocking GameGuardian Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME GameGuardianDetected
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6914
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
messageMessage displayed for the user on event
externalIDThe external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersionOS version of the current device
deviceModelCurrent device model
deviceManufacturerThe manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppTokenThe task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfoInfo about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmnPLMN of the device
deviceIDCurrent device ID
reasonCodeReason code of the occured event
buildDateAppdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatformOS name of the current device
carrierNameCarrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersionIs the OS version up to date
deviceBrandBrand of the device
deviceBoardBoard of the device
buildUserBuild user
buildHostBuild host
sdkVersionSdk version
timeZoneTime zone
deviceFaceDownIs the device face down
locationLongLocation long
locationLatLocation lat
locationStateLocation state
wifiSsidWifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatusWifi 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 GameGuardian is detected.

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

Prerequisites to Using Block GameGuardian:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Block GameGuardian , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Block GameGuardian. 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 Block GameGuardian

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:

All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.

Protections Similar to Block GameGuardian

Here are a few related resources:

Check out the following related KB articles:

How to Block Game Guardian on Rooted Android Device

Jailbreaking Prevention

Rooting Prevention

Prevent Jailbreak Bypass and Jailbreak Hiding 

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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