How to Protect Android & iOS Apps from Keylogging Attacks

Last updated January 24, 2024 by Appdome

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

What is Keylogging?

Keylogging, short for “keystroke logging”, is a type of cyberattack or surveillance technique where an unauthorized party captures and records the keystrokes made on a device keyboard by a user. This allows the attacker to capture sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, personal messages and more.

Why Prevent Keylogging in Mobile Apps?

Preventing keylogging is an essential part of the data loss prevention (DLP) strategy. Blocking keyloggers means preventing keyloggers from capturing keystrokes and then passing that information to attackers.

Preventing keylogging in mobile apps is crucial because users might unknowingly use third-party keyboards that have malicious intentions. Even though keyboards are part of the device, The user has been lured into installing a 3rd party keyboard. However, if these keyboards are used for important apps such as banking, this can cause a significant risk of passwords being stolen. This threat comes from keyloggers that are already present in these keyboards, further highlighting the need to protect user data and privacy.

Appdome’s Prevent Keylogging Attacks feature ensures app users private and valuable information remains protected and secure.

Prerequisites for Using Keylogging Prevention:

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

Prevent Keylogging on Mobile apps using Appdome

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

    1. Building Keylogging Prevention by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Keylogging Prevention 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 Keylogging Prevention feature via Appdome Console, to add the Keylogging Prevention 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 Keylogging Prevention feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Keylogging Prevention protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Fraud Tab > Mobile Fraud Detection section.
      2. When you select the Keylogging 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 Keylogging Prevention

        Fusion Set applied Keylogging Prevention

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Keylogging Prevention protection

      3. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Keylogging Prevention:
        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 Prevent Keylogging.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects keylogging 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 Keylogging Prevention Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

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

      4. Extra Configuration with Keylogging Prevention:
        1. Trust Built-In Keyboards

          Only allow access to the default OS built in keyboard.

        2. Trusted Custom Keyboards

          Add custom keyboards to trusted list. [Android only]

        3. Trust Custom Keyboards Only

          Limit use to only specified custom keyboards

        4. Accessibility Events Cloaking [Android only]

          Hide keyboard events from malicious keyloggers

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

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

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

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

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

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent Keylogging Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Keylogging Prevention
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 Keylogging Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME BlockedKeyboardEvent
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 long
locationLat Location lat
locationState Location state
wifiSsid Wifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatus Wifi SSID permission status
blocked Is the keyboard blocked
keyboard Keyboard name

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 Keylogging is detected.

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


Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Mobile Apps by using Keylogging Prevention. 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 Keylogging Prevention

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.

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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