How to Enforce Rate Limiting in MOBILEBot™ Defense
Learn to Enforce Rate-Limit Connections in Mobile apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.
What is Rate Limiting?
Rate limiting is a strategy for limiting network traffic. It puts a cap on how often someone can repeat an action within a certain timeframe – for instance, trying to log in to an account. Rate limiting can help stop certain kinds of malicious bot activity. It can also reduce strain on web servers.
Rate limiting is often employed to stop bad bots from negatively impacting a website or application. Bot attacks that rate limiting can help mitigate include:
- Brute force attacks
- Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack
How Does Appdome Rate Limiting Connections Work?
Traditional rate limiting strategies primarily focus on monitoring the number of requests coming from each IP address within a certain timeframe. By analyzing the time between requests and the quantity, these systems identify potential abusive patterns. While conventional systems rely on Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) to enforce rate limiting on the server-side, Appdome takes this security measure one step further by enforcing rate-limit connections directly within the mobile application itself.
In addition to this in-app enforcement, Appdome now provides app developers with the option to add multiple enforcement URLs to the Rate Limit Connections feature. These URLs function independently and are not linked to the main session headers protected host. This arrangement ensures there is no future dependency with the list under Session Headers, permitting distinct and separate enforcement mechanisms for each URL. Importantly, while incorporating these URLs, developers must ensure that the base URL’s length remains unchanged.
For example, if a user repeatedly attempts to log into their account and fails, traditional rate limiting might lock the account or delay further login attempts, typically based on the user’s IP address or username. Attackers can sometimes circumvent IP-based restrictions using different IP addresses, or they might exploit username-based limitations by cycling through a list of known usernames with common passwords. Appdome’s in-app rate limiting addresses these loopholes. By monitoring the login attempts directly from the application, it identifies excessive login behaviors more accurately, regardless of any IP address changes or username strategies employed by attackers. Users making frequent unsuccessful login attempts will encounter a message indicating they’ve exceeded the allowed number of tries, advising them when they can attempt to log in again or that their account access has been temporarily restricted.
Prerequisites to Using Rate-Limit Connections:
To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Enforce Rate-Limit Connections , you’ll need:
- Appdome account (create a free Appdome account here)
- A license for Rate-Limit Connections
- Mobile App (.ipa For iOS device or .apk or .aab For Mobile)
- Signing Credentials (see Signing Secure Android apps and Signing Secure iOS apps)
Enforce Rate-Limit Connections on Mobile apps using Appdome
On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Enforce Rate-Limit Connections without an SDK or gateway:
Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.
Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System
Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
Mobile App Formats: .ipa For iOS device or .apk or .aab
Rate-Limit Connections Compatible With: Obj-C, C+, Java, JS, C#, C++, Swift, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, and more
Build the feature: Rate-Limit Connections.
Congratulations! The Rate-Limit Connections protection is now added to the mobile app
Building Rate-Limit Connections by using Appdome’s DEV-API:
Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Rate-Limit Connections feature as shown below:
Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Rate-Limit Connections feature via Appdome Console, to add the Rate-Limit Connections feature to this Fusion Set.
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):
Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).
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:
Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Rate-Limit Connections feature
Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).
Building the Rate-Limit Connections feature via Appdome Console
To build the Rate-Limit Connections protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.
Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Bot Tab > MOBILEBot™ Defense section
How: Toggle (turn ON) Rate-Limit Connections, as shown below.
Figure 3: Enforce Rate-Limit Connections option
When you select the Rate-Limit Connections you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Rate-Limit Connections
Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Rate-Limit Connections protection
Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
Certify the Rate-Limit Connections feature in Mobile Apps.
After building Rate-Limit Connections, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Rate-Limit Connections protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Rate-Limit Connections protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below:
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 Rate-Limit Connections has been added to each Mobile app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Rate-Limit Connections and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app
Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Mobile Apps by using Rate-Limit Connections. 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 Rate-Limit Connections
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:
- Customizing, Configuring & Branding Secure Mobile Apps
- Deploying/Publishing Secure mobile apps to Public or Private app stores
- Releasing Secured Android & iOS Apps built on Appdome.
All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.
- How to Use Appdome MOBILEBot™ Defense
- How to Validate a Nonce Payload with Appdome’s MOBILEBot™ Defense
- How to Block Mobile Bots Using Session & Header Secrets
- How to Block Mobile Bots with Private Certificates
If you have any questions, please send them our way at support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.
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.