Blur Mobile App Screens for Mobile User Privacy in iOS Apps

Last updated August 24, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Prevent obtaining sensitive data in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

Which Application Types are Susceptible to Data Loss?

The Blur Screen feature is meant for preventing malicious actors from obtaining sensitive data by means of taking screenshots or performing screen recordings. This feature is mainly used for protecting applications that contain such data, such as banking and financial apps or apps that contain confidential medical information. Sensitive application data – especially data cached in the background – can be leaked outside the app itself.

How does Appdome Implement the Blurring of Application Screen ?

Blurring mobile app screens is an important part of Appdome’s app mobile privacy strategy, meant for preventing data loss prevention (DLP). Appdome Blur Application Screen blurs application preview screen when it is minimized to prevent sensitive data from being visible outside the app.

Preventing obtaining sensitive data on iOS apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Prevent obtaining sensitive data 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. iOS Formats: .ipa
  2. Build the Protection: Blur Application Screen.

    1. Building Blur Application Screen by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Blur Application Screen 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 Blur Application Screen feature via Appdome Console, to add the Blur Application Screen 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 Blur Application Screen feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Blur Application Screen protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > Mobile Privacy section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Blur Application Screen, as shown belowobtaining sensitive data, If needed, Customize the Threat Notification to be displayed to the mobile end-user in a standard OS dialog notification when Appdome Prevents . Blur Application Screen option

        Figure 3: Prevent obtaining sensitive data 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 Blur Application Screen you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Blur Application Screen

        Fusion Set applied Blur Application Screen

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Blur Application Screen protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Blur Application Screen:
        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 obtaining sensitive data.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects the screen shot being captured 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 Blur Application Screen Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against obtaining sensitive data (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 Blur Application Screen Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

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

Using Threat-Events™ for obtaining sensitive data Intelligence and Control in iOS Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for obtaining sensitive data are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent obtaining sensitive data Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Blur Application Screen
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 Preventing obtaining sensitive data Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME BlockedScreenCaptureEvent
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 2560
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
timeZoneTime zone
deviceFaceDownIs the device face down
locationLongLocation long
locationLatLocation lat
locationStateLocation state
wifiSsidWifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatusWifi SSID permission status
contextContext of the security event

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

The following is a code sample for native iOS apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Blur Application Screen:

Prerequisites to Using Blur Application Screen:

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

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Blur Application Screen. 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 Blur Application Screen

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 Blur Application Screen

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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