How to Protect Floating Windows and Dynamic Content in Android Apps
Learn to Prevent the visibility of dynamically generated windows on screen grab applications in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.
What is Appdome's Prevent Screen Sharing feature?
Prevent App Screen Sharing is used to ensure sensitive data is not recorded from the app’s screen. Screenshots, mirroring, and sharing the app’s screen is prevented.
The Appdome feature Prevent App Screen Sharing prevents the sharing of screens on Android applications. For full and complete protection, Appdome’s Protect Dynamically Generated Windows (a sub-toggle) secures those Android UI elements that do not expose a developer-facing API, such as Android floating windows.
Why Protect Floating Windows and Dynamically Generated Windows in Android apps?
When a developer sets the FLAG_SECURE for chosen Android UI elements, the underlying infrastructure of Android treats the content of the window as secure, preventing it from appearing in screenshots or from being viewed on non-secure displays. However, due to a design flaw in the Android framework, there are several exceptions. When setting the flag on an Activity or Fragment, the secured protection isn’t inherited by all of its “children” (aka small UI elements), such as various dialogs, floating windows or menus, and popups.
Appdome Protect Dynamically Generated Windows prevents those UI elements’ visibility on screen grab applications ensuring that sensitive data is not recorded from the app’s screen.
Furthermore, on many UI elements, it is fairly difficult to set the FLAG_SECURED, due to lack of a developer-facing API (f.e. Spinner or Toast). On some 3rd party UI frameworks, such as React-Native, the FLAG_SECURED cannot be passed at all without modifying the React-Native framework. Protect Dynamically Generated Windows enables you to protect even those UI elements that do not expose a developer facing API, among many others:
Preventing the visibility of dynamically generated windows on screen grab applications on Android apps by Using Appdome
On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Prevent the visibility of dynamically generated windows on screen grab applications 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
Android Formats: .apk or .aab
Build the feature: Protect Dynamically Generated Windows.
Congratulations! The Protect Dynamically Generated Windows protection is now added to the mobile app
Building Protect Dynamically Generated Windows by using Appdome’s DEV-API:
Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows feature as shown below:
Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows feature via Appdome Console, to add the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows 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:
Build an API for the app – for instructions, see the tasks under Appdome API Reference Guide
Look for sample APIs in Appdome’s GitHub Repository
Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows feature
Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).
Building the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows feature via Appdome Console
To build the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.
Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > Mobile Privacy section
How: Toggle (turn ON) Protect Dynamically Generated Windows, as shown below.
Figure 3: Prevent the visibility of dynamically generated windows on screen grab applications option
When you select the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Protect Dynamically Generated Windows
Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Protect Dynamically Generated Windows protection
- Optional Configuration with Protect Dynamically Generated Windows:
- Protect Dynamically Generated Windows
Extends App Screen Sharing Prevention to all Android floating windows.
Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
Certify the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows feature in Android Apps.
After building Protect Dynamically Generated Windows, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Protect Dynamically Generated Windows 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 Protect Dynamically Generated Windows has been added to each Android app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Protect Dynamically Generated Windows and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app
Prerequisites to Using Protect Dynamically Generated Windows:
To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent the visibility of dynamically generated windows on screen grab applications , you’ll need:
- Appdome account (create a free Appdome account here)
- A license for Protect Dynamically Generated Windows
- Mobile App (.apk or .aab For Android)
- Signing Credentials (see Signing Secure Android apps and Signing Secure iOS apps)
Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Protect Dynamically Generated Windows. 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 Protect Dynamically Generated Windows
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.
Features Similar to Protect Dynamically Generated Windows
Here are a few related resources:
- How to Protect Android & iOS Apps from Screen Sharing Malware
- How to Protect Android & iOS Apps from Copy/Paste Attacks
- How to Use Trusted App Groups with Copy Paste Prevention
- How to Block Team Viewer & Remote Desktop Exploits in Android Apps
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.