How to Prevent Malicious use of Frida

Learn how to How to block Frida and other dynamic instrumentation, hooking, code injection and app manipulation toolkits in Android and iOS apps. – No Code, Zero Dev, No SDK.

What is Frida and Why should Mobile Developers Protect Against Misuse of Frida?

Frida is a dynamic instrumentation / binary instrumentation toolkit intended for developers, pen-testers and security researchers. However, it is also used by fraudsters, cybercriminals, black hats and other malicious actors to compromise mobile apps, inject malicious code, and/or change a mobile app’s logic or behavior in unintended and malicious ways.  Learn how to How to block Frida and other dynamic instrumentation, binary instrumentation, hooking, code injection and app manipulation toolkits in Android and iOS apps.

Like many other development tools, Frida is often used by malicious actors to compromise mobile apps (for example, your app).

Here are the top 7 ways Cybercriminals use Frida to Compromise Mobile Apps

  1. Monitor encryption calls and capture details about the encryption type and keys in use in a mobile application (often used to probe for weaknesses in the app’s encryption model).
  2. Inject snippets of JavaScript code replace libraries with malicious libraries (often used in mobile ad fraud, click fraud, SDK spoofing)
  3. Trace function calls during the application runtime to understand how the code behaves, specific instructions or operations it runs, or generate a backtrace for threads (comes in handy as a pre-curser for malicious hooking – see below).
  4. Perform Hooking: For example, intercept function calls, attach to a running process, and then dynamically interact with the application all within the context of the running app. This allows a malicious actor to inject code that is ‘context sensitive’ to the app. (This is especially useful in mobile fraud because it allows fraudsters to create app experiences that look and feel like ‘the real thing’ to mobile users. These abuses often aimed at mobile banking, fintech, retail, and eCommerce apps where users have established a certain degree of trust in the app. The fraudster abuses the trust relationship by creating an experience that makes the mobile user think they are interacting with a trusted entity).
  5. Inject malware that exploits specific known or discovered vulnerabilities in the code, or create an update to existing malware. For compromising Android apps, Frida is especially useful when used in conjunction with ADB – which is often misused as a channel to deliver backdoors or trojanize apps (by way of the built-in remote shell capabilities of ADB).
  6. Disable SSL/TLS Pinning, and then intercept the network traffic using a proxy (like Mitm proxy, Wireshark, or Charles Proxy). This allows a malicious actor to inspect and read network traffic and in some cases alter the payload (Often used to cheat cheating in multi-player games where the game values are stored in a remote server and not inside the app).
  7. Bypass Rooting detection mechanisms or turn off anti-tampering protections that have been hardcoded into the source code. Frida is often used in conjunction with Android Rooter tools like Magisk

3 Easy Steps to Block Frida Toolkits

Please follow these 3 easy steps to prevent Frida Toolkits from being used to compromise iOS and Android apps.

  1. Upload an Android or iOS app binary
  2. In the Build Tab, under Anti-Fraud, Select Mobile Malware Prevention and toggle on Block Frida Toolkits (shown below)
  3. Click Build My App

block frida

 

Congratulations! You now have a secured mobile app that prevents the misuse of Frida to compromise apps.

Appdome’s no-code mobile app security platform offers mobile developers, DevSec and security professionals a convenient and reliable way to protect mobile apps without coding. When a user clicks “Build My App,” Appdome leverages a microservice architecture filled with 1000s of security plugins, and an adaptive code generation engine that matches the correct required plugins to the development environment, frameworks, and methods in each app.

Prerequisites

Here’s what you need to block malicious use of Frida for binary instrumentation, dynamic instrumentation, code injection, hooking, and more.

No Coding Dependency

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured apps with Frida protection. There is no SDK and no library to manually code or implement in the app. The Appdome technology adds the relevant standards, frameworks, stores, and logic to the app automatically, with no manual development work at all.

How to Sign & Publish Secured Mobile Apps Built on Appdome  

After successfully securing your app using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include 

 

Or, see this quick reference Releasing Secured Android & iOS Apps built on Appdome. 

How to Learn More

Here are some KB articles on related features:

How to Prevent Malicious Misuse of Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

How to Block Dynamic Hacking Tools

How to Block Magisk Hide, Protect Android Apps From Root Hiding

Check out Appdome’s Mobile App Security Suite or request a demo at any time.

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 make mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free.

Jan Sysmans

Have a question?

Ask an expert

AvitaMaking your security project a success!

Get Your Copy
2021 Global Mobile
Consumer Security
Survey