How to Block Auto-Clicking & Fake Events, Protect Android Apps

Last updated August 21, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Block Auto-clicking Apps in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What are Auto-Clicking Apps?

An Auto-Clicking App (aka auto-clicker) is an automated program used for automating clicking events, for example: when running programs that require constant clicking, such as Minecraft and Pokemon Go. However, auto-clicking apps can be created by hackers who design them to send touch events repeatedly for malicious intents such as click fraud, a type of digital fraud that occurs in pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising. In this type of advertising, the owners of apps that post the ads are paid based on how many people click on the ads. Auto-Clicking Apps are automated scripts, or computer programs that imitate a legitimate user clicking on such an ad – usually to generate high volumes of artificial clicks, or for diverting advertising revenue to cyber-criminals.

Why Block Auto-clicking Apps in Android Apps ?

Auto-clicking apps are an indication of malicious behavior. Once an auto-clicker is installed on your user’s device, it can take over all clicking operations that would normally have been done by the user. An auto-clicking app can be used for making advertisers gain an unfair advantage by grossing high revenues from artificial clicks. Auto clickers can also be used to cheat in mobile games by simulating human clicks with non-human speed and automating game maneuvers and actions for the purpose of gaining an advantage in the game.

Blocking Auto-clicking Apps on Android apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Block Auto-clicking Apps 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. Android Formats: .apk or .aab
  2. Build the Protection: Block Auto-clicking Apps.

    1. Building Block Auto-clicking Apps by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Block Auto-clicking Apps feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Block Auto-clicking Apps

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Block Auto-clicking Apps 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 Block Auto-clicking Apps feature via Appdome Console, to add the Block Auto-clicking Apps 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 Block Auto-clicking Apps feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Block Auto-clicking Apps protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Fraud Tab > Mobile Cheat Prevention section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Block Auto-clicking Apps, as shown below. Block Auto-clicking Apps option

        Figure 3: Block Auto-clicking Apps option

      3. When you select the Block Auto-clicking Apps you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Block Auto-clicking Apps

        Fusion Set applied Block Auto-clicking Apps

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Block Auto-clicking Apps protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Block Auto-clicking Apps:
        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 Block Auto-clicking Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects Auto-clicking Apps 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 Block Auto-clicking Apps Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Auto-clicking Apps (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 Block Auto-clicking Apps Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      5. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Block Auto-clicking Apps protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Block Auto-clicking Apps feature in Android Apps.

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

Using Threat-Events™ for Auto-clicking Apps Intelligence and Control in Android Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Auto-clicking Apps are detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Auto-clicking Apps in Android Apps, use registerReceiver in the Application OnCreate, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Auto-clicking Apps shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Auto-clicking Apps are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Block Auto-clicking Apps Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block Auto-clicking Apps
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 Blocking Auto-clicking Apps Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME ClickBotDetected
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
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
deviceBrandBrand of the device
deviceBoardBoard of the device
buildUserBuild user
buildHostBuild host
sdkVersionSdk version
timeZoneTime zone
deviceFaceDownIs the device face down
locationLongLocation long
locationLatLocation lat
locationStateLocation state
wifiSsidWifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatusWifi SSID permission status
clickBotPatternDetectionMethodDetection method
clickBotUnknownToolDetectionMethodDetection method

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), Android developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in Android applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Auto-clicking Apps are detected.

The following is a code sample for native Android apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Block Auto-clicking Apps:

Prerequisites to Using Block Auto-clicking Apps:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Block Auto-clicking Apps , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Block Auto-clicking Apps. 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 Block Auto-clicking Apps

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 Block Auto-clicking Apps

Here are a few related resources:

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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