How to Use Android Memory Encryption to Defeat Memory Editing in Android apps

Last updated August 23, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Encrypt app-specific data in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is app-specific data encryption?

Using Appdome Android Memory Encryption, Android mobile app and game developers can protect the data stored in RAM by encrypting the data while the app is being used. Android Memory Encryption encrypts app-specific data stored in the application’s memory during runtime. This prevents malicious actors from accessing or attempting to modify the application’s memory in order to perform malicious actions such as cheating in games, stealing user information, or modifying mobile app functionality, logic or behavior while the app is being used.

Why Encrypt app-specific data in Android Apps ?

In order to function, every mobile app needs to store many different kinds of data in memory (RAM) while the application is being used. This can include user data, strings including credentials, passwords, or keys, and other application-specific data, such as mobile game values, scores, in-app purchase data and more. Cybercriminals often target a running application’s memory and attempt to harvest, access or modify data while it is transiently stored in memory, for example by dumping the application memory while the data is in use. The sensitive memory might be saved to disk, stored in a core dump, or remain uncleared if the application crashes, or if the programmer does not properly clear the memory before freeing it.

Encrypting app-specific data on Android apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Encrypt app-specific 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. Android Formats: .apk or .aab
  2. Build the Protection: Android Memory Encryption.

    1. Building Android Memory Encryption by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Android Memory Encryption 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 Android Memory Encryption feature via Appdome Console, to add the Android Memory Encryption 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 Android Memory Encryption feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Android Memory Encryption protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Fraud Tab > Mobile Fraud Prevention section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Android Memory Encryption, as shown belowapp-specific data, If needed, Customize the Threat Notification to be displayed to the mobile end-user in a standard OS dialog notification when Appdome Encrypts . Android Memory Encryption option

        Figure 3: Encrypt app-specific 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 Android Memory Encryption you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Android Memory Encryption

        Fusion Set applied Android Memory Encryption

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Android Memory Encryption protection

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Android Memory Encryption protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Android Memory Encryption feature in Android Apps.

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

Prerequisites to Using Android Memory Encryption:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Encrypt app-specific data , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Android Memory Encryption. 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 Android Memory Encryption

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 Android Memory Encryption

Here are a few related resources:

Here are a few related resources:

How to Encrypt App-Specific Data Stored in Memory for iOS apps

Check out Mobile Fraud Prevention 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 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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