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

Last updated August 11, 2022 by Appdome

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

What is App-specific Data encryption?

Using Appdome iOS Memory Encryption, iOS mobile app and game developers can protect the data stored in RAM by encrypting the data while the app is being used. iOS 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 cheat in games, steal user information, or modify mobile app functionality, logic or behavior while the app is being used.

Appdome is a no-code mobile app security platform designed to add security features, like iOS Memory Encryption to any iOS app without coding. This KB shows mobile developers, DevSec and security professionals how to use Appdome’s simple ‘click to build’ user interface to quickly and easily encrypt app-specific data in iOS apps.

Why Encrypt app-specific data in iOS 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 iOS apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS 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. iOS Formats: .ipa
  2. Build the Protection: iOS Memory Encryption.

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

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

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

      To build the iOS 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) iOS Memory Encryption, as shown below. iOS Memory Encryption option

        Figure 3: Encrypt app-specific data option

      3. When you select the iOS 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 iOS Memory Encryption

        Fusion Set applied iOS Memory Encryption

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

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

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

Prerequisites to Using iOS 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 iOS 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 iOS 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 iOS Memory Encryption

Here are a few related resources:

Android Memory Encryption

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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