How to Detect Zygisk and Root Hiding in Android Apps

Last updated November 27, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Detect Zygisk in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Zygisk?

Zygisk is a feature of Magisk that allows advanced module developers to execute code directly in any Android app’s processes before the processes run. In doing so, Zygisk is able to gain root access without sending root data, as it starts first after the system and before the app. This capability makes Zygisk much more powerful than Magisk Hide in terms of hiding the fact that their device is rooted from the end user. As a result, unsuspecting users will run security-related applications, such as banking services, on the manipulated device.

Why Should Developers Block Zygisk?

Zygisk is an extremely powerful and damaging addition to Magisk. By using Zygisk, malicious actors are able to execute code directly in the processes of any Android app before those processes are specialized and executed. Zygisk also allows such actors to have much better, harder to detect root capabilities to hide the operation of Magisk (root cloaking).

Prerequisites for Using Block Magisk:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Detect Zygisk , you’ll need:

Detect Zygisk on Android apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Detect Zygisk 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
    4. Block Magisk Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and other Android apps
  2. Build the feature: Block Magisk.

    1. Building Block Magisk by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Block Magisk 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 Magisk feature via Appdome Console, to add the Block Magisk 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 Magisk feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Block Magisk protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Anti Fraud Tab > Mobile Malware Prevention section.
      2. When you select the Block Magisk 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 Magisk

        Fusion Set applied Block Magisk

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Block Magisk protection

      3. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Block Magisk:
        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 Detect Zygisk.

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

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

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Zygisk (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 Magisk Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Block Magisk protection is now added to the mobile app

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

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Zygisk are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Detect Zygisk Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block Magisk
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, IN-APP DEFENSE Appdome detects, defends and notifies user (standard OS dialog) using customizable messaging.
ON, IN-APP DETECTION 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 Detecting Zygisk Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME MagiskManagerDetected
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6908
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
message Message displayed for the user on event
externalID The external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersion OS version of the current device
deviceModel Current device model
deviceManufacturer The manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppToken The task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfo Info about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmn PLMN of the device
deviceID Current device ID
reasonCode Reason code of the occured event
buildDate Appdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatform OS name of the current device
carrierName Carrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersion Is the OS version up to date
deviceBrand Brand of the device
deviceBoard Board of the device
buildUser Build user
buildHost Build host
sdkVersion Sdk version
timeZone Time zone
deviceFaceDown Is the device face down
locationLong Location longitude conditioned by location permission
locationLat Location latitude conditioned by location permission
locationState Location state conditioned by location permission
wifiSsid Wifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatus Wifi SSID permission status
internalError Internal error code as hex
extendedMessageText Internal error code
rInternalErrorCode Internal error code
data The artifcat used to detect the presence of Magisk Manager on the device
detectedAppPath When applicable this will hold the app identifier that triggered the detection

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 Zygisk is detected.

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


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

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:

Related Articles:

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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