How to Block SSL Pinning Bypass in Android Apps

Last updated December 5, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Block SSL Pinning Bypass in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is SSL Pinning?

SSL pinning is a technique used on the Client side to avoid an MitM attack. A list of trustful certificates is pinned (embedded) to the Client application during development. This list is then compared, during runtime, with the server certificates. If the server and local copy of the certificates do not match then the connection automatically drops, thus preventing attackers from intercepting the traffic and modifying the data.

 

Why Block SSL Pinning Bypass?

SSL Pinning Bypass tries to overcome SSL pinning by using dynamic instrumentation toolkits such as Frida. The bypass is based on a technique that replaces the certificate TrustManager used by the app, thus making the app trust any server certificate used by an attacker during an MitM attack. That allows the attacker to obtain sensitive information from requests coming from the app and at the same time manipulate the app by sending untruthful and malicious answers.

Prerequisites for Using Block SSL Pinning Bypass:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Block SSL Pinning Bypass , you’ll need:

Block SSL Pinning Bypass on Android apps using Appdome

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

    1. Building Block SSL Pinning Bypass by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Block SSL Pinning Bypass 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 SSL Pinning Bypass feature via Appdome Console, to add the Block SSL Pinning Bypass 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, Circle 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 SSL Pinning Bypass feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Block SSL Pinning Bypass 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 SSL Pinning Bypass 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 SSL Pinning Bypass

        Fusion Set applied Block SSL Pinning Bypass

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Block SSL Pinning Bypass protection

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

Using Threat-Events™ for SSL Pinning Bypass Intelligence and Control in Android Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for SSL Pinning Bypass are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Block SSL Pinning Bypass Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block SSL Pinning Bypass
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 x
Visible in ThreatScope™ x
Developer Parameters for Blocking SSL Pinning Bypass Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF
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

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 SSL Pinning Bypass is detected.

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


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

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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