Prevent ATS Malware in Android Apps

Last updated November 29, 2023 by Appdome

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

What is ATS Malware?

ATS malware is a program that uses Automated Transfer Systems (ATS) methods to hijack transactions in Android apps. To keep mobile users safe, it’s important to prevent ATS malware attacks on Android apps.

An automated transfer service (ATS) is a banking service that automatically transfers funds between a person’s various accounts, such as to pay off a bill. An ATS malware aims to gain access to the bank accounts of unsuspecting users in order to make fraudulent transactions. The operation of such malware can be enabled through various methods, such as exploiting accessibility services or performing an overlay attack.

ATS malware can cause significant damage such as financial loss, SMS interception, and remote desktop attacks.

How does Appdome Protect against ATS Malware?

Appdome prevents the operation of ATS malware by using the Android OS capability of hiding non-system overlays, which was introduced in Android 12.

When ATS malware protection is enabled as part of enabling the Prevent Accessibility Service Malware feature Appdome will detect active transaction hijacking attempts, blocks the attempt, provide a notification to the end user. If you check the Exit On Notification toggle, this will ensure to exit the affected app to prevent the attack.

Prerequisites to Using Prevent ATS Malware:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent ATS Malware , you’ll need:

Prevent ATS Malware on Android apps using Appdome

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

    1. Building Prevent ATS Malware by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Prevent ATS Malware 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 Prevent ATS Malware feature via Appdome Console, to add the Prevent ATS Malware 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 Prevent ATS Malware feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Prevent ATS Malware 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. How: Check whether Prevent Accessibility Service Malware is toggled On (enabled), otherwise enable it . You can see that the feature Prevent ATS Malware is enabled by default, as shown below. Prevent ATS Malware option

        Figure 3: Prevent ATS Malware 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 enable Prevent Accessibility Service Malware you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Prevent ATS Malware

        Fusion Set applied Prevent ATS Malware

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Prevent ATS Malware protection

      4. Select the Threat-Event™ in-app mobile Threat Defense and Intelligence policy for Prevent ATS Malware:
        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 Prevent ATS Malware.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects an ATS malware 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 Prevent ATS Malware Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against ATS Malware (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 Prevent ATS Malware Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      5. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Prevent ATS Malware protection is now added to the mobile app

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

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for ATS Malware are:

In-App Detection

In-App Defense

{app_display_name} detected in-app activity from an untrusted accessibility service. To protect you, the app will be closed. You can turn Accessibility Services on/off in Settings.

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent ATS Malware Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Prevent ATS Malware
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 Preventing ATS Malware Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME BlockedATSModification
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6939
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 long
locationLat Location lat
locationState Location state
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 ATS Malware is detected.

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

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Prevent ATS Malware. 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 Prevent ATS Malware

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.

Related Articles:

If you have any questions, please send them our way at or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

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