How to Block Frida Instrumentation Exploits in Android & iOS Apps

Last updated November 29, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Block Frida in Mobile apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Frida?

Frida is a dynamic instrumentation / binary instrumentation toolkit intended for developers, pen-testers, and security researchers. Frida has official builds, made by the Frida.re website, while a custom Frida toolkit is a non-official Frida typically used by malicious actors to compromise mobile apps, inject malicious code, and/or change a mobile app’s logic or behavior in unintended and malicious ways such as creating an update to existing malware, disabling SSL/TLS Pinning, and intercepting the network traffic by using a middleman proxy.

In addition, a Custom Frida can be used to reverse engineer the way apps work, as well as for obtaining knowledge on an undocumented API that is used in an app.

How does Appdome Protect Against Frida Instrumentation Exploits?

Appdome’s Block Frida feature applies several methods for detecting the use of Frida Toolkit and overcoming Android Rooter tools such as Magisk. Cybercriminals usually use Frida Toolkit in order to bypass rooting detection mechanisms or to turn off anti-tampering protections that have been hardcoded into the source code. Such methods include the detection of loading Frida via dynamically injected code in the target application’s memory space, as well as the detection of custom Frida toolkits.

Prerequisites for Using Block Frida:

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

Block Frida on Mobile apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Block Frida 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. Mobile App Formats: .ipa for iOS, or .apk or .aab for Android
    4. Block Frida Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, JS, C#, C++, Swift, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, and more
  2. Build the feature: Block Frida.

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

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

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

      To build the Block Frida 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 Frida 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 Frida

        Fusion Set applied Block Frida

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

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

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects When Frida toolkit is detected, when Frida custom toolkit is detected 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 Frida Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Frida (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 Frida 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 Frida protection is now added to the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for Frida Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Frida is detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Frida in Mobile Apps, use AddObserverForName in Notification Center, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Frida shown below.

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

Threat-Event™ Elements Block Frida Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block Frida
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 Blocking Frida Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME FridaDetected, FridaCustomDetected
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6905
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), Mobile developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in Mobile applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Frida is detected.

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


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

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:

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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