How to Block Custom Frida Toolkits

Last updated January 23, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Block Custom Frida in Android 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. However, it is also used by fraudsters, cybercriminals, black hats and other malicious actors to compromise mobile apps, inject malicious code, and/or change a mobile app’s logic or behavior in unintended and malicious ways.
Frida has official builds, made by the Frida.re website, while a custom Frida toolkit is a non-official Frida build.

Why should I Block Custom Frida Toolkits?

A custom Frida toolkit modifies identifiers and tries to avoid detection, and is therefore typically used by malicious actors. Fraudsters, cybercriminals, black hats, and other malicious actors can use custom Frida toolkits to compromise mobile apps, inject malicious code, and/or change a mobile app’s logic or behavior in unintended ways. In addition, a Custom Frida toolkit is a very valuable tool for reverse engineering the way applications work, as well as for obtaining knowledge on an undocumented API that is used by an Android application.

Blocking Custom Frida on Android apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Block Custom 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. Android Formats: .apk or .aab
  2. Build the feature: Block Frida Toolkits.

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

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

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

      To build the Block Frida Toolkits 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: Toggle (turn ON) Block Frida Toolkits, as shown below.
        If needed, Customize the Threat Notification to be displayed to the mobile end-user in a standard OS dialog notification when Appdome Blocks Custom Frida . Block Frida Toolkits option

        Figure 3: Block Custom Frida 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 select the Block Frida Toolkits 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 Toolkits

        Fusion Set applied Block Frida Toolkits

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

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

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects the use of Custom Frida 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 Toolkits Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

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

          When this setting is used, Appdome detects and defends against Custom 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 Toolkits Intelligence and Control in Mobile Apps.

      5. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Block Frida Toolkits protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Block Frida Toolkits feature in Android Apps.

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

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

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

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

Threat-Event™ Elements Block Custom Frida Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Block Frida Toolkits
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 Custom Frida Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME FridaCustomDetected
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF 6801
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
messageMessage displayed for the user on event
externalIDThe external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersionOS version of the current device
deviceModelCurrent device model
deviceManufacturerThe manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppTokenThe task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfoInfo about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmnPLMN of the device
deviceIDCurrent device ID
reasonCodeReason code of the occured event
buildDateAppdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatformOS name of the current device
carrierNameCarrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersionIs the OS version up to date
deviceBrandBrand of the device
deviceBoardBoard of the device
buildUserBuild user
buildHostBuild host
sdkVersionSdk version
timeZoneTime zone
deviceFaceDownIs the device face down
locationLongLocation long
locationLatLocation lat
locationStateLocation state
wifiSsidWifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatusWifi SSID permission status
reasonReason for the detection
dataData related to 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 Custom Frida is detected.

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

Prerequisites to Using Block Frida Toolkits:

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

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

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.

Features Similar to Block Frida Toolkits

Here are a few related resources:

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!

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