How to Detect Hooking Frameworks in iOS Apps

Last updated March 21, 2024 by Appdome

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

What is Hooking?

A hook is a means of executing custom code (function) either before, after, or instead of existing code. For example, a function may be written to “hook” into the login process of a mobile application and alter the authentication workflow, by requesting users to enter their social security number or re-type their password. Fraudsters use dynamic instrumentation toolkits such as Frida to hook into the application, interact with the running processes, and inject their own JavaScript code, thus replacing the original code.

How Appdome Protects iOS Apps from Hooking Frameworks?

Appdome’s Detect Hooking Frameworks feature detects and prevents common hooking methods and frameworks that attempt to intercept function/method calls, messages, or API calls and then modify their instructions or output. Appdome also detects any code injected into the app’s process memory and prevents it from running.

Prerequisites for Using Hooking Frameworks:

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

Detect Hooking Frameworks on iOS apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Detect Hooking Frameworks 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. iOS Formats: .ipa
    4. Hooking Frameworks Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, Swift, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: Hooking Frameworks.

    1. Building Hooking Frameworks by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Hooking Frameworks 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 Hooking Frameworks feature via Appdome Console, to add the Hooking Frameworks 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. Copy 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 Hooking Frameworks feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Hooking Frameworks 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 enable Prevent Code Injection you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Hooking Frameworks

        Fusion Set applied Hooking Frameworks

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Hooking Frameworks protection

      3. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Hooking Frameworks protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Hooking Frameworks feature in iOS Apps.

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

Using Threat-Events™ for Hooking Frameworks Intelligence and Control in iOS Apps

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

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Hooking Frameworks are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Detect Hooking Frameworks Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Hooking Frameworks
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 Detecting Hooking Frameworks 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
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), iOS developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in iOS applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Hooking Frameworks are detected.

The following is a code sample for native iOS apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Hooking Frameworks:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured iOS Apps by using Hooking Frameworks. 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 Hooking Frameworks

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 or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

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