By Antonio Ruggia April 1, 2022


ARMAND (Anti-Repackaging through Multi-patternAnti-tampering based on Native Detection) is a novel anti-tampering protection scheme that embeds logic bombs and AT detection nodes directly in the apk file without needing their source code. We developed ARMANDroid, an ARMAND implementation for Android apps. ARMANDroid uses soot to decompile the original apk file and to build a new application, applying anti tampering techniques and build a new application.

It is recommended to use ARMANDroid in combination with an obfuscation tool. In our dockerfile we will use Obfuscapk.

❱ Publication

More details about ARMAND can be found in the paper “ARMAND:Anti-Repackaging through Multi-pattern Anti-tampering based on Native Detection”.

Accepted to PMC journal.

  title={ARMAND: Anti-Repackaging through Multi-pattern Anti-tampering based on Native Detection},
  author={Merlo, Alessio and Ruggia, Antonio and Sciolla, Luigi and Verderame, Luca},
  journal={Pervasive and Mobile Computing},

❱ Usage

Docker image


The only requirement is to have a recent version of Docker installed:

$ docker --version
Docker version 19.03.0, build aeac949

Official Docker Hub image

The official ARMANDroid Docker image is available on Docker Hub (automatically built from this repository):

# Download the Docker image.
docker pull totor13/armand
# Give it a shorter name.
docker tag totor13/armand armand


A local directory containing the application to protect has to be mounted to /workdir in the container (e.g., the current directory "${PWD}") with the command:

docker run --rm -it -u $(id -u):$(id -g) -v "${PWD}":"/workdir" armand [params...]

Simple usage, ARMANDroid only:

docker run --rm -it -u $(id -u):$(id -g) -v "${PWD}":"/workdir" armand -i ${APK_IN} -k "${KEYSTORE_PATH}:PKCS12:${KEYSTORE_PASSWORD}:${KEYSTORE_ALIAS}"

The protected app will be available under ${PWD}/sootOutput.

More information are available in the help message:

$ docker run armand --help
usage: ARMAND
 -a,--android-jars <arg>                    The path to the android jars.
                                            The default is
 -c,--soot-classpath <arg>                  The path to the wanted
                                            soot.jar file.
 -i,--apk-path <arg>                        The path to the target apk
 -ja,--java-at-percentage <arg>             The percentage of Java AT
 -k,--key-store <arg>                       Information of the keystore
                                            used to sign the output apk:
 -na,--native-at-percentage <arg>           The percentage of native AT
 -ne,--native-encryption-percentage <arg>   The percentage of native
 -o,--output-format <arg>                   The output format (dex,
                                            class). The default is dex
 -p,--package-name <arg>                    The package name where to
                                            insert bombs. "none" to
                                            include all classes (libraries
                                            included). Default value is
                                            taken from Manifest file

Usage with Obfuscapk

Obfuscapk parameters must be added after --obfuscapk. This parameter must be inserted after ARMANDroid params. Example:

docker run --rm -it -u $(id -u):$(id -g)  -v "${PWD}":"/workdir" armand -i ${APK_IN} -k "${KEYSTORE_PATH}:PKCS12:${KEYSTORE_PASSWORD}:${KEYSTORE_ALIAS}"  --obfuscapk -o RandomManifest -o Rebuild -o NewSignature -o NewAlignment sootOutput/${APK_IN}"

The protected app will be available under ${PWD}/sootOutput/obfuscation_working_dir.

Note: For more details of Obfuskapk’s input parameters, please refer to its github.

❱ Example

$ ls .
input my-release-key.keystore
$ # Export variables
$ export KEYSTORE_PATH="${PWD}"
$ export KEYSTORE_PASSWORD="my_pass"
$ export KEYSTORE_ALIAS="alias"
$ # Check folder
$ ls ./input
$ # Run ARMANDroid 
$ docker run --rm -it -u $(id -u):$(id -g) -v "${PWD}/input":"/workdir" armand -i "/workdir/test.apk" -k "${KEYSTORE_PATH}:PKCS12:${KEYSTORE_PASSWORD}:${KEYSTORE_ALIAS}" --obfuscapk -o RandomManifest -o Rebuild -o NewSignature -o NewAlignment "sootOutput/test.apk"
### Result Report ### 
  Percentage of Java AT: 20 %
  Percentage of native encryption: 70 %
  Percentage of native anti-tampering without encryption: 40 %
Total number of Java AT: 823 
Total number of QC: 138 
Detailed for types:
 Number of QC of type withNativeEncrOnly: 86
 Number of QC of type withJavaAndNativeEncr: 5
 Number of QC of type withJavaOnly: 1
 Number of QC of type withJavaAndNativeAT: 1
 Number of QC of type withNativeATOnly: 17
 Number of QC of type withoutAnyAT: 28
The max nesting level is: 2

$ # Check result folder 
$ ls input/sootOutput/obfuscation_working_dir
$ # Sign the protected app 
$ jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore "${KEYSTORE_PATH}" -storepass "${KEYSTORE_PASSWORD}" input/sootOutput/obfuscation_working_dir/test.apk "${KEYSTORE_ALIAS}"

❱ License

This tool is available under a dual license: a commercial one required for closed source projects or commercial projects, and an AGPL license for open-source projects.

Depending on your needs, you must choose one of them and follow its policies. A detail of the policies and agreements for each license type is available in the LICENSE.COMMERCIAL and LICENSE files.

❱ Credits

Unige Dibris

This software was developed for research purposes at the Computer Security Lab (CSecLab), hosted at DIBRIS, University of Genoa.

❱ Team

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