How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]

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How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]

How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root in Android Devices? Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android’s user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gestures that loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping and pinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard for text input.

Some apps, such as finance/banking, enterprise, or audio/video apps will not run if your phone is rooted. RootCloak allows you to run apps that detect root without disabling root. You select from a list of your installed apps (or add a custom entry), and using a variety of methods, it will completely and transparently hide the signs of root from that app. RootCloak is designed to be as universal as possible. Instead of handling apps on a case-by-case basis, it hides root by hooking into basic SDK level calls, such as exec(), File calls, and getInstalledApplications ().

How RootCloak Solves This Problem

In order to address this conflict of interests, Matt attempted to solve the problem in a uniquely acalable and app-agnostic way. As such, RootCloak relies on the following:

  • Limited scope: only simple root (e.g. no busybox, no other system modifications, etc.)
  • The fact that there is a finite set of root detection approaches
  • The fact that the finite set of approaches can only be implemented by an even smaller finite set of interfaces

In practice, what does this mean? Let’s look at it by example. On a rooted device, the su binary will most frequently be called “su”, and be located in one of a few common directories. One approach that apps use to check for root is simply to see if the su binary exists. Rather than try to overwrite the code on an app-specific basis, Matt designed RootCloak to catch things like using File or exec to check for the su binary’s existence. Thus, it doesn’t matter when or where an app tries to check for the su binary; the finite set of fundamental interfaces that an app may use to check for root has been addressed.

Other approaches apps use when checking for root include looking at the installed packages (for things like SuperSu), checking running services, doing ls/pm/ps/etc. using Runtime.exec(), and more.

Limitations of RootCloak

The Xposed framework allows modules to operate at the Java level, not at the native level. As such, applications that use the NDK to check for root cannot be handled in an app-agnostic way using RootCloak. While this could be addressed on an app-by-app basis, that would violate my original goal in addressing this at the interface level.

To counter this limitation, Matt Joseph built RootCloak Plus using Cydia Substrate, which allows for the interception of syscalls and thus is capable of handling an increased number of root detection approaches. However, Cydia Substrate has not been developed past Android 4.0-4.3, and thus is not an ideal platform going forward.

Use RootCloak with Xposed Repository

According to me, it is quite simple method, because most of the people use Xposed Repository these days. Please check the prerequisites before begin.

Prerequisites

Restriction

  • Android Pay isn’t working

How to Install & Activate RootCloak?

1. After installing Xposed Installer, open it up.

2. Click on Download option in Xposed Installer menu.

3. Search for RootCloak using 

How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
4. Tap on RootCloak (with 5.x and 6.x support)

5. Now, hit on Versions, then Download and Install the app.

6. After installing, instead of opening it, tap done. Go to back in Xposed Framework to the main menu.

7. Tap on Module option and Enable RootCloak using 

How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
8. Reboot your device

How to Use RootCloak?

1. Open up RootCloak app.

2. Tap on Add/Remove Apps option.

How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
3. list to add app for which you want to hide root access.

If the app you want to hide root from is not in the list, you must then press  to add it.

How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
4. Now, we need to Force Stop the app to take effect. To do so, just go to Device’s Settings and open Application Manager.

5. Tap on your desired App and hit the Force Stop button.

How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
How to Hide Root Access from Apps that Detect Root? [Android]
6. Now, exit from settings and open that app.

Use RootCloak with Cydia Substrate

Another method to use RootCloak in an Android device is using Cydia Substrate. Please check the prerequisites before begin.

Prerequisites

RootCloak doesn’t support:

  • x86 (Intel) devices
  • Devices with multiple user accounts

How to Install RootCloak in Android 4.4+?

All you have to do is just change the settings to Permissive. That’s it. Now follow below guide.

How to Install RootCloak?

1. Open Cydia Substrate app and Link Substrate Files.

2. Reboot your Android device.

How to Use RootCloak?

1. Open up RootCloak app.

2. Tap on Add/Remove Apps option.

3. list to add app for which you want to hide root access.

If the app you want to hide root from is not in the list, you must then press  to add it.

4. Now, we need to Force Stop the app to take effect. To do so, just go to Device’s Settings and open Application Manager.

5. Tap on your desired App and hit the Force Stop button.

6. Now, exit from settings and open that app.

FAQs

Disabling root, or temporarily unrooting, prevents ALL applications from using root. This includes the applications that require root to function. In addition, SuperSu (and others) cannot hide themselves, and are still detected by many apps. RootCloak does not disable root; it completely hides all traces of being rooting, including the su binary, some of busybox, superuser.apk/most common superuser control apps, and more.

Some apps native libraries created using the Android NDK to detect root. This includes using calls such as access() and fopen(). RootCloak cannot intercept these calls, because the Xposed Framework does not operate at the native level.

Not directly. Some apps that check for root only check for things like release-keys vs test-keys, and therefore RootCloak will work. However, if you are running CM, AOKP, or any other custom ROM, there are simply too many ways to detect a custom for RootCloak to effectively hide all of them. For example, addition settings activities may be added/removed depending on the AOKP version; RootCloak would have to hide every single one to be 100% effective.

This is an Xposed module, whereas RootCloak Plus is designed to work with Cydia Substrate. Substrate allows RootCloak Plus to handle MORE cases than Xposed, the most important of which is native calls. If you have an app that does not work with RootCloak, try RootCloak Plus. Rootcloak Plus only works with Android 4.0-4.3, as Cydia Substrate is not actively being developed.

An Alternative to RootCloak

An alternative to RootCloak that I have found is Hide my Root app. It is available on Google Play Store for free of cost with minor advertisement. Hide my Root lets you temporarily hide the superuser binary and app so that no applications or users can get root access. You can even set a password so that only you can restore root access. On some roms (usually rooted stock roms), Hide my Root will allow you to use Google Videos and similar apps on a rooted phone. On custom roms such as CyanogenMod, it will not allow you to use Google Videos and similar apps on a rooted phone.

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