Why do Android Developers Need Code Signing Certificate to Secure App?

Why do Android Developers Need Code Signing Certificate to Secure App?

Android developers are in a unique position to get their mobile application out to millions of users in a very short amount of time. But with this great power comes great responsibility – and in the case of Android developers, great responsibility means secure coding and a code signing certificate. Code signing is a process of digitally signing a software application, allowing users to verify that the code they are executing has not been tampered with. Without it, malicious actors can take advantage of a vulnerable app and inject malicious code, or worse, steal and exploit the user’s data. A code signing certificate is the best way for Android developers to ensure their apps are secure and trustworthy, and to protect their users from harm.

What is Code Signing?

A Code Signing Certificate is a digital certificate used to sign computer software. When code is signed, a hash value is computed from the bytes of the program. The certificate contains a copy of the hash along with identifying information about the company or person who signed the software. The certificate also includes a digital signature that can be verified by a software utility. This is important for Android developers because it ensures that their code and their app has not been tampered with or altered in any way. It means that the user who downloads the app can be sure that they are getting the exact same code that the developer published, and that only the developers (and the certification authority who issued the certificate) can sign that code.

How does a Code Signing Protect Android Apps?

Code signing protects Android developers by ensuring that their code is not tampered with and that it comes from a trusted source. If someone were to take a signed app and inject malicious code into that app, the hash of that code would differ from the hash that was originally signed. This means that if the app was later signed with the original certificate, the hashes would not match and the app would fail the verification process. On top of that, if malicious code is injected into the app without a code signing certificate, the certificate will have been revoked and will no longer be valid. This means that malicious code won’t be able to execute, and that the app will fail to launch.

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How This Digital Certificate Helps Android Developers?

There are many benefits to securing Android apps with a code signing certificate. Some of the most important ones include:

Improved Reputation:

A secure app with a valid digital signature will be seen by users as more trustworthy than an insecure app. This means that users are more likely to download and recommend your app.

Protect against Malicious Apps:

Code signing certificates ensure that only the app that is trusted by the certificate owner can be signed with the certificate. This means malicious apps can’t be signed with your certificate and distributed to users as your app.

Protect against Malicious Code:

Without a code signing certificate, malicious code can be injected into your app and executed. This is a common attack that can execute code remotely and steal data from a user’s device.

Protect against Modifying the App:

With a code signing certificate, a developer’s app can’t be modified or tampered with. This means that the app is trusted and secure, and prevents users from altering the code and misusing it.

How to Get it?

The process of getting a code signing certificate varies depending on the CA (Certificate Authority). Some CAs require an in-person visit to their office, while others will issue a code signing certificate online. In either case, the developer will be required to provide details about their company and their app, along with information about where users can download the app from and how to contact the developer. The CA will also conduct a verification process to ensure that the developer requesting the certificate is the rightful owner of the code signing certificate. Once a CA has verified the details of the developer and the information regarding their app, they will issue a code signing certificate. Once the certificate is received, the developer can then sign the app with the certificate and distribute it to users.

What are the Different Types?

There are a few different types of code signing certificates available to Android developers. These include Development, Alpha, Beta, and Production certificates. Development certificates are intended for internal use only and shouldn’t be distributed to users. They are used for testing apps internally before they are signed with a production certificate. Alpha and Beta certificates are meant for testing apps before they are distributed to users. Once an app passes the testing phase and is ready for wider distribution, it should be signed with a production certificate. Production certificates are intended for use in releasing the app to end-users. They are valid for 1 year, and can be renewed after that time. End users should never be using a development or beta certificate, as they can be revoked at any time and cause the app to fail.

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What are the Security risks of not having a Signed App Code?

Without a code signing certificate, you’re putting your users at risk. Malicious actors can inject code into your app, steal user data, and do various other malicious things. Users don’t know if your app is real or fake, and they can’t be sure that they should trust your app. Without a code signing certificate, your app is vulnerable to attacks and malicious code injections. You also won’t be able to distribute your Android app through the Google Play Store, which is a huge blow to the app’s potential success. Without a code signing certificate, your app will never be accepted into the Google Play Store. If you want to reach a wide audience, having a code signing cert is crucial.

What are some best practices to Secure an Android app?

Here are some best practices for securing an Android app with a code signing certificate:

Maintain the Code:

Don’t change the code after it is published. This could invalidate the certificate and cause the app to fail.

Use Secure Coding Practices:

Be sure to use secure coding practices when building your app. This will help keep the app secure and will make it less vulnerable to attacks.

Stay Updated:

Keep your code signing certificate up to date with any new versions of the certificate. This will ensure that the certificate is valid and trusted by users.

Use a Signing Key with High Entropy:

This will help the certificate resist brute-force attacks and make it harder for malicious actors to crack the certificate and inject their code.

What are the Costs of code signing certificates?

The costs of code signing certificates vary depending on the CA and the validity of the certificate. Development and beta certificates are generally free, while production certificates require payment. Production certificates are valid for 1 year and cost around $69 – $159. This is a small price to pay for securing your app and protecting your users. Code signing certificates are a must for Android developers who want to ensure that their app is secure and trusted by users. Specially Comodo EV Code Signing Certificate is best solution to protect against malicious code injection, and without one, your app is at risk of attack. If you’re an Android developer, make sure you secure your app with a code signing certificate to protect users and keep your app safe.


Secure your android app from hackers, theft and malware through these best practices and proven tricks! If you’re an Android developer, make sure you secure your app with a code signing certificate to protect users and keep your app safe.



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Shankar is a tech blogger who occasionally enjoys penning historical fiction. With over a thousand articles written on tech, business, finance, marketing, mobile, social media, cloud storage, software, and general topics, he has been creating material for the past eight years.