How to convert Android resource ID back into its name

Few weeks ago I made an attempt to reverse engineer some obscure Android APK. It was available only through some Chinese shop, obviously described in only one language there. Unfortunately, it turned out that every tool designed for reverse engineering APK files outputted source with mysterious resource IDs, as plain integers, which is not the most convenient way to read them. Therefore I started looking for any way to find some meaningful name from these ids. At the end of my development effort I found out, there is one file that usually might be used for that purpose – res/values/public.xml, as produced by apktool (if I remember correctly). However, according to its name it contains only public resources, so some of them are missing there (in my case at least some drawable type resources were missing). Therefore, I am publishing my program to do things even more reliably.


This program requires my library created together, but which is separate project – libarsc. It is available, as usually through Github and also as a package to be downloaded from PyPI. Just type:

pip install libarsc

with proper privileges.

This is meant to be utility package, but for now it contains only one such tool: rid2name. Its purpose is to convert resource ID into name in format matching the one, programmers use in their Android apps. Therefore with its help it should be possible to make reversed program looks more similar to compiler input on the developer side. To use it, just feed it with resources.arsc file as first parameter, resource id as second one and optionally one of: fqdn, xmlid or json as third one. As a result you should get resource name as used in Java source, XML files or JSON meant for further processing. Example runs are:

$ python3 ../com.g_zhang.iMiniCam_39/original/resources.arsc 0x7f070000 xmlid
$ python3 ../com.g_zhang.iMiniCam_39/original/resources.arsc 0x7f070000 fqdn
$ python3 ../com.g_zhang.iMiniCam_39/original/resources.arsc 0x7f070000 json
{"package": "com.g_zhang.iMiniCam", "type": "string", "key": "app_name"}
$ python3 ../com.g_zhang.iMiniCam_39/original/resources.arsc 0x7f070000

There is also quite convenient interface inside Python source, so the file should be includable into bigger projects.

I have to give one warning now: my implementation of ARSC format is not complete, so some things might not work as expected, but from my tests of libarsc, out of 12 ARSC files, extracted from random APK files, I found on my phone, 3 of them failed (returned different MD5) to rebuild into exactly same binary (did not checked exactly what happened there).


This is library that was used underneath arscutils. It is able to parse most of the ARSC file, with special treatment of naming part, that allowed creation of rid2name. It is still missing some important parts and if there will be need from my side to extracting some more things, I will implement the rest of the specification. I am also open to any pull requests to my Github repo.


As you might noticed in usage listing, there is a topic of reverse engineering app, which name was shown there. In case I found something interesting inside, there will be another article, where I will try to share my findings.

Edit: my mistake, this is not my target app, just the package name was similar.

Setting up new v3 Hidden Service with ultimate security: Part 4: Installing client certificates to Firefox for Android

This post is a part of Tor v3 tutorial. Other parts are:

  1. Hidden Service setup
  2. PKI and TLS
  3. Client Authentication
  4. Installing client certificates to Firefox for Android

As we now have Hidden Service, requiring clients to authenticate themselves with proper certificate, it would be great to be able to use Android device to access the service. As I shown before, on desktop Firefox it was quite trivial. Unfortunately, things are different on Android. Mobile Firefox does not have any interface for adding any certificates. Furthermore, unlike Chrome, it does not use default Android certificate vault, providing it own instead. On the other hand, under the hood it is more or less the same Firefox, so the support itself is present. Therefore, we need to hack into Firefox internal databases and add the certificate there. In this part, I will show, how to do that.

Caution: similarly to desktop browser, you should not add any random certificates to your main browser. It is even worse idea to do the same with Orfox, as it might allow attackers to reveal your identity. Newer Androids have ability to create user accounts, furthermore Firefox has profiles features, just like on desktop, but harder to use. If you want to do, what is described here, separating this configuration from any other is first thing to do.

Installing CA certificate

Before we do that with user certificate, let’s start with CA. It is way easier, as Firefox has convenient feature allowing to install certificates by browsing them. All we need to provide is a valid MIME type – application/x-x509-ca-cert. So, all we need is some webserver, which we will configure to treat files with extension .crt to be treated as mentioned type. Just after opening certificate file, Firefox should ask if you are sure about adding the certificate and allow you to choose for what purpose it will be used. It also allows to view the certificate to make sure, it is the one we intended to add.

At first, check the certificate
Then use it only for website identification

In theory there is very similar MIME for user certs – application/x-x509-user-cert, but for some reason, what Firefox says after opening this type of file is:

“Couldn’t install because the certificate file couldn’t be read”

And the same effect is, no matter if the file is password protected or not.

Installing client certificate

  1. Go to /data/data/org.mozilla.firefox/files/mozilla on Android device (root required)
  2. Locate default Firefox profile. If there is only one directory in format [bloat].profile, this is it. If not, file profiles.ini should contain only one profile with Default=1. This is what we are looking for
  3. Download files cert9.db and key4.db to Linux machine
  4. Use pk12util to insert certificate into database:
$ pk12util -i [filename].p12 -d.
Enter password for PKCS12 file:
pk12util: no nickname for cert in PKCS12 file.
pk12util: using nickname: [email] - r4pt0r Test Systems
  1. Upload files back to Android. Make sure Firefox is not running
  2. Test it by opening your hidden service with Firefox. You should see messages similar to these:
Request for identification
Certificate details
Finally, working cgit via tor!