Code obfuscation and how a business may derive benefits from it

What is obfuscation? In simple terms, it would make a code illegal, unreadable, and not executable by a third party. The source code would be unsecured virtually forget about the execution part. It is not going to have a major impact on the interface of an application as the outcome of the application does not suffer any impact. It ensures this is more in terms of a preventive measure make the code worthless to be attacked by a hacker, if they are able to get their hands on this executable code. Code obfuscation tends to be vital for an open source code and even for personal gain it would be impossible to hack.

For non- secure distributed source code obfuscation is used. The developers of a program tend to make it difficult to re- engineer a program or even it to protect it from intellectual threats. It can be unauthorized access and figuring out application vulnerabilities. Though it would all depend upon the type of obfuscation method that is used, the use of this procedure would restrict malicious code. Even it ensures different levels of code protection.

This turns out to be an important aspect against reverse- engineering. The code that is not readable would make the cost, time or effort factors in discarding the code when compiling takes place. Rather than obfuscate the code, most of the obfuscators would clean it up by removing the unnecessary dead codes, duplicates and Meta data. This is bound to enhance the performance of a code where it speeds up the compilation process. A series of efforts would result in faster execution of the code.

Code obfuscation and its benefits

  • It makes it difficult for the attackers to interpret the code- If you are operating in an untrusted environment it makes it difficult, to be deploying an obfuscated code. This would make the attackers really hard to break it into an application. The method provides numerous benefits to a security team more so if it is a case of open source platform. For example an app that would be handing the personal information of the users, it is necessary for a security layer. Any sort of opportunities that emerge for debugging, or manipulating is avoided for tapering the app when it comes to your personal benefit
  • Reverse engineering poses to be a challenge- apart from making it difficult to re- engineer a platform, the method of code obfuscation would also prevent the need to distribute programs when it is an open source platform. An interactive method of obfuscation tends to be useful when it comes to implementation of multiple security levels. The moment a user encounters a program about which they are confused that is visual to them, since the algorithm obfuscation would be next in line. It feeds on to the next line and so on.
  • Useful for security reasons- even to obfuscate a code does pose a serious challenge, since cracking may require time, effort and energy. The fun attackers are kept out and against threats adequate form of protection is provided. It is quite possible that hackers may obfuscate the code as it may replicate the original version rather easily. Though true effectiveness modules are really difficult to achieve, most of the companies obfuscate the code for privacy and security reasons.
  • Maintainability-  the method of obfuscation points to taking a single code and altering it in such a way that it makes it in illegible for others. The process is accomplished by replacing texts or commands in a code that would be non- sensual. The characters would replicate the regular code. But it would be really difficult to decipher the code by looking at it. Though this may provide security for the code a certain level of expertise is necessary when you are undertaking maintainenace on the code. The person who has obfuscated the code will be able to adjust it at a later point of time. If you happen to be working on an individual project this may not turn out to be a problem. But if you are part of a team the method may alienate potential working hands. It may work out to be a drawback when you are planning to obfuscate code. Platforms like Appsealing can guide you on how to proceed.
  • Optimization of a regular code- apart from providing an extra layer of security, an obfuscated code will be able to replicate the original code. The process will require a careful understanding of the original code. Since you are aware that the original code will be obfuscated, it is evident that unnecessary information will be discarded. They would be taking your original code and obfuscate to a considerable extent. By following these process it will lead to an optimized code. The useless meta- data will be removed. This is going to eradicate duplicate information or trim down the dead code. When you compress your code to the most essential parts, this works out to be one of the major benefits of an obfuscated code.
  • Tracks down the illegal copies- rather than providing security in a single platform, an obfuscated code can help you figure out illegal copies of the code. For example if you are using an obfuscated code for your project you will be able to detect any type of changes immediately. Assigning to your code to multiple users it is possible to figure out when the illegal copy has been obtained. This happens to be a major benefit if you are really worried about the integrity of your work.

There are a lot of advantages of obfuscation but there are some points to guard. It would make it difficult to trouble shoot the program or a web page, if there emerges any type of issue with your plug in. When there is an obfuscated code it would be really difficult for the users to be submitting accurate bug reports. Even it possess a challenge to the software developer.

Muhammad Asad Raza