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Code obfuscation is a method of securing programming code so that malicious actors can’t see and know the logic of the programming code. This is just like locking your room or house so that no unauthorized person can enter the room.
For instance, If you have written a code in .Net language, then the code obfuscation is the technique that can be applied to the source code of an application. This will make it tough for attackers to understand and see the logic of the code. Attackers always want to see the source code and logic behind it so that they can reverse engineer it. Coding obfuscation prevents them from doing this.
One of the most popular methods used for code obfuscation is iterative code obfuscation. This method is used in many Android applications. It is a technique where multiple obfuscation algorithms are regularly and iteratively applied to the written code. These algorithms are applied with the result of the previous obfuscation algorithm giving the input to the subsequent obfuscation algorithm. This method is also called as adding layers of security to the code.
For instance, .net obfuscators use two important methods. These are shrinking and optimization. Shrinking methods protect .net and help to identify and securely eliminate inactive classes, fields, processes, and properties from the app’s build. On the other hand, the optimization helps in examining and revising the programming code to decrease its size.
For example, if an optimizer identifies a loop statement in which some section of the code is never used, then this section of the code from the loop statement is excluded.
Now, if you want to obfuscate C# or protect dll then the .Net assemblies include strings. These strings can be utilized in the programming code for anybody to understand. Literal strings usually include delicate information such as login credentials, database queries, algorithms, and much more. Literal strings can also be used to reverse-engineer the .Net code by implementing a marker.
For instance, if a particular user wants to exclude license checking from the app will go to search and will search for all occurrences of strings such as “license” or ‘valid”. Once they have discovered such strings, they will explore the encompassing code to understand if it is the licensing code. After finding this, this user can simply remove or disable it. The coding obfuscation technique solves this problem by encrypting all literal strings in the programming code.
The .NET code can be obfuscated by jumbling the important signs in the metadata with any complex ones and cutting the unnecessary metadata, but without harming any functionality. The methods applied are changing the assembly metadata, size reduction, and string encryption.
Many techniques can encrypt all data assemblies and any extra assemblies of the application. Encryption is one of the most important obfuscation methods that makes it impossible for attackers to access any specific assemblies. This method can be effectively used by distributing all delicate or critical code and data in a dependent assembly.