At its most basic level, code obfuscation is the process of making an application harder to understand. And since threat actors want to understand your code, they hate code obfuscation. Why is that?

Applications are written using programming languages that contain a small set of language constructs for sequencing operations, if/then tests, and loops combined and layered in ways to perform useful operations. Modern coding practices include the use of high-level languages, object-oriented design, meaningful naming, and standard patterns that lead to relatively simple source code which in turn permits the generation of relatively simple compiled code. Simpler compiled code means easier reverse engineering – and THAT means attackers can isolate IP, understand program behavior, and discover communication protocols with backend systems faster with less effort. And because your applications need to talk to your back-end systems to be useful, they are working examples of how to bypass your perimeter defense systems.

Working examples of how to bypass your perimeter defense systems screenshot
Giving threat actors simple code is what you do not want to do. Instead, you want to apply code obfuscation to the greatest extent possible.

The best obfuscation tools transform simple compiler-generated code into code that shares a few of the modern code characteristics as possible. Code obfuscation transformations can include symbol renaming, string encryption, control flow alteration, instruction substitution, and others. And while several companies provide code obfuscation, Digital.ai Application Security provides more techniques and more advanced techniques across more OSes, languages, and systems than anyone else. Those advanced techniques include control-flow flattening, call hiding, and others that we’d prefer not to mention in public.

With Digital.ai Application Security, applications function exactly as intended, but in a way that makes it very hard for threat actors to understand. And your protection can be tuned to balance security and performance so you can apply high levels of code obfuscation to some parts of your applications and lower levels to other parts.

Example of unprotected binary control flow graph screenshot  Example of protected binary control flow graph screenshot

 

So go ahead and ruin a threat actor’s day (Week? Month? Maybe year?), and apply Digital.ai Application Security code obfuscation to your next application.

 

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