In today’s world, every other person is consuming his/her most of the time on mobile apps. We can say that they are living their life on mobile apps. This leads to consumption of data and credentials of internet users. Gaming, fin tech and O2O are the major industries which are on trend since the hit of coronavirus pandemic. And hence, data security and protection have become the primary concern for all the mobile apps consumers.
Since the users are much active on internet, there are high chances of their data to get caught, mutilated and falsified. Extreme usage of mobile apps has opened various opportunities for the hackers.
Therefore, the software program developers are taking preventive measures to protect their apps from such hacking. Here, in this article, we will try to understand how code obfuscation help in detection and prevention of hacking of mobile apps. But first, we should try to understand few basic things such as-
What are the types of apps which are at high risk of hacking?
- Android apps are facing major tampering and malware attacks. Because, in India, a large section of people are dependent upon android mobile apps therefore hackers try to tamper and become successful easily. Securing android apps is equally important to developing them. An insecure app is a threat to the user as well as the developer.
- Secondly, iOS’s apps also face problems of debugging and integrity protection. Therefore, It becomes important to protect iOS apps as well. There is a misconception about iOS’ apps that they are not vulnerable as compared to android apps. iOS’s apps are also not safe as we may think.
What is obfuscation, How it works?
Obfuscation means creating a confusion or making something difficult to proceed further. It is used to protect the intellectual rights of the software developers or to keep the trade secret safer. Many a time, an intelligent hacker is easily able to do reverse engineering in a programming software.
It does not let the reader or the user to have knowledge about what actually lies in the code. It makes them confused and fooled. A reader can be in any form such as a person, a device or any another software program. These devices only use digital signatories to hack codes and that is the way how obfuscation code fools them to crack it.
A significant benefit of obfuscation is that it never changes or do any alteration in the reality of the message or the actual code, but it only makes a reader hard to attack on it or makes it hard to read.
What is code obfuscation and why do we need it?
There are many techniques and methods through which obfuscation may be inserted such as renaming, anti-debug, packing, instruction pattern changes but, today, in this article we will be discussing code obfuscation.
Code obfuscation is the tool to modify the data which needs execution, so that does not help the hacker while remaining in its functions. It does not vary the result or the output, rather it only alters the process of actual method to get the output. An automated code obfuscation makes an attacker very laborious to reverse-engineer any program with economical prices.
When you opt for code obfuscation, you are protecting yourself and your trade from theft, unauthorized access to the confidential rights or other many illegal controls on the mobile apps. By obfuscation, the apps become less vulnerable and strongly secured from attackers and hackers.
You should strongly consider going for code obfuscation if your app is your intellectual property and if it runs in unsafe environment. An in-app self-protection is highly required if you have provided sensitive and confidential information. There might be chances that this information is getting attacked or hacker by an intelligent hacker without letting you know a thing.
Advantages of code obfuscation
Code obfuscation ensures you that there is no room left for debugging, tampering the apps for undue advantages. Following are core benefits of code obfuscation and reasons why you should consider it to ensure that your rights are safe and reserved.
- In an environment which is not trustworthy enough, code obfuscation is beneficial for open hosted platforms. Therefore, obfuscation grinds the hacker to attack and to de obfuscate and tamper the codes.
- This makes sure that no undue or illicit advantage is given to the reader. This is an extra level security for the apps which use critical information and credentials of their consumers.
- Code obfuscation also help in deleting non-needed and expired codes, identical codes and schema. Due to this minimization, fast codes can be executed and performance can be enhanced.
- As earlier mentioned, code obfuscation makes difficult to reverse-engineer any software program. If you are worried about your data to theft, then you should rely upon code obfuscation.
- Obscure algorithms are used in this technique and hence it confuses the reader to understand the true goal of the code.
- DE obfuscation of a code takes lot of valuable time, money and hard attempts and even if the attacker becomes successful, it may not provide them the original code easily.
Due to these reasons, most of the companies use code obfuscation for seclusion and reliability concerns.
Some negative points
As every solution also comes with some negative sides, code obfuscation has few negative points to such as-
- It takes a larger amount of hours to obfuscate any code depending upon the quantity and the complexity in nature of method used to code obfuscate.
- Code obfuscation shape the reverse-engineering procedure leisured but however, it does not put a stop to it.
- If a user has anti-virus protection, and he tries to enter genuinely to your app then it may stop him to visit your app. Thus, it can harm your business.
Keeping all benefits and disadvantages in mind, code obfuscation may slow down the attacks by hackers, but it is not a one-stop solution.
However, various techniques are available to code obfuscate which the software developers may use to protect their code and ensure themselves their data is not getting theft by the attackers. With the usageof RASP techniques and other encryption models, you can have a reliable space to open hosted platforms in untrusted environment.