Categories
Dotfuscator Pro Change Log

Dotfuscator Professional Edition, Version 6.5.1- Release Date September 22, 2022

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Important Compatibility Changes

  • Dotfuscator distributed as a Nuget package targets .NET 6 instead of previously .NET Core 2.1.
  • Dependencies updated to the newer version of the libraries used by Dotfuscator.
Categories
Risk Management

Does Obfuscation Affect Code Performance?

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The digital age has built bridges to new frontiers. However, these frontiers aren’t limited to the well-intentioned. Unfortunately, malicious online characters are common, and studies show that a new cyber attack is carried out every 39 seconds. 

 

Such high cybercrime rates imply that keepers of online assets must find ways to protect those assets. In addition, coders face unique threats to their work, given that their products form the foundations of the digital world. Thankfully, there are ways to defend code from being accessed, reengineered, stolen, and abused.

 

Open-source code obfuscation is a security application technique that prevents all forms of hacking and tampering. It takes executed code/data and reorders it, rendering it unidentifiable to hackers and other third parties looking to cause trouble. The benefits of code obfuscation are numerous:

 

  • It defends open-source code information and data.
  • It can eliminate debugging loopholes.
  • It slows down hackers trying to re-engineer programs and applications.
  • It helps protect intellectual property.

 

Although obfuscation has considerable upsides, many ask the question: does obfuscation affect performance? It’s a common defense tactic, but many claim that it harms source code performance and decide that the tradeoff between execution and security isn’t worth it. 

 

It’s important to understand obfuscation, what it accomplishes, and its varying methods to engage in this debate with the necessary information. Only then should someone judge whether it’s the right decision for their digital assets.

 

What Is Code Obfuscation?

 

Code obfuscation is the process of encrypting and complicating lines of code, data, and communication loops. These measures cause hackers immense difficulty in interpreting and changing existing information. Ultimately, obfuscation stymies potential hackers, limiting their access and ability to steal and manipulate.

 

There’s a broad range of methods used to carry out code obfuscation. However, in essence, obfuscation is any method implemented to make source code harder to understand. Intense levels of encryption make it so hackers require more time and resources to figure out the code they’re trying to infiltrate.

 

Renaming Obfuscation

Renaming is one of the most common and accessible forms of obfuscation. This method is used in Java, IOS, Android, and NET. Renaming code consists of disguising the variable and method names while retaining the fundamental execution. It’s useful because it directly alters the source code, leaving the program’s functions untouched. 

 

Programmers can also insert “dummy code,” additional strings of false code that mean nothing and only exist to increase the difficulty of reverse engineering. Another method removes unnecessary and gratuitous lines of code and metadata, which improves performance and shrinks the availability of hackable material. 

 

Data Obfuscation

Obfuscation takes many forms, and another standard method is encrypting stored data that’s layered into the code. This form of security creates a barrier between hackers and the valuable data within the program and memory. Data obfuscation can involve aggregation and storage-based methods. 

 

Then there’s string encryption, which entails encrypting legible strings of code. Then, each time a line of code is needed, it must be deciphered before becoming usable again. 

 

In terms of implementation, data obfuscation is more intense than renaming methods. However, combining both practices leads to amplified security. 

 

Control Code Obfuscation

Plugging in additional control loops causes hackers to lose track of any sense of a program’s patterned intent. Furthermore, tinkering with the flow of the codebase — by entering dead-end statements, for example — leaves hackers struggling to find patterns. These statements create a labyrinth, making it especially challenging to reverse engineer a coding pattern.

 

Many consider control code obfuscation the most effective way to guard their program from hackers because it removes all logic from the code’s flow, confusing those looking to cause harm. 

 

Disadvantages of Code Obfuscation

With the what, why, and how of obfuscation established, it’s time to examine the other side of the aisle: why do some cast a wary eye on the practice of obfuscation?

 

The main weakness cited against obfuscation is that adding extra layers of security bogs down code performance. Some estimate that obfuscation can impact program performance between 10% and 80%. This criticism is reasonable because it’s true: adding obfuscation tactics results in extra layers of complexity and affects performance. But there are important caveats — namely that not all obfuscation methods impact performance to the same extent.

 

Renaming obfuscation rarely impacts code performance as it only deals with the semantic structure. As a result, the program function remains nearly identical after obfuscation. Any resulting performance drop-off from this method is minor, if not non-existent.

 

On the other hand, data and control flow obfuscation can sometimes cause a significant performance reduction depending on the intensity of the encryption. Baking additional safety layers into the data and code flow cause the application to take on extra work to execute its function. However, as opposed to renaming methods, data and control flow provide more comprehensive defense against hackers. 

 

Nothing is guaranteed, and there’s never 100% certainty that obfuscation prevents hacking. Some hackers can overcome even high levels of obfuscation. Nevertheless, obfuscation should always be considered because without it, the results can be severe.

 

Leaving Coding Insecure

The rate at which hackers attempt to steal information makes preparation vital to maintaining online safety. If that’s not a good enough reason, up to $400 billion in capital is lost to online hackers every year.

 

Even though obfuscating code comes with some slight downsides, nothing compares to being left helpless as hackers infiltrate, ruin, and steal the hard work of entire companies.

 

Refusing to obfuscate significantly increases the chances of falling prey to such schemes, which can lead to unimaginable consequences depending on what was left unsecured. Such dangers all but necessitate analyzing programs for weaknesses and finding the right solution to protect sensitive data. 

 

Forming a multi-layered obfuscation strategy is a great way to defend digital property from being stolen or attacked. Anyone looking for best-in-class code obfuscation needn’t look any further than PreEmptive’s vast offering of protective services. Visit PreEmptive’s product page for more information or to sign up for a free trial.

 

 

 

Categories
Dotfuscator

Presenting Dotfuscator 6.5: Major Maintenance Update!

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PreEmptive is pleased to announce the release of Dotfuscator 6.5, a tool used by software developers to protect code from hacking and reverse engineering.

The version 6.5 update is a big one. It addresses various .NET Core, .NET 5, and cross-platform support items, fixes various bugs, and improves performance of the licensing system that was introduced earlier this year. We’ve added new static and dynamic code transforms and injected runtime checks to ensure security in all stages of the development process. We also amplified defense against de-obfuscators and de-compilers.

 

 

Dotfuscator at a Glance

Dotfuscator is a DevSecOps tool that protects .NET applications from reverse-engineering and hacking. Using static and dynamic code transforms and injected runtime checks, Dotfuscator obfuscates source code on .NET, Xamarin, and Windows Platform Apps. It integrates into the development build process and operates on the .NET Intermediate Language. Dotfuscator Professional supports .NET, including .NET Core, .NET 5, Xamarin, and Mono.

For more information, check out Dotfuscator 101. It’ll walk you through its features and show how the program provides ironclad security against common (and uncommon) software development vulnerabilities.

 

 

 

New Features & Fixes in Version 6.5

The release notes provide fully detailed information about the updates in this version, which include: 

  • Simplified license key use
  • Improved subscription checks  from the license server
  • Status messaging for Dotfuscator CLI and MSBuild integration users
  • Added support for NuGet packages
  • Improved V2 license verification
  • Compatibility with both forward and backslashes
  • Accelerated Dotfuscator GUI build time
  • dnSpy detection
  • Improved support for Nullable Reference Types
  • Updated Xamarin Android Tamper Check to use new APIs
  • Sample project showing how to use Dotfuscator with Azure DevOps
  • Additional samples for non-Windows environments
  • Tamper and Debugging Check for .NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5 apps

 

 

Upgrade or Download a Demo Today!

Every organization developing .NET software needs Dotfuscator in its development process. Data breaches are no longer a maybe. They happen every day to companies of all sizes in all industries. If you don’t protect your code at the onset, you risk becoming just one more data breach statistic.

 

PreEmptive Dotfuscator has been the leader in In-App security since 2003. We serve clients of all sizes, including enterprise and Fortune 500 companies in medical, government, and other industries. This release is supported for licensed users as described in the release notes. We encourage you to upgrade your software to enjoy the new features. And if you haven’t tried Dotfuscator yet, request a demo today.


Categories
Press Releases

Major Updates in Dotfuscator 6.5 Release

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Maintenance updates, bug fixes, and new features significantly increase functionality and ease of use.

 

PreEmptive has deployed version 6.5 of its obfuscation and optimization software, Dotfuscator Professional. The latest version continues the legacy of seamless integration into the development environment to protect .NET applications from reverse-engineering and hacking while adding a new variety of static and dynamic code transforms and injected runtime checks to ensure security at every stage of the development process.

 

This release addresses various .NET 5 and cross-platform support items, bug fixes, and cleanup of the new licensing system introduced earlier this year. We also amplified defense against de-obfuscators and de-compilers by making them ineffective against Dotfuscator. See our Change log for more information. 

 

New and updated features include:

  • Simplified license key use
  • Improved subscription checks  from the license server
  • Status messaging for Dotfuscator CLI and MSBuild integration users
  • Added support for NuGet packages
  • Improved V2 license verification
  • Compatibility with both forward and backslashes
  • Accelerated Dotfuscator GUI build time
  • dnSpy detection
  • Updated Xamarin Android Tamper Check to use new APIs
  • Sample project showing how to use Dotfuscator with Azure DevOps
  • Additional samples for non-Windows environments
  • Tamper and Debugging Check for .NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5 apps

 

Whether a start-up company, freelancer or an organization developing projects using .NET software, using this in the development process can prevent theft or catastrophic outcomes. Data breaches happen every day, but being proactive about security will help protect your business. 

 

About PreEmptive

 

PreEmptive is a trusted global leader of protection tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We help organizations make their applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering while protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue. For more information, contact our sales team and we can walk you through a demo!


 

Categories
Dotfuscator Pro Change Log

Dotfuscator Professional Edition, Version 6.5.0 – Release Date September 13, 2022

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Enhancements

  • Tamper Check support is added for .NET Core 3.1/.NET 5+.
  • Debugging Check support is added for .NET Core 3.1/.NET 5+.
  • Additional license status messages are displayed in the CLI and MSBuild output.
  • Changing the Product License does not require the client to be restarted anymore.
  • The new signing methods are used instead of the deprecated ones for Android Pie (API Level 28) and newer OSes with Tamper Check.
  • Added a Readme file for the Dotfuscator NuGet package for a more seamless setup experience.
  • Added a new “force_nuget_tools” global option.
  • [This release may include protection enhancements not described here]

Functional Changes

  • Merged the Evaluation (Free Trial) and Professional version clients so that the PreEmptive Licensing Server tells the client how to behave. The client does not have to be reinstalled upon upgrading from Evaluation to Professional anymore.
  • Forward slashes are being used by default in the config file for better cross-OS support.
  • Version “6.0.0” of Microsoft.NETCore.ILAsm and Microsoft.NETCore.ILDasm NuGet packages are used by default (instead of “5.0.0” in the previous version of Dotfuscator), unless you override this value in the “DOT_ILTOOLS_CORE_VERSION” property.

Fixes

  • Display that Linking is not supported for .NET Core/.NET 5+ projects instead of displaying an unrelated error message.
  • Fixed an issue when Root Check for Xamarin.Android returns false-positive results on certain Android devices.
Categories
DevSecOps

10 DevSecOps Best Practices to Implement Now

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Organizations are under constant pressure to deliver software faster and more efficiently. In response, many have turned to DevOps, a set of practices that emphasizes communication, collaboration, and integration between software developers and IT operations professionals.

However, simply adopting DevOps practices is not enough to ensure success. To truly reap the benefits of DevOps, organizations must also adopt a security-minded approach known as DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is a set of practices that focus on integrating security into the software development lifecycle. By automating code scanning, defect reporting, and incorporating security into the development process, organizations can reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and ensure that their applications are secure.

In this article, we will discuss 10 DevSecOps best practices that your organization can implement now.

10 DevSecOps Best Practices To Implement Now

The speed and complexity of modern software development have made it necessary for organizations to adopt DevSecOps practices in order to remain competitive. DevSecOps is a set of best practices that seek to integrate security into the software development process. By doing so, organizations can more effectively secure their applications and reduce the risk of defects.

There are many DevSecOps best practices that organizations can adopt, but some are more important than others. Here are 10 of the most important DevSecOps best practices to implement now:

1. Shift Left

The first and arguably most important DevSecOps best practice is to shift security left. What this means is that security testing should be integrated as early as possible into the software development process, rather than tacked on at the end. By doing this, security risks can be identified and mitigated much more effectively.

2. Implement Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

If you’re not already using continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), now is the time to start. CI/CD are key components of DevOps, and are essential for implementing DevSecOps best practices.

With CI/CD, teams can automatically build, test, and deploy code changes. This helps ensure that code changes are integrated and delivered quickly and efficiently. It also helps reduce the risk of human error.

3. Implement Obfuscation Techniques

One of the best ways to protect your code from being reverse engineered is to use obfuscation techniques. Obfuscation is the process of making code difficult to understand, to obscure its meaning If you will. Doing so makes it more difficult for attackers to understand the code and find vulnerabilities.

Many different obfuscation techniques can be used, such as code encryption, code compression, and white-box cryptography.

4. Threat Modeling

Threat modeling is the process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing the risks to your systems and data. It’s a key part of DevSecOps, and it’s important to do it early and often.

There are many ways to approach threat modeling, but one popular method is the STRIDE method. This involves identifying six different types of risks:

  • Spoofing – When someone pretends to be someone else
  • Tampering – When someone modifies data
  • Repudiation – When someone denies having performed an action
  • Information disclosure – When someone gains access to data they should not have
  • Denial of service – When someone prevents legitimate users from accessing a system
  • Elevation of privilege – When someone gains access to a system or data to which they should not have access

5. Adopt a Microservices Architecture

One of the key benefits of DevSecOps is that it enables you to adopt a microservices architecture. This means breaking up your monolithic applications into smaller, more manageable services.

There are several benefits to this approach:

  • Services can be developed, tested, and deployed independently
  • Services can be scaled independently
  • Services can be updated without affecting the rest of the application

A microservices architecture also makes it easier to implement security controls. For example, you can deploy security controls at the service level, rather than at the application level.

6. Use Cloud-native Technologies

The world is moving to the cloud, and so is DevOps. But DevOps in the cloud is different than DevOps on-premises. When DevOps teams move to the cloud, they need to use cloud-native technologies.

Cloud-native technologies are those designed to run in the cloud. They are built to be scalable, fault-tolerant, and easy to manage.

Some of the most popular cloud-native technologies include:

  • Containers (Docker, Kubernetes)
  • Microservices
  • Serverless computing
  • NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Cassandra)

If DevOps teams want to be successful in the cloud, they need to use these cloud-native technologies.

7. Encrypt Data in Motion

Another important DevSecOps best practice is to encrypt data in motion. This means that data should be encrypted when being transferred between different systems. This is important because it helps protect the data from being intercepted and read by unauthorized people.

8. Implement Role-based Access Control

Organizations need to trust that the right people have access to the right information at the right time. Role-based access control (RBAC) is a security model that can help accomplish this. RBAC can be used to control who has access to what resources in an organization. It can also be used to control what actions users can take with those resources.

RBAC is an important part of DevSecOps best practices because it can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems. It can also help ensure that only authorized users can make changes to systems and data.

9. Monitor and Log Activity

To ensure your system is secure, it’s important to monitor and log all activity. This way, you can see what’s happening on your system and identify any potential issues. By monitoring and logging activity, you can also detect patterns of behavior that may indicate an attempted attack.

10. Implement DevOps at All Levels of the Organization

The success of DevOps implementation cannot be overstated. In order to truly reap the benefits of DevOps, it must be implemented at all levels of the organization. What this means is that everyone, from the CEO to the front-line workers, must be on board with the DevOps philosophy. This can be a challenge, but it’s important to remember that DevOps is about culture first and foremost. Only by getting everyone on board with the culture change can an organization hope to fully reap the benefits of DevOps.


Getting Started

It’s easy to see how following best practices can help keep your software development process safe and secure. Implementing these 10 DevSecOps best practices is a great way to get started, but it’s only the beginning.

Make sure you also have the right tools in place, like PreEmptive Solutions‘ products, which make it easy to follow standard processes and ensure that your code is always up-to-date and compliant.

Want to learn more? Check out our product pages for more information on how we can help you stay safe and secure while you develop amazing software.


Categories
DevSecOps

Defining Data Obfuscation and How It Works Within Your Development

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Nowadays, the stakes of cybersecurity are higher and the methods of data breaches are becoming more sophisticated. Cyberattackers are inventing more lethal data breach strategies such as reverse engineering tools, decompilers, and disassemblers.

In response, developers must take extra steps to ensure the safety and security of their code and their users’ data. The healthcare industry is the most targeted by hackers, followed by the financial services and retail sectors. According to a study cited by the National Library of Medicine, there were 2216 incidences of data breaches reported across 65 countries in 2018 alone. Among these data breach incidences, the healthcare industry faced 536 breaches. 

Software development is one of the most affected industry sectors. In fact, data from the recent IBM report showed that software development was the target of 44% of all ransomware attacks in 2021. Findings from research conducted by Positive Technologies show that mobile banking applications are the most affected by cybercrime. The study also showed that common cyberattacks and cyber vulnerabilities are caused by names of classes and methods explicitly written in the source code, without being masked or encrypted through methods such as code obfuscation.

The need for masking is increasing as stakes in cybercrime rise. Data from CBinsights shows that data masking will grow to be an $800M industry by 2023. As you can see, data obfuscation is important for many reasons. Not only does it protect your intellectual property, but it also helps to keep user data safe and secure.

What Is Data Obfuscation and Why Should I Care?

So, what is data obfuscation? In their guide, Brunton and Nissenbaum define data obfuscation as “the deliberate use of ambiguous, confusing, or misleading information to interfere with surveillance and data collection projects.” In simple terms, it is a method of hiding data by making it difficult to interpret. App hardening is an excellent example of the use of data obfuscation and protection. It’s a technique used to protect information by making it unreadable and unusable to anyone who doesn’t have the proper key to unlock it.

This is accomplished by using some of the best practices of data protection such as encryption, code transformation, and watermarking. In the software development world, data obfuscation is important. It assists software developers to protect intellectual property, ensure the safety of user data, and prevent reverse engineering. For instance, software developers can prevent intellectual property theft through encryption. By encrypting code, it becomes much more difficult for non-authorized people to copy it or reverse engineer it.

The use of data obfuscation is becoming increasingly relevant, especially as businesses and start-ups move to the online space. A survey conducted by 451 Research LLC revealed that data obfuscation techniques are on the rise, partly due to accelerating DevOps and as developers’ access to production data rises. Findings from the survey revealed that 53% of organizations interviewed used data obfuscation methods to protect the organization’s developer infrastructure. However, mobile developers seem to be lagging behind in adopting data obfuscation strategies to prevent data breaches in their development activities. According to research by the Association for Computing Machinery, only 24.92% of the 1.7 million free Android apps from Google Play are obfuscated by the developers.

This is a concern because, as the number of mobile devices and apps increases, so does the risk of data breaches. A recent study by Kaspersky shows that nearly one-in-five (17% of internet users) have had private information leaked to the public without their consent. With the increasing number of data breaches, it is becoming more important than ever for developers to take measures to protect their code and user data. One way to do this is through data obfuscation.

Five Types of Software Vulnerabilities That Affect All Developers

As a developer, it is important to be aware of the different types of software vulnerabilities that can affect your code. By understanding these vulnerabilities, you can take steps to avoid them and keep your code safe. Here are five common software vulnerabilities:

1. SQL Injection

SQL injection is a type of attack that allows attackers to execute malicious SQL code on a database. This can be done by submitting malicious input into an application that then gets executed by the database. SQL injection can be used to access sensitive data, such as user passwords and credit card numbers. SQL injection can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques, such as string encryption, and parameterized queries.

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting is a type of attack that allows attackers to inject malicious code into a web page. This can be done by submitting malicious input into an application that is then displayed on the web page. XSS can be used to steal sensitive information, such as cookies and session IDs. It can also be used to inject malicious code into the web page, such as JavaScript code that redirects users to a malicious site.

XSS can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques, such as input validation and output encoding. Input validation involves checking user input to ensure that it is valid before it is displayed on the web page. PreEmptive’s Dotfuscator uses input validation to verify the application’s integrity during runtime.

3. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Cross-site request forgery is a type of attack that allows attackers to inject malicious code into a web page. This can be done by submitting a malicious link or form to a user. CSRF can be used to trick users into submitting sensitive information, such as their username and password. It can also be used to inject malicious code into the web page, such as JavaScript code that redirects users to a malicious site.

CSRF can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques such as input validation and output encoding. Input validation involves checking user input to ensure that it is valid before it is processed by the application.

4. Session Hijacking

Session hijacking is a type of attack that allows attackers to take over a user’s session. This can be done by stealing the user’s session ID. Session hijacking can be used to access sensitive data, such as user passwords and credit card numbers. It can also be used to modify data, such as changing a user’s password or adding new users to a database. PreEmptive’s Dotfuscator is the best app shield against session hijacking.

5. Denial of Service (DoS)

Denial of service is a type of attack that prevents users from accessing a website or service. This can be done by overwhelming the website with traffic or by crashing the server. DoS can be used to make a website unavailable, such as by preventing users from being able to access the website or by slowing down the website so that it is unusable. Denial of service can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques, such as input validation and output encoding.

Data obfuscation is an important tool that any developer should use in developing security application. By using data obfuscation techniques, such as input validation and output encoding, developers can make it much more difficult for attackers to inject malicious code into their web pages. This can help to prevent a wide range of attacks, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, CSRF, session hijacking, and denial of service.


Don’t Let Your Data Fall Into the Wrong Hands

Data obfuscation is a critical step in software development, yet too often it is neglected. By understanding what data obfuscation is and how to apply it, you can protect your applications from hacking and tampering. PreEmptive’s comprehensive suite of obfuscation tools can help you secure your DevSecOps pipelines and investments. With our help, you can protect your systems and keep your data safe. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services!


Categories
Risk Management

How Your Android App Can Be Stolen for Hacking

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Android is the most common mobile OS by far, cornering 87% of the market share — a number which is expected to grow. Android’s open platform and extensive library of resources make it easy for developers to create and integrate new apps. However, the same features that make Android easy for developers to use also make it easy for hackers to exploit

Android apps have become the most widely used alternative to desktop software. Because apps are used for banking, shopping, and transmitting personal information, they’re a prime target for cybercriminals. One of the most common methods hackers use to carry out various attacks is reverse engineering your code.

1. Reverse Engineering

Android’s open environment makes it an easy target for reverse engineering. Reverse engineering analyzes an app to figure out how it works and its design and implementation process. This is done by examining the compiled code, observing the app during runtime, or both. There are numerous free tools available to reverse engineer the binary code of Android apps. 

Attackers can use reverse engineering to steal your intellectual property, modify your code, attack your back-end systems, discover security vulnerabilities, and gain access to confidential data. The first step in almost all Android hacking attempts is reverse engineering the code. 

2. Repackaging Attacks

Repackaging, or cloning, attacks are a problem for apps of all sizes. Hackers often take good but not very popular apps and reverse engineer their code. They then modify the code to suit their purpose, which could be embedding malware to steal credentials or ad revenue. The modified code is then repackaged, and consumers may be convinced to install it, thinking they’re installing a trusted app. Another variation of the repackaging app is when hackers rebrand an app and publish it as their own, often making more than the original developer. 

3. String Table Analysis

String tables are frequently used for storing sensitive information such as license keys, credentials, and other confidential data on both the client and server sides. Hackers can analyze the string tables to gather information, identify algorithms, understand database designs, and more. The string table may contain the data they want to steal, or they may use the information they gather to launch a different type of attack. 

4. Functional Cross Referencing

Cross-referencing can help hackers determine where a particular function was called from. They can use that to detect vulnerable code they can use to execute malware or find the code that does the encryption of data they want to steal. Cross-referencing can show how information was accessed, which is invaluable to hackers trying to steal intellectual property, sensitive data, or insert malicious code. 

5. Debugging and Emulator Attacks

Hackers can use debuggers and emulators for dynamic analysis during runtime. Using these tools, they’re able to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them with runtime attacks. Unlike the other methods, these attacks require active hardening. Your app needs to be able to modify its behavior and response during runtime if an active threat is detected. 

Preventing Reverse Engineering With Obfuscation

Almost any code can be reverse-engineered given enough time and resources. However, obfuscating your code can make it more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming for hackers to reverse engineer. The free decompilers make it extremely simple for hackers to reverse engineer code that isn’t obfuscated. 

If your code is obfuscated, hackers are more likely to give up and move on rather than investing time and money into reverse engineering the source code. Code obfuscation can consist of a number of different techniques designed to disguise your code from hackers while not interfering with its execution. 

Data obfuscation 

Data obfuscation scrambles data via tokenization or encryption to make it unreadable to hackers. 

Code obfuscation 

Obfuscating your code makes it look like unusable nonsense to hackers. There are many ways to obfuscate your code, and your hardening process should use a layered approach to make it harder to crack. At PreEmptive, we employ a range of different obfuscation techniques to provide a high level of security. 

Our DashO security application provides passive hardening through the following types of code obfuscation: 

Rename obfuscation 

Renaming changes the name of methods and variables. 

String encryption 

Even when you rename your methods and variables, your strings may still be discoverable. String encryption provides an additional layer of security to your software by making it harder for threat agents to decipher and understand.

Protecting Against Runtime Attacks

Obfuscating your data and code isn’t enough to secure your Android app. You also need to use active hardening to protect against runtime attacks. Some of the methods DashO uses to deflect runtime hacking attempts include: 

Tamper detection and defense

You can prohibit or modify your app’s behavior if it detects an unauthorized attempt to gain access. 

Root detection and defense

Jailbreaking a device compromises the security of your app. Control whether your app will run on a rooted device and how it will respond.

Emulator detection and defense

Running an app on an emulator allows a hacker to understand and analyze an app’s functioning in a controlled environment. DashO can sense when your app is being used in an emulator. You can decide whether or not your app will run in an emulator and how it will respond if it is. 

Hooking detection and defense

Hackers use hooking frameworks to modify your app at runtime without altering the binaries. If DashO detects a hooking framework, the app can respond by shutting down, throwing an exception, or sending an alert, among other options. 


Multi-faceted App Hardening

App hardening

To protect your Android app from ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, you must take a multi-pronged approach. However, hardening your app is pointless if your app breaks as the runtime platform evolves. At PreEmptive, we are constantly monitoring, testing, and upgrading our solutions to protect your app from runtime issues and to respond to new hacker threats and tools.

Your organization can’t afford the expense, exposure, or possible brand damage associated with having your app hacked. Contact us today to find out how our solutions can integrate with your current DevOps practices to provide the security and protection you need.


Categories
DevSecOps

Review of The Top 3 Data Breaches in 2022

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According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, saw 404 publicly reported data breaches that affected over 20 million records, leaving organizations worldwide scrambling to improve their security measures. That’s a staggering number, an increase of 14%, and it will only get worse in the remaining quarters of 2022.

These attacks have shown us how vulnerable our data is and how important it is to take steps to protect ourselves. In this blog post, we’ll look at the top three data breaches of 2022 and what we can learn from them. We’ll also discuss how PreEmptive can help you protect your applications and make them more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering, protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue. Stay safe out there!

Top Three Data Breaches in 2022

Data breaches are never a good thing; we’ve had some serious ones in the last few years. From Equifax to Facebook, they all share one thing: your personal information! But something about someone accessing your information without authorization can make you feel unsafe, especially if it’s personal data like passwords or credit card numbers! These past few years have seen some major incidents in this field. Here is an updated list for 2022: 

1. Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)

In Texas, the Department of Insurance (TDI) announced that their web application, which manages workers’ compensation information, had encountered a security issue. Their investigation and audit report revealed that 1.8 million Texans’ data might have been exposed to the public for almost three years, from March 2019 to January 2022 inclusive!

Personal data breached included victims’ names, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdates, and injury information, among others. The TDI attributed this breach to improper coding where someone exploited an injection point within programming codes that granted them internet privileges to unauthorized areas of their application.

TDI did more than fix the problem. In an effort to restore trust with those affected by this unfortunate event, they restored their online web application and offered 12 months of free credit monitoring services for those whose compensation claims had been leaked to the public. In addition, TDI reviewed all security measures as well as policies and procedures within the company to enhance current protection methods against any future cyberattacks.

This breach highlights the importance of implementing strong security measures, such as two-factor authentication and training employees on how to spot phishing attempts. It also highlights the importance of having a plan for what to do in the event of a data breach.

2. Toyota (February 2022)

The global automotive manufacturer Toyota was forced to suspend its operations in 14 factories following a suspected cyberattack. A spokesperson for the company said that they believed it was an issue with one of their suppliers, a plastic parts and electronics supplier called Kojima, who had vulnerabilities on their end. According to Kojima, an error message in one of their servers had suggested potential data theft attempts by hackers.

The recent cyberattack on Toyota left the company frustrated and vulnerable. The loss of the output of 13,000 vehicles is unprecedented for them! The reason behind these criminal acts and motive remains unclear, but we know that it has drastically affected business operations and customer trust.

This breach highlights the importance of keeping your systems up to date with the latest security patches. It also underscores the importance of having a robust security plan that includes incident response and data loss prevention.

3. Washington State Department of Licensing (January 2022)

In January, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) revealed that a suspected data breach could have disclosed the personal information of over 250,000 professional licenses. Following investigations assisted by the Washington Office of Cybersecurity, it appears hackers stole sensitive personal data, social security numbers, license numbers, and dates of birth of approximately 650,000 professionals and business owners – current and former. The department was obliged to shut down to allow investigations. 

The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) also had to shut down its Professional Online Licensing and Regulatory Information to avoid being compromised and for its customers’ safety and security. In March, the department announced it was back in operations and would waive all late filings. The outage affected business owners and those whose licenses expired during the closure. The department issues licenses spanning 39 businesses and professions. 

The DOL did not have conclusive information about the data breach at the time. However, it assured its customers that other systems operated by the DOL, including vehicle and driver’s license systems, were under constant monitoring. 

This breach highlights the importance of having a robust malware detection and prevention system. It also underscores the importance of having a plan to respond to a data breach, including how to notify affected users and prevent attackers from accessing sensitive data.

Seven Reasons Why Setting a Security Budget Is Key to Preventing Catastrophic Breaches

As is seen from the examples above, data breaches can devastate businesses, no matter their size. That’s why having a security budget and a plan for developers is crucial.

A cybersecurity plan and budget are critical because:

  1. It saves money. The cost of a data breach can be astronomical. Data breaches can cost a business a lot of money in damages, legal fees, and lost customers. By investing in security now, you can avoid having to pay out massive sums of money later.
  2. It protects business reputation. Data breaches can do severe damage to a company’s reputation and make it harder to attract new customers. Having a solid security plan in place can help protect your business’s good name.
  3. It prevents regulatory fines and other penalties. A business can face hefty regulatory fines if it suffers a data breach. Having a security plan in place can help to avoid these costly penalties.
  4. It avoids lawsuits from customers or employees. A business responsible for a data breach can be sued by customers or employees. A security plan can help  avoid these costly lawsuits.
  5. It secures assets and information. Data breaches can put a company’s assets and information at risk. An investment in security helps protect valuable business assets.
  6. It provides room to upgrade your security. Because data breach techniques are ever-changing, a business may also need to keep upgrading systems. Having a security budget in place can ensure that the necessary resources to upgrade security are available as new threats arise or existing system flaws are identified.
  7. It provides a roadmap for recovery in case of a data breach. No security plan is perfect, and data breaches can still happen. But by having a security plan in place helps to ensure that a business is prepared for such an eventuality.

Choose PreEmptive, Choose Safety!

These three data breaches of 2022 show us just how important it is to take steps to protect our data. We must set a security budget for investing in security products like DevSecOps, have a plan in place for developers, and implement robust security application measures, such as two-factor authentication, app hardening, and training employees on how to spot phishing attempts.

We must also keep our systems up to date with the latest security patches and have a robust security plan that includes incident response and data loss prevention. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Invest in security today with PreEmptive protection products!

PreEmptive can help you protect your applications and make them more resistant to hacking and tampering, protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue.


Categories
Risk Management

Security Breaches of 2021

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It’s no secret that security breaches are becoming more and more common. There were 1,864 data breaches in 2021, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. That’s an increase of 68% from the previous year. And as we become more reliant on technology, it’s only going to get worse. This trend is likely to continue in 2022, with hackers becoming more sophisticated and organizations struggling to keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of the security risks that come with using certain applications. After all, it only takes one security breach to jeopardize your personal information. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common security breaches of 2021. We’ll also provide some tips on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

What Is a Security Breach?

A security breach is any incident that results in the unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of confidential information. This can include anything from losing your laptop to having your email account hacked. Security breaches can have serious consequences. They can lead to identity theft, financial losses, and damage to your reputation.

Top 5 Most Iconic Data Breaches in the U.S.

The United States has had its share of high-profile data breaches. Here are five of the most iconic security breaches in U.S. history:

1. Equifax (2017).

In 2017, the credit reporting agency Equifax announced a data breach that affected 147 million people. Hackers were able to exploit a vulnerabilities in Equifax’s website and gain access to sensitive information like Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.

2. Yahoo (2013-2014)

The Yahoo data breach is one of the largest security breaches to date. In 2013 and 2014, 500 million user accounts were compromised by what is believed to be a state-sponsored actor. The information stolen includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and in some cases, security questions and answers. While the cause of the breach is still under investigation, it highlights the importance of security applications and app hardening.

3. Target (2013)

The personal information of more than 70 million Target customers was exposed in this data breach. Hackers accessed Target’s point-of-sale (POS) systems and were able to steal customer names, credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes. This breach cost Target approximately $292 million.

4. JPMorgan Chase (2014)

Hackers accessed the contact information of 76 million JPMorgan Chase customers in this security breach. The security breach was the result of a spear-phishing campaign that allowed hackers to obtain employee credentials, which they used to gain access to the company’s servers.

JPMorgan Chase is one of the world’s largest banks, with more than $2 trillion in assets. The security breach affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

The hackers accessed customer names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and dates of birth. They also obtained customer account information, such as account numbers and balances.

5. Anthem (2015)

The personal information of 78.8 million Anthem customers was exposed in this security breach. The security breach occurred when hackers gained access to Anthem’s servers through a phishing attack.

The hackers accessed customer names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses, and employment information, as well as Anthem member ID numbers.

Five Major U.S. Data Breaches in 2021 – How They Happened

The year 2021 was marked by a number of high-profile data breaches. Here’s a look at five of the biggest security breaches that occurred in the U.S. last year.

1. Microsoft Exchange Server Data Breach (January 2021)

In January 2021, it was discovered that a number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server software had been exploited by a Chinese state-sponsored hacker group. The vulnerabilities allowed the hackers to gain access to the email accounts of Exchange Server users. However, it is now thought that China sucked up a lot of data to enhance their artificial intelligence (AI) program.

The attack was made possible by a number of vulnerabilities in Exchange Server that were first discovered in early 2021. These vulnerabilities, which are known as “zero-days,” were not made public until after the attacks had been carried out.

The security breach affected more than 30,000 organizations in 150 countries. The hackers are thought to have used a number of techniques to gain access to Exchange Server systems, including password spraying and brute-force attacks.

Once they had gained access to a system, the hackers planted malicious code on the victim’s servers. This allowed them to remotely run commands on the server and steal data.

The data that was stolen includes email addresses, subject lines, and the contents of emails. The hackers may also have gained access to contact lists, calendar entries, and tasks.

The breach was discovered by a security researcher who goes by the name “Orange Tsai.” Tsai reported the breach to Microsoft, and the company released a patch for the vulnerabilities in March 2021.

2. Facebook (April 2021)

Facebook has since attributed the breach to its tool to sync contacts. The company cited that hackers took advantage of a vulnerability to compromise and scrape user data.

Even though Facebook recorded one of its largest leaks in 2021, the problems began way back in 2013 when the social network started facing data breaches. This exposed it to vulnerabilities of which hackers took advantage in 2021. One of Facebook’s spokespersons confirmed to Business Insider that this incident was due to vulnerabilities that ensued in 2019.

In 2019, one of Facebook’s security issues was that company employees had access to 600 million user accounts. Additionally, the company had stored Facebook and Instagram account IDs and passwords in plaintext files, which is risky.

During the same period, UpGuard revealed that two third-party-developed Facebook apps with 540 million user records did not protect their data records, thus exposing user information to the public. The same year, investigations revealed that hackers tampered with Facebook’s application programming interface (API) along with user IDs, phone numbers, and names.

Following these eventualities, Facebook’s over 530 million users were affected in 2021, and 300 million others were affected in 2019. The company encountered an outage in some countries, which cost the company $40 billion. The company also faced some reputational nightmares. The data scraping went on for two weeks before being detected, as per Facebook’s report.

3. Colonial Pipeline (May 2021)

In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies fuel to the US East Coast, was hit by a ransomware attack. The attack resulted in the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which caused fuel shortages and panic buying across the U.S. East Coast.

The attack was carried out by a group of hackers known as DarkSide. The group is thought to be based in Russia and operates as a ransomware-as-a-service operation.

It is believed that the hackers gained access to Colonial Pipeline’s network through a phishing attack. Once they were inside the network, they deployed ransomware and encrypted Colonial Pipeline’s data.

The hackers then demanded a ransom of $4.4 million in Bitcoin. Colonial Pipeline eventually paid the ransom, but not before the attack had caused widespread disruption that resulted in fuel shortages, panic buying, and soaring fuel prices.

4. JBS (May 2021)

JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, was hit by a ransomware attack in May 2021. The attack caused JBS to shut down its operations in the U.S., Australia, and Canada.

The attack was carried out by a group of hackers known as REvil. The group is thought to be based in Russia and operates as a ransomware-as-a-service operation.

It is believed that the hackers gained access to the JBS network through a phishing attack. Once they were inside the network, they deployed ransomware and encrypted JBS data.

The hackers then demanded a ransom of $11 million. JBS did pay the ransom, but the attack still caused significant disruption to the company’s operations. The attack also had a knock-on effect on the global meat supply chain.

5. Peloton Data Breach (January 2021)

In December 2020, Peloton, the exercise bike company, suffered a data breach. The breach resulted in the compromised personal information of up to 2.4 million customers.

The breach occurred when Peloton’s website was hacked. The hackers were able to gain access to Peloton’s customer database, which contained information such as names, email addresses, and birthdates.

Peloton was made aware of the breach in December 2020 and took steps to secure its website. However, the damage had already been done, and the personal information of Peloton’s customers was now in the hands of the hackers.

These are just some of the biggest security breaches that have occurred in recent years. As we can see, no company is safe from attack, and all companies need to be vigilant about security. The best way to protect your company from a security breach is to invest in security applications and app hardening. These measures will help to make your company’s data more secure and less attractive to hackers.


Your Safety and Security Come First.

The above incidents of data breaches and the aftermath can have a devastating effect on businesses, no matter their size. That’s why it’s critical for organizations to take steps now to protect their data and applications. 

At PreEmptive Solutions, we provide a range of products that help make applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering. Our layered approach provides multiple layers of protection, making it much harder for attackers to succeed. 

If you want to learn more about our products or how we can help your organization protect its data, please contact us.