Code obfuscation and the doctrine of “contributory negligence”
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.
Enjoying unprecedented bipartisan support (Senate 87-0 and the House 410-2), this bill expands trade secret protection across the US and substantially increases penalties for criminal misconduct – and what could go wrong with that?
At Microsoft Build 2016, we introduced a new feature for Dotfuscator Community Edition (CE): command line support. This will allow you to integrate Dotfuscator into your automated build process, so that your builds and releases can automatically use Dotfuscator for obfuscation, tamper protection, usage tracking, and expiration. To help you get started, this post will walk through how to use the command line interface (CLI), as well as how to integrate it into MSBuild and Visual Studio for automated builds.
As of Dotfuscator Professional 4.37 these instructions are deprecated. Dotfuscator now supports a much faster, easier, and more reliable way to protect UWP apps.
As of its 4.20 release, Dotfuscator Professional supports protecting Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications.
There are two recommended ways to incorporate Dotfuscator into your UWP application build process: (1) integrate Dotfuscator into the MSBuild pipeline or (2) use Dotfuscator directly on your appx packages. These methods differ in their ease-of-use and in the level of protection they provide.
Note There is an issue with Method 1 when working with solutions that include a library project. We recommend using Method 2 for all projects. Please contact support if you have issues or questions.
An app control that both Microsoft and Google can get behind? What about Xamarin?
First - Congratulations Xamarin (and Microsoft) - as someone who has used Xamarin personally and worked with the people professionally, I see this as a win-win-win (for Xamarin, Microsoft, and, last but not least, developers!).
To the topic at hand... One might argue that the phrase "GooglePlay security recommendations" is a contradiction in terms or even oxymoronic - but I take a different view. If (EVEN) Google recommends a security practice to protect your apps - then it must REALLY be a basic requirement - one that should not be ignored.
Question: True or False, Seat belts are to Driver Safety as Obfuscation is to Application Risk Management
The correct answer is FALSE!
The equivalence fails because a seat belt is a device and obfuscation is a control. Why might you (or the application stakeholders) be in danger? First, read through the key descriptors of these two controls.
I recently got a question from a client asking why .NET Native (the process of transforming a .NET assembly into a native app to improve performance) did not also make products like Dotfuscator irrelevant. Here's my response (with personal details removed of course).
First, the .NET Native process is only applicable to Universal Apps distributed through a Microsoft marketplace. If you are developing .NET (using VS2015 or anything else) BUT are targeting anything other than a Universal App architecture - .NET Native does not apply – also, if you’re developing in F# - even if Universal - .NET Native does not apply.
I’m often asked to estimate how many developers are required to obfuscate and harden their applications against reverse engineering and tampering – and when they say “required,” what they usually mean is what is the bare minimum number of developers that need to be licensed to use our software.
Of course it's important to get the number of licensed users just right;
Note: this document is deprecated. Please see Obfuscating Xamarin Applications with Dotfuscator for up to date instructions on obfuscating Xamarin applications.
We are often asked if Dotfuscator supports protecting Xamarin applications. Given that Xamarin applications are based on Mono, a .NET compatible runtime, the answer is yes! However, applying obfuscation transformations to Mono assemblies is only one half of an effective obfuscation solution; the other half is making sure that the configuration and automation of the obfuscation process itself is straightforward and stable. We've been working hard to make Dotfuscator more Mono friendly lately, specifically with an eye towards improving Xamarin compatibility.