Protect Your Java, Kotlin and Android Applications

Obfuscation is much more than just renaming! Only a layered obfuscation approach can provide the protection you need. Review each section below to learn more.

RenamingControl FlowString EncryptionWatermarkingPruning
Tamper Detection & DefenseRooted Device Detection & DefenseDebug Detection & DefenseShelf Life


RENAMING

Renaming alters the names of methods, variables, etc., making source code more difficult to understand. DashO uses a deeper form of obfuscation, patented by PreEmptive Solutions, called Overload Induction™. Instead of substituting one new name for each old name, Overload Induction renames as many methods as possible to the same name. After this deep obfuscation, the logic, while not destroyed, is beyond comprehension. The following simple example illustrates the power of the Overload Induction technique:

Original Source Code Before ObfuscationReverse-Engineered Source Code After Overload Induction Obfuscation

private void CalcPayroll (SpecialList employeeGroup) {

   while(employeeGroup.HasMore()) {

      employee = employeeGroup.GetNext(true);

      employee.UpdateSalary();

      DistributeCheck(employee);

   }

}

private void a(a b) {

   while (b.a()) {

      a = b.a(true);

      a.a();

      a(a);

   }

}


CONTROL FLOW

Traditional control flow obfuscation introduces false conditional statements and other misleading constructs in order to confuse and break decompilers. This process synthesizes branching, conditional, and iterative constructs that produce valid forward (executable) logic, but yield non-deterministic semantic results when decompilation is attempted. Control Flow obfuscation produces spaghetti logic that can be very difficult for a cracker to analyze.

DashO employs advanced control flow obfuscation. In addition to adding code constructs, DashO works by destroying the code patterns that decompilers use to recreate source code. The end result is code that is semantically equivalent to the original but contains no clues as to how the code was originally written. Even if highly advanced decompilers are developed, their output will be guesswork.

Original Source Code Before ObfuscationReverse-Engineered Source Code After Control Flow Obfuscation

public int CompareTo(Object o) {

   int n = occurrences –

   ((WordOccurrence)o).occurrences;

   if (n == 0) {

      n = String.Compare(word,((WordOccurrence)o).word);

   }

   return(n);

}

public virtual int _a(Object A_0) {

   int local0;

   int local1;

   local 10 = this.a – (c) A_0.a;

   if (local0 != 0) goto i0;

   while (true) {

      return local1;

      i0: local1 = local10;

   }

   i1: local10 = System.String.Compare(this.b, (c) A_0.b);

   goto i0;

}


STRING ENCRYPTION

DashO allows you to hide user strings that are present in your assembly. A common attacker technique is to locate critical code sections by looking for string references inside the binary. For example, if your application is time locked, it may display a message when the timeout expires. Attackers search for this message inside the disassembled or decompiled output and chances are when they find it, they will be very close to your sensitive time lock algorithm.

DashO addresses this problem by allowing you to encrypt strings in these sensitive parts of your application, providing an effective barrier against this type of attack.

Since string encryption incurs a slight runtime penalty no string encryption is performed except on the parts of the application that you specify.


WATERMARKING

Watermarking helps track unauthorized copies of your software back to the source by embedding data such as copyright information or unique identification numbers into an application without impacting its runtime behavior. DashO’s watermarking algorithm does not increase the size of your application, nor does it introduce extra metadata that could break your application.


PRUNING

Small applications download faster, install faster, load faster and run faster. DashO's pruning feature statically analyzes your code to find the unused types, methods, and fields, and removes the, making the application smaller and reducing the data available to an attacker.


TAMPER DETECTION & DEFENSE

Tamper Map

DashO injects code that verifies your application’s integrity at runtime. If it detects tampering, it can shut down the application, invoke random crashes (to disguise that the crash was the result of a tamper check), or perform any other custom action. DashO can also send a message to the analytics service of your choice to indicate that tampering was detected.


ROOTED DEVICE DETECTION & DEFENSE

Tamper Map

Regulators, standards bodies and IT auditors have become increasingly likely to recommend an absolute prohibition of rooted Android devices in production environments.
Therefore, DashO can be configured to
1) Enforce a no rooted device policy wherever hardened apps are run, and
2) Ensure that hardened apps trigger real-time responses including notifications, auto-exit, and even a permanent disabling of the app (a quarantine or bricking).
For details on anti-root controls see DashO Root Detection & Defense


DEBUG DETECTION & DEFENSE

Anti-Debug is a prebuilt validation that DashO can inject into your apps. Your apps will then be able to detect unauthorized use of a debugging tool on a production version of the application. All of DashO's checks do more than just detect these states; they can also react in pre-specified ways, such as by exiting the app. Checks can also call into application code, allowing for custom behavior based on the Check’s result. These reporting and response features are configurable per-Check, so all your apps can detect unauthorized uses in the same way, but each app can respond to that detection differently.


SHELF LIFE

Shelf Life Warn

Shelf Life is an application inventory management function that allows you to embed expiration, or de-activation, and notification logic into an application. DashO injects code that reacts to application expiration by exiting the application and/or sending a PreEmptive Analytics Service message. This feature is particularly helpful with beta or evaluation applications. Users can schedule an application’s expiration/de-activation for a specific date and optionally issue warnings to users that the application will expire/de-activate in a specific number of days.