Beginner’s guide to app code obfuscation

Code obfuscation is a method of modifying an app’s code to make it difficult for attackers to read or comprehend.

While the code’s functionality remains the same, obfuscation makes it more difficult for an attacker to perform reverse engineering, analyze the code, and retrieve sensitive information.

Find out more in the Beginner’s guide to app code obfuscation.

What is code obfuscation?

App code obfuscation is an essential security technique that transforms the executable code of an app into a format that is unreadable to unauthorized users or hackers, while remaining fully functional. This method ensures the core functions of the code are untouched, safeguarding the app’s logic and purpose. As a widespread strategy for safeguarding mobile app code, obfuscation is key to preventing attempts by bad actors to decompile and reverse engineer the source code, and to protect apps from intellectual property theft.

How does code obfuscation work?

The process consists of some simple but reliable techniques and, when used together, can build a strong layer of defense to protect an app’s source code from attackers. The classification of obfuscation techniques depends on the information they target. Some transformations target the lexical structure of the software, while others target the control flow.

Some examples include simply renaming functions, methods, and classes to use less descriptive names. Additional techniques include removing debug information, such as parameter type, source file, and line number, as well as removing Java annotations.

Obfuscate your mobile apps with Promon’s mobile app security solutions

Promon’s application shielding software, Promon SHIELD® obfuscates parts or all of your app’s code, making it significantly more difficult for an attacker to analyze. Additionally, when adding the Promon Jigsaw engine to the mix, you can safeguard the binary app code across all platforms from repackaging attacks, unauthorized code manipulation, and sophisticated reverse engineering.

Why Promon SHIELD® and Promon Jigsaw

  • Makes your business less prone to licensing fraud, reverse engineering, and intellectual property theft.
  • Protects your apps from malware or real-world attack scenarios.
  • Includes a state-of-the-art security feature that provides you with the ability to easily store app secrets locally on the end-user device in a secure manner.
  • Monitors your app’s runtime behavior and detects whether the app is executing in an insecure environment.
  • Enables your app to modify its behavior in real time to stop potential attacks.
  • Protects your native application code, integrating seamlessly post compile and delivering an essential building block for iOS 17 app security.