Top 7 Source Code Obfuscation Techniques

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How Obfuscation Protects Mobile App Source Code

The term “obfuscate” means to render obscure, unclear or unintelligible. Code obfuscation is a security strategy that deliberately disguises code to frustrate and delay hackers in their attempts to understand how an application’s code works. There are numerous methods involved in code obfuscation, such as inserting decoy logic or nonsense statements, encrypting segments of the binary code, and obfuscating the control flow. These techniques aim to confuse attackers and cost them more time and resources, making it economically non-viable for them to try and break in.

zShield is a comprehensive code protection solution intended for hardening iOS and Android applications on multiple target platforms. It adds tamper resistant characteristics to applications by applying mobile app obfuscation, integrity protection, anti-debug, and anti-piracy techniques to application code. zShield can protect any standards compliant C/C++/Objective-C/Swift or Android Java source code and requires no significant changes to the code itself or the existing build chain.

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Every day the number and range of methodologies and malicious programs hackers use to gain unauthorized access to applications, devices, and personal information increases. Often software code itself provides the entry point for attack. In 2020, a full 35% of breaches could be traced to scanning for and exploiting code vulnerabilities, making it the single most common initial infection vector, even ahead of phishing.

One of the most important weapons available to developers and security teams in the war against application piracy, device infiltration, code injection, and other malicious acts, is source code obfuscation. But what is source code obfuscation and what does it mean in a software development context? Download our report to get a better idea of how obfuscation in programming works and the top obfuscation security techniques used by mobile app developers around the world.

A Platform Approach to Mobile App Protection

Zimperium's Mobile Application Protection Suite (MAPS) consists of four products with a centralized dashboard to view threats and create response policies. It is the only unified platform that combines centralized visibility with comprehensive in-app protection, combining both inside-out and outside-in security approaches to help enterprises build and maintain secure mobile apps.


Discover and fix compliance, privacy, and security issues within the development process before you publicly release your apps.


Protect confidential data by securing cryptographic keys with white-box cryptography so they cannot be discovered, extracted, or manipulated.


Harden and protect the app with advanced obfuscation and anti-tampering functionality to protect the source code, intellectual property (IP), and data within the application.


Enable the mobile application to detect and proactively protect itself by taking actions on the end user’s device, even without network connectivity.

Learn more about protecting mobile apps in our report:

Developers can choose the degree of obfuscation at the file and function levels 

Protections are added during compile-time making them robust 

The UI-guided process makes protections easy to apply and debug

Every obfuscated build looks different

There is minimal impact on app size

Protection is tuned for optimal performance 

Why Zimperium for iOS & Android Obfuscation?