Non-Native Code Obfuscation, Anti-Reversing for Android & iOS Frameworks

Last updated August 22, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Obfuscate Readable Non-Native code in Mobile apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Non-Native Code Obfuscation?

Non-Native Code is when the app is written in a high-level programming language (usually JavaScript, C#). The source code files are not compiled into a binary but are rather saved as-is inside the app itself. When the application starts, it reads the code (clear-text) from the saved source code files and runs the code from there. This means that all of your code is available to anyone with the application file in hand.

Non-Native Code Obfuscation obfuscates your source code in the application itself. The files are encrypted inside the app file, thus preventing any option of reading your app contents if they extract the app’s files. Non-Native Code Obfuscation can be added to any Xamarin, Cordova or React Native JS application on iOS or Android instantly, without code or coding.

Why using Non-Native code obfuscation ?

Obfuscating non-native mobile apps is a complex and time-consuming process. This process requires employing several methods and tools, and the development resources needed for completing the task are highly specialized. Appdome simplifies the challenge of obfuscating non-native mobile apps by eliminating the need for specialized tools or development resources; you only need to enable our protection.

Obfuscating Readable Non-Native code on Mobile apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Mobile Apps that Obfuscate Readable Non-Native code without an SDK or gateway:

  1. Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.

    1. Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System

    2. Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
    3. Mobile App Formats: .ipa For iOS device or .apk or .aab
  2. Build the Protection: Non-Native Code Obfuscation.

    1. Building Non-Native Code Obfuscation by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Non-Native Code Obfuscation feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Non-Native Code Obfuscation

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Non-Native Code Obfuscation feature
        Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).

      3. Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Non-Native Code Obfuscation feature via Appdome Console, to add the Non-Native Code Obfuscation feature to this Fusion Set.

      4. Open the Fusion Set Detail Summary by clicking the “...” symbol on the far-right corner of the Fusion Set, as shown in Figure 1 above, and get the Fusion Set ID from the Fusion Set Detail Summary (as shown below): fusion Set Detail Summary image

        Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
        Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).

      5. Follow the instructions below to use the Fusion Set ID inside any standard mobile DevOps or CI/CD toolkit like Bitrise, App Center, Jenkins, Travis, Team City, Cirlce CI or other system:
        1. Build an API for the app – for instructions, see the tasks under Appdome API Reference Guide
        2. Look for sample APIs in Appdome’s GitHub Repository
    2. Building the Non-Native Code Obfuscation feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Non-Native Code Obfuscation protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALCode™ Obfuscation section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Non-Native Code Obfuscation, as shown below. Non-Native Code Obfuscation option

        Figure 3: Obfuscate Readable Non-Native code option

      3. When you select the Non-Native Code Obfuscation you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Non-Native Code Obfuscation

        Fusion Set applied Non-Native Code Obfuscation

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Non-Native Code Obfuscation protection

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Non-Native Code Obfuscation protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Non-Native Code Obfuscation feature in Mobile Apps.

    After building Non-Native Code Obfuscation, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Non-Native Code Obfuscation protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Non-Native Code Obfuscation protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below: Non-Native Code Obfuscation shown in Certificate secure

    Figure 5: Certified Secure™ certificate

    Each Certified Secure™ certificate provides DevOps and DevSecOps organizations the entire workflow summary, audit trail of each build, and proof of protection that Non-Native Code Obfuscation has been added to each Mobile app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Non-Native Code Obfuscation and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app

Prerequisites to Using Non-Native Code Obfuscation:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Obfuscate Readable Non-Native code , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Non-Native Code Obfuscation. There is no SDK and no library to code or implement in the app and no gateway to deploy in your network. All protections are built into each app and the resulting app is self-defending and self-protecting.

Releasing and Publishing Mobile Apps with Non-Native Code Obfuscation

After successfully securing your app by using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include:

All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.

Protections Similar to Non-Native Code Obfuscation

Here are a few related resources:

Native Code Obfuscation

Obfuscate App Logic, Methods and Flows

Obfuscate and Encrypt Java Classes/ .DEX

If you have any questions, please send them our way at support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

Thank you!

Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to secure every app on the planet by making mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project.

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