How to Obfuscate Debug Info in iOS Apps

Last updated January 5, 2024 by Appdome

Learn to Obfuscate Debug Information in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Debug Information?

Debug information is data stored inside the code of a mobile app which aids the developer in troubleshooting, tracking down issues, and fixing bugs more easily. Debug information can also be used by bad actors who want to learn how your app works by reverse engineering your code (or other malicious purposes like copying or stealing your intellectual property). Your final production app should be built in release mode (which does not contain debug information). However, more often than not, the released mobile app does contain debug information such as source code file names, line numbers, variable names and symbol names. Rather than going back to the developer and asking them to modify the app,  Appdome offers a quick and easy way to strip debug information from the Android or iOS app – instantly without code or coding.

Why Obfuscate Debug Information in iOS Apps?

Debug information in mobile apps can display information that leaves a mobile app vulnerable to attacks. Examples of the information which can be exposed are the source code file names, line numbers, variable names and symbol names to name a few. You can use Appdome to remove debug information from the logs for additional mobile app protection.

Prerequisites for Using Strip Debug Information:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Obfuscate Debug Information , you’ll need:

Obfuscate Debug Information on iOS apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Obfuscate Debug Information 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. iOS Formats: .ipa
    4. Strip Debug Information Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, Swift, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: Strip Debug Information.

    1. Building Strip Debug Information by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Strip Debug Information feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Strip Debug Information

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Strip Debug Information 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 Strip Debug Information feature via Appdome Console, to add the Strip Debug Information 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, Circle 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 Strip Debug Information feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Strip Debug Information protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALCode™ Obfuscation section.
      2. When you select the Strip Debug Information you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Strip Debug Information

        Fusion Set applied Strip Debug Information

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Strip Debug Information protection

      3. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Strip Debug Information protection is now added to the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for Debug Information Intelligence and Control in iOS Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Debug Information is detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Debug Information in iOS Apps, use AddObserverForName in Notification Center, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Debug Information shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Debug Information are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Obfuscate Debug Information Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Strip Debug Information
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, IN-APP DEFENSE Appdome detects, defends and notifies user (standard OS dialog) using customizable messaging.
ON, IN-APP DETECTION Appdome detects the attack or threat and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (app chooses how and when to enforce).
ON, IN-APP DEFENSE Uses Appdome Enforce mode for any attack or threat and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (gather intel on attacks and threats without losing any protection).
Certified Secure™ Threat Event Check x
Visible in ThreatScope™ x
Developer Parameters for Obfuscating Debug Information Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
message Message displayed for the user on event
externalID The external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersion OS version of the current device
deviceModel Current device model
deviceManufacturer The manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppToken The task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfo Info about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmn PLMN of the device
deviceID Current device ID
reasonCode Reason code of the occured event
buildDate Appdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatform OS name of the current device
carrierName Carrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersion Is the OS version up to date
timeZone Time zone
deviceFaceDown Is the device face down
locationLong Location longitude conditioned by location permission
locationLat Location latitude conditioned by location permission
locationState Location state conditioned by location permission
wifiSsid Wifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatus Wifi SSID permission status

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), iOS developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in iOS applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Debug Information is detected.

The following is a code sample for native iOS apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Strip Debug Information:


Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured iOS Apps by using Strip Debug Information. 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 Strip Debug Information

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:

Related Articles:

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

iOS SelRef Obfuscation, Anti-Reversing in iOS Apps

iOS Binding Obfuscation, Anti-Reversing in iOS Apps

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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