Obfuscating Non-Native Mobile Apps Without Re-Writing Code

Appdome’s Non-Native Code Obfuscation obfuscates your source code in the application itself. The files are encrypted inside the application file. This means that no one will be able to read your application contents if they take the application and extract its files.

This Knowledge Base article summaries the steps needed to obfuscate Non-Native Mobile Apps using Appdome’s Non-Native Code Obfuscation. 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.

Obfuscating non-native mobile apps is a complex and time-consuming process. Several methods and tools need to be employed and the development resources needed to complete 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.

We hope you find it useful and enjoy using Appdome!

About Non-Native Code Obfuscation

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites. For example, there is no SDK, libraries, or plug-ins to implement. The Appdome technology adds Non-Native Code Obfuscation and relevant standards, frameworks and more to the app automatically, with no manual development work at all. Using Appdome, mobile apps will use Non-Native Code Obfuscation to encrypt Non-Native Code files as if this functionality was natively coded in the application.

Let’s take an application created using “Cordova JS” (this is applicable to the other Non-Native Code solutions as well) take the “.apk”, the “.aab” or “.ipa” file and change the file extension to “.zip”. Now that it’s a zip file, you can extract the source files from it. extract the files to a new folder, for iOS under “Payload/Yourapp/www” and for Android under “assets/www”, you will find the Cordova Javascript files, if you open them – you will see a clear-text representation of the Cordova and your source code.

Now try to build the application with Non-Native Code Obfuscation on, and do the same thing again. If you look at the javascript files in the “www” folder, you can see that they are encrypted. Try installing the application on your phone – and it works just the same as before.

Prerequisites for Using Appdome for Non-Native Code Obfuscation

This article is for organizations and mobile developers that are using Non-Native Development Environments to write code, this includes “Cordova JS”, “React Native JS”, and “Xamarin”. Native Code is an application that is written in the native language of the device and is compiled to run directly on the application. This means that the source code of the application turns into a binary file. Non-Native Code is when the application is written in a high-level programming language (usually JavaScript, C#). The source code files are not compiled into a binary, but instead, they are saved as-is inside the application 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.

In order to use Non-Native Code Obfuscation, your application must be using one of the following frameworks: Xamarin, Cordova JS, React Native JS

How to Add Non-Native Code Obfuscation to Any Mobile App on Appdome

Follow these step-by-step instructions to add Non-Native Code Obfuscation to Any Mobile App:

Upload a Mobile App to Your Account

Please follow these steps to add a mobile app to your Appdome account.

If you don’t have an Appdome account, click here to create an account.

From the Build tab, Add Non-Native Code Obfuscation

Select the Build TabNote: a blue underline will appear showing the step is active.

Beneath the Build Tab, select SecurityNote: a blue highlight will appear showing the category is active. 

  1. Click and expand ONEShield by Appdome
  2. Click and expand TOTALCode™ Obfuscation
  3. Enable or Toggle “ON” Non-Native Code Obfuscation
  4. Click Build My App

The technology behind Build My App has two major elements – (1) a microservice architecture filled with 1000s of code sets needed for mobile integrations, and (2) an adaptive code generation engine that can recognize the development environment, frameworks and methods in each app and match the app to the relevant code-sets needed to obfuscate non-native mobile apps in seconds.

Congratulations! When Appdome has finished your implementation (usually in 30 seconds or less), you’ll see the notice below. You now have a mobile app fully integrated with Non-Native Code Obfuscation.

After Adding Non-Native Code Obfuscation to a Mobile App on Appdome

After you have added Non-Native Code Obfuscation to any Mobile App on Appdome, there are a few additional steps needed to complete your mobile integration project.

Add Context™ to the Appdome Built App

Appdome is a full-featured mobile integration platform. Within Context™, Appdome users can brand the app, including adding a favicon to denote the new service added to the app.
For more information on the range of options available in Context™, please read this knowledge base article.

Sign the Non-Native Code Obfuscation enabled Appdome Built App (Required)

In order to deploy an Appdome-Built app, it must be signed. Signing the iOS app and Signing an Android app is easy using Appdome. Alternatively, you can use Private Signing, download your unsigned app and sign locally using your own signing methods.

Deploy the Appdome Built App to a Mobile Device

Once you have signed your Appdome-Built app, you can download it to deploy it using your distribution method of choice. For more information on deploying your Appdome-Built apps, please read this knowledge base.

That is it – Enjoy Appdome with Non-Native Code Obfuscation in your app!

How Do I Learn More?

Check out Appdome’s Comprehensive Mobile Security Suite or request a demo at any time.

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 make mobile integration easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free.  

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

Dany Zatuchna

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