This article will provide you with ways to prevent your app from reverse engineered. Reverse engineering is when someone takes apart your code to see how it works.
What is reverse engineering?
Reverse engineering is discovering how a piece of software works by examining the code, especially the compiled code.
This is often the only way to figure out how some programs work that are not under an End User License Agreement. Reverse engineering can also be used to discover defects in software and circumvent copy protection mechanisms.
Reverse Engineering can be used to develop similar software which can then be sold without paying royalties as long as no copyrighted material has been copied or reverse-engineered
There are many legal and ethical arguments surrounding reverse engineering. While most of the general public are aware that software piracy is illegal, but reverse engineering for the purposes of security auditing or interoperability is usually considered within the realm of fair use.
Reverse engineering of software violates the intellectual property rights of the copyright holder. It may also be a violation of other proprietary rights, such as trade secrets, in some circumstances. In such cases, permission may be granted by a court if it is determined that this permission under such circumstances will not damage to the author and their property. Some countries recognize a legal or moral “duty to rescue” third parties who would otherwise be unable to use proprietary information due to an inability to understand it and thereby rescue them by enabling understanding access via reverse engineering. Here are tips on how to protect apps from reverse engineering.
1. Write your own code
While it is possible to protect against reverse engineering with an API wrapper, it’s often easier (and better for mobile app development) to write the code yourself. You can also obfuscate your code if it becomes necessary.
2. Disable permissions
Sometimes by allowing a permission, you may allow callers to connect outside of the app. This allows access to other functions in the operating system, may be sensitive data like SMS messages or messaging and can be used for personal gain or malicious attack.
3. Do not use public APIs
Using public APIs can give attackers access to private information or functionality. You may also expose your app to heavy monitoring or can make your app vulnerable to surveillance by third parties.
4. Remove variants from the store
Oftentimes an offer of a free app will have several different versions with different functions. For example, there may be a version for work which has sensitive functions and a version for private time which does not have such functions and uses less data.
5. Do not share information
Sharing private information in an app can lead to privacy violations or misuse. If your app is a social network, it may be possible for an attacker to access private information such as photos or contacts. It is recommended that you not share this type of data unless it the user has given clear consent.
6. Ensure that the app does not have undocumented functions
Unforeseen scripts are often used to launch apps without detection or maliciously execute code when you do not expect it to happen.
7. Security measures during debugging
If you are developing your app, it is possible to enable security measures during debug. These security features make it harder for a third party to reverse engineer your app because they have to be able to disable these features as well.
Standalone security tools should be used when debugging an app. This way, you can limit access to the device and ensure that you are getting information from the right source. .
8. Disable logging functions
Logging can give attackers information about your source code. If you have sensitive data, do not log it or you may expose the information to third parties. Keep in mind that logs are often written to a file, leaving them easily accessible.
9. Make sure there is a history of app events
It is important that an app has a history of events so that users can see if something is happening in an unusual way or if there is any malicious code. You should also be careful that these built-in logs are not accessible by hackers or require too much permissions to be used.
10. Use encryption
Encrypting sensitive data can protect you against hostile attackers. If an attacker is able to access your data, they will not be able to access it without the decryption key. This information will be useless unless they know the key. A good example of this is a credit card number.
11. Stay updated
It is important that you stay up to date with the latest in app development. This will ensure that you know about security flaws as soon as they come out so that you can fix them and be sure your app is secure.
12. Never distribute your app without testing
Your app should be tested by a third party before it is publicly available. A report can be provided if there are any problems with the code. Also, you may have noticed that some apps don’t allow you to uninstall them. This is because they are being exploited with harmful code that could harm the device.
13. Never do too much work on your own
If you are developing an app, never do too much work on it at once because hackers know that they can get through the structure of your app and use the data in it to gain access to other parts of the operating system or network.
14. Never use any security protocols that are not open
When there are security protocols that are not open, it can make your app more hostile to attackers. Therefore, you should use security protocols that are open to the public and you will be sure that your app is secure so hackers or malicious users don’t get access to your source code.
15. Do not share passwords with others
You should never give out your passwords with anyone because then hackers may be able to gain access to other information by using the password. This could include messages sent or shared between you and other users of your apps, such as email addresses or identities.
The above tips have been implemented by mobile app developers into their code to ensure that hackers don’t breach teir code, allowing their app ‘s security to become more secure and harder to get around.