Visible to the public A New Code Obfuscation Scheme for Software Protection

TitleA New Code Obfuscation Scheme for Software Protection
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKulkarni, A., Metta, R.
Conference NameService Oriented System Engineering (SOSE), 2014 IEEE 8th International Symposium on
Date PublishedApril
KeywordsCloning, code fragment cloning, code obfuscation scheme, code patterns, code transformation, Complexity theory, Computer crime, Data processing, IT industry, Licenses, malicious reverse engineering, nontrivial code clones, Resistance, Resists, reverse engineering, security attacks, Software, software engineering, software protection, systems re-engineering, tampering

IT industry loses tens of billions of dollars annually from security attacks such as tampering and malicious reverse engineering. Code obfuscation techniques counter such attacks by transforming code into patterns that resist the attacks. None of the current code obfuscation techniques satisfy all the obfuscation effectiveness criteria such as resistance to reverse engineering attacks and state space increase. To address this, we introduce new code patterns that we call nontrivial code clones and propose a new obfuscation scheme that combines nontrivial clones with existing obfuscation techniques to satisfy all the effectiveness criteria. The nontrivial code clones need to be constructed manually, thus adding to the development cost. This cost can be limited by cloning only the code fragments that need protection and by reusing the clones across projects. This makes it worthwhile considering the security risks. In this paper, we present our scheme and illustrate it with a toy example.

Citation Key6830939