Product protection

Obfuscate code beyond recognition

Obfuscate code beyond recognition

Wibu-Systems, a global software protection and licensing company, has extended its CodeMeter Protection Suite to automatically protect software against piracy and reverse engineering. The new Compile Time Obfuscation (CTO) feature is available for AxProtector Windows, AxProtector Linux and AxProtector macOS. To utilise this function, the new AxProtector Compile Time Protection (CTP) technology has been introduced.

This new technology takes a completely new approach to software protection by obfuscating the entire application during the compilation process. AxProtector CTP uses obfuscation technologies to bring application protection to the same level as encryption-based protection tools. AxProtector CTP obfuscates symbols and the flow of the application, inserts additional blocks and hides logical links in the code to increase protection against reverse engineering.

The AxProtector CTP technology is already included as a CTO option in the AxProtector Windows, AxProtector Linux and AxProtector macOS products. It supports Intel, ARMHF and AARCH64 and currently works with the programming languages C and C++. Other programming languages are supported on request.

Finding the right defences against cyber attacks is an important task. Thanks to the versatility of LLVM, AxProtector CTP is able to support multiple operating systems, architectures and platforms. With AxProtector CTP, comprehensive defence techniques can be smoothly integrated to increase the security of applications for different use cases. In addition, all the features of AxProtector products, such as flexible licensing through trusted cryptographic algorithms, are also available in the new CTP technology. The close link between licensing, encryption and obfuscation ensures optimum protection of applications.

While pure encryption solutions encrypt the application after compilation and decrypt it during runtime, AxProtector CTP modifies the application during compilation so that no changes are required during runtime. This ensures compliance with platform-specific guidelines that prevent the software from being modified during runtime, such as the macOS hardened runtime. It also provides better protection against attackers who have a licence to run the protected application.

The protection offered by the new AxProtector CTP requires a special build environment with a plug-in from Wibu-Systems. Only minimal adjustments to the compiler are necessary. The Clang compiler is currently supported. Software developers can make these adaptations themselves following instructions or obtain an already modified compiler from Wibu-Systems. As the Clang compiler is supported by most common development environments such as Visual Studio and Xcode, the functions of AxProtector CTP are immediately available, including the cross-platform protection offered by the standard AxProtectors.

"In a world where cyber threats are evolving daily, relying on encryption alone is not enough. AxProtector CTP takes this one step further by obfuscating your software at compile time, turning it into a puzzle that is almost unsolvable even for the most experienced hackers," explains Stefan Bamberg, Director Sales and Key Account Management at Wibu-Systems.