Nowadays reverse engineering has become a challenge that can lead to various securities vulnerabilities. If you are searching for some useful ways to protect your app from reverse engineering, we are here to help you. In this article, we are going to discuss some important tips like putting code on the server and adding multi-factor authentication which can help you in protecting the app from reverse engineering. According to some sources, 130 security holes were found in Android in 2022. There were also numerous cases of memory corruption. Both are serious issues and need attention so that customers will not have to deal with such security issues. Before we discuss about Anti reverse engineering strategies, let’s start with understanding reverse engineering.

 Android has a wide following due to its open-source nature. Like two sides of a coin, Android has a negative side too that is vulnerabilities. Due to Android’s open-source nature, developers and reverse engineers can study the source QR code for Android open-source projects (ASOP). In short, to rebuild a program or to build something comparable, engineers use reverse engineering techniques to re-obtain source code.

Now we are going to have a glance at some preventive measures:

  • Tamper detection

 If you want to check whether your program has been tampered with, the most secure approach is to double-check check the identity used to sign is the same as your own. Usually, the Play Store should be the sole option to access your software. You can get information about the installation source and if the source is not secure you can disable the program.

  • Obfuscate values when storing them on mobile

Shared libraries are the native code element of an Android application. To allow for the loading of encrypted libraries, the app dome alters Android’s shared library loading process. When incorporating binary code obfuscation, the native libraries are then encrypted using a unique key. The programs will fail to recognize the files as binary code if an attacker uses a reverse engineering tool to open the protected libraries.

  • Transfer critical data to the server

Transferring the code out of the app and into an encrypted server-side language web service is another technique that can help to protect Android apps from being reverse-engineered. For example, if all company’s program has a unique code or algorithm, the code will not be allowed to get stolen. This can simply be avoided by changing code or algorithms and by allowing remote servers to process data.

  • Use C/C++ to write important code 

C/C++ code is more difficult to decompile as compared to Java code. Consequently, NDK is used by some developers to add necessary code directly. Such files are also incorporated in a library created by them. Reverse engineering can be time-consuming and difficult even if the code is broken down into assembly language.

  • Be careful while applying SSL

 SSL is used by developers to enhance the safety of their code while dealing with servers and devices. SSL socket factory interface is utilized by the class that contains various basic methods. These simple methods accept any certificate which makes the application vulnerable to middleman attacks. Consequently, data that is transferred through SSL/ TSL protocol may lose its confidentiality. There are chances that the attacker breaks the connection and steals the data by just using a self-signed certificate.

  • Securing user credentials

 It is advised to keep the user credentials safe to avoid reverse engineering of the application. You should reduce the number of times a user’s credentials are requested in a mobile app. You should use an authorization token. It is not advisable to keep passwords and usernames on the device. Rather you should finish the initial authorization and utilize a temporary authorization token. User credentials will be needed by app proprietors to automate the app’s authentication procedure. To store user sign-in information, you can use a credential object in such circumstances.

  • Hide API keys

 API key is used by third-party suppliers that offer access to resources. It is frequently used to make a profit from their data. It is not advisable to save API keys in resource folders, preferences, shared assets, or as a Java hardcode. Otherwise, you are increasing the chances of API getting decompiled to obtain the key. You can use NDK or a private/ public key exchange to safeguard the API key.

  • Hashing algorithm

MD 2, MD5, and SHA1 are the most vulnerable hash functions. If they are used to store passwords and personal information then they can be hacked easily. Rather you should use secure functions like SHA 2, AES 256, etc. A standard hash function must be collision-resistant and not be too fast. If the hash function is too fast, it can complicate the assault by completing an exhaustive search. Due to this reason, hash functions like PBKDF 2, bcrypt, and scrypt were devised.

  • Use of whitelist commands

 Malicious is a code that can be executed at will. This enables the attackers to bypass authentication, manipulate control flow graphs, and gain access to restricted areas. To cope with that you can make an allow list of commands that you want in an app and ask users to select from it. You should avoid directly employing user-entered data as reflection methods.

  • Database encryption

Using data encryption is another way to keep an Android app safe from reverse engineering. It is assumed by many individuals that encrypting data in databases can be a time-consuming process. But this is not true. Now databases have various tools that allow to encrypt and decrypt data without manually doing so. For example, SQLCipher is a popular SQLite extension that supports AES256 encryption.

Conclusion

 There are various tips and tricks that help protect Android apps from reverse engineering. We have discussed a few of them and they can surely help you to know how to protect app from reverse engineering. Encrypting your data using hash algorithms and using other encryption techniques can also be helpful. In this way, you can make it difficult for attackers to crack the source code. By following above mentioned tips you can provide an extra layer of security to your Android application.

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