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TargO: A Targeted Obfuscator for Android Applications

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: In the world of fast-growing technology and an ever-increasing number of cyber-attacks, protecting secrets have become essential as well as costly. One of the techniques that have stayed afloat against the test of time is code obfuscation. Organizations still rely on obfuscation to hide their intellectual property from easy reverse engineering. But along with its effectiveness, obfuscation also brings with it performance overhead of the software. In this paper, we propose TargO, a targeted obfuscator that aims at reducing the performance overhead without compromising the advantage obfuscation provides. In TargO, developers are given a choice of obfuscating only the sensitive portions of the application. The effectiveness of this technique is then analysed by comparing it with existing obfuscators. Software code metrics such as cyclomatic complexity, execution time and instruction count was used to quantify, measure and compare the effects of the existing obfuscators against TargO. This comparison and further analysis help to confirm the fact that targeted obfuscation is equally or better effects so that reverse engineering can be deterred.

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