In the present day world, security has turned out to be absolutely important to nearly every aspect of your life. The same applies to the overall code that you write for your apps. Any APK file in the realm of Play Store can be de-obfuscated. Here what is being talked about the reverse engineering of the APK file. What developers do during their development is that they simply put their efforts into converting overall ideas into that of code and then package them to that of an APK file to deploy.
But what hackers or attackers simply do is they just pick the APK file of the developer, download it from any third-party type of website, and DE obfuscate the APK file to produce the source code files or simply resources that you do develop. It is generally not a great idea to go live in the absence of securing your codebase. It is important that you take some time and fix this security issue if you haven’t done it already. And here, one thing that can be of great help is Proguard. This post would get you a good idea about it all.
What you should know is that you can take an APK file in the absence of security as an ATM card without any pin: Anyone can simply go ahead and access it or use it for their own benefit or use. The point is you are creating your competitors there. Take a quick walk through the Play Store and find out how many duplicate apps are there. You need to be thoughtful about the code theft.
The name itself says it all that it acts as a guard to your overall app’s codebase. This guard is a tool in Android that gets used to shrink, obfuscate, and even that of optimize your app. It would not be wrong to say that this was not the complete solution, but this would definitely be a good place to begin with minimal changes to guard your codebase.
Once any unused code is removed, guard starts obfuscating code so as to make it hard to read. During this step, all the classes, that of classes’ methods, adjustable names and other class members are renamed with that of random characters. In this way , they can still be referenced that of internally but makes it harder for a hacker or attacker to read and understand the business or company logic in unfortunate situations of code and that of resources being exposed. The point is it renames your classes and their members to some random sort of short forms, that results in reduced DEX file sizes. And the decompiled code is going to be hard to read and understand.
It actually evaluates and analyses and optimizes the code. The point is the guard tool evaluates the generated bytecode and optimizes it for better level of performance. It eradicates unused instructions from the bytecode. It actually performs a number of folk optimizations, eradicates duplicate code, Inclines short and constant techniques and more.
It eradicates the unused parts from being a part of the final type of APK. It is something that gets done in two types of phases and these are like: Code shrinking : notices and safely removes unused variables, techniques , classes, etc., from your applications and its library dependencies then there is second one that is resource shrinking that actually remove unused resource files from your app’s and its overall library dependencies
This shrinking helps in reducing the overall size of APK. Proguard hunts for all the classes and its variable star, methods, etc. Which are reachable. It acknowledges which class members are getting used and then discards all other types of code. Hence, eradicating unused code from the application. Unused code from libraries is somewhat also removed. You can make use of APK Analyzer tool bundled with Android Studio to check the overall size of the Android build before and after you apply rules. This is going to give you an idea about the guard tool compression capabilities.
Clearly keeping the coded from shrinking and obfuscation
In the general sense these guards default configuration is enough to judge which type of code to simply keep and which parts to discard. But this could actually end up in fewer errors in case the code gets manipulated at runtime with reflection (or that of introspection). Remember that adding up a rule will instruct Proguard to skip the concerned area.
In case you are making use of an Annotation support library, then you can easily just annotate the class with “@Keep” and Proguard is going to know. Once including third party type of libraries in your project, you must check for consumer-proguard-rules.pro file. Most of the libraries expose their overall guard rules, they are automatically read by simply this guard tool and keeps the important parts absolutely intact while shrinking as well as obfuscation. For certain type of libraries, you may have to clearly or explicitly mention overall guard rules from keeping the build to simply fail. Of course, if you find yourself stuck at anything then you can talk to professionals.
Why Do you Need ProGuard?
To guard your app’s codebase from code theft with minimal level of configurations, you can actually use this guard. It is going to make things hard to understand and that of re-use after decompiling an APK file that has guard applied. Once ProGuard is somewhat applied, variable, method, and even that of class names will be replaced by some meaningless type of names or characters that will be tough to read and understand. This way you can simply protect yourself to some extent.
Along with obfuscation, it even provides the benefits of reduction in APK file size, that of overall optimizations, etc. Using guard will yield smaller size APK files, which are actually challenging or difficult for reverse engineering. Also, you don’t need to spend the time to eradicate unused things from code and that of resources.
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So, check out Proguard android options and ensure that you make the most of this procedure for your security.