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This chapter is from the book

Knowing the Best Obfuscators

Plenty of obfuscators are available, and most of them contain the same set of core features. Table 3.1 includes just a few of the most popular products, both free and commercial.







TABLE 3.1  Popular Obfuscators

PRODUCT

KLASSMASTER

PROGUARD

RETRO GUARD

DASH-O

JSHRINK

Version

4.1

1.7

1.1.13

2.x

2.0

Price

$199–$399

Free

Free

$895–$2995

$95

Stripping out of debug information

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Name mangling

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Encoding of Java strings

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Changing of control flow

Yes

No

No

No

No

Insertion of corrupt code

Yes

No

No

No

No

Elimination of unused code (shrinking)

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Optimizing of bytecode

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Flexibility of scripting language and obfuscation control

Excellent

Excellent

Good

Not rated

Good

Reconstruction of stack traces

Yes

Yes

No

No

No


For commercial applications that contain intellectual property, I recommend Zelix KlassMaster primarily because of its unique control flow obfuscation. This technique makes the obfuscated code truly hard to crack, so the product is worth every dollar you will pay for it. At the time of writing, it is the only obfuscator known to have this feature. ProGuard is available free from www.sourceforge.net and is the best choice for the budget-conscious user with applications that do not require commercial-strength protection.

 

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