Program Camouflage: A Systematic Instruction Hiding Method for Protecting Secrets
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Program Camouflage: A Systematic Instruction Hiding Method for Protecting Secrets

Authors: Yuichiro Kanzaki, Akito Monden, Masahide Nakamura, Ken-ichi Matsumoto

Abstract:

This paper proposes an easy-to-use instruction hiding method to protect software from malicious reverse engineering attacks. Given a source program (original) to be protected, the proposed method (1) takes its modified version (fake) as an input, (2) differences in assembly code instructions between original and fake are analyzed, and, (3) self-modification routines are introduced so that fake instructions become correct (i.e., original instructions) before they are executed and that they go back to fake ones after they are executed. The proposed method can add a certain amount of security to a program since the fake instructions in the resultant program confuse attackers and it requires significant effort to discover and remove all the fake instructions and self-modification routines. Also, this method is easy to use (with little effort) because all a user (who uses the proposed method) has to do is to prepare a fake source code by modifying the original source code.

Keywords: Copyright protection, program encryption, program obfuscation, self-modification, software protection.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1079590

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