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App publishers are always looking for ways to reduce the costs associated with building and maintaining mobile apps. That’s why one-third of development teams have turned to hybrid app development to eliminate the need for separate code bases and development teams for each mobile platform.
However, despite the increasing popularity of hybrid app development, inadequate app protection when using these cross-platform frameworks could expose app publishers to code theft. This can result in stolen code that can lead to loss of revenue and reputational damages.
Hybrid app development certainly enables development teams to streamline their efforts, but this approach is not without risks. In fact, code theft is one of the most common challenges associated with hybrid app development.
Code theft is a situation where malicious actors obtain the underlying code logic of an application – either by accessing the source code directly if it’s not compiled or through reverse engineering – and use it for their own purposes. By stealing a mobile app’s code logic, malicious actors can:
As you can see, code theft puts an app publisher’s competitive edge, reputation, and revenue at risk. The code, algorithms, and other internal workings of an application is often the most important asset for app publishers, so it’s crucial to protect hybrid apps against mobile IP theft.
Code hardening involves using obfuscation to make the application code more difficult for humans and reverse engineering tools to analyze. More specifically, code obfuscators change names, arithmetic, control flow, and other aspects of the code without impacting its functionality. This hides the inner workings of the app, preventing malicious actors from easily understanding and modifying the source code.