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Obfuscator ranking?

 
Greenhorn
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Hi,
I need a good obfuscator and I am trying to find some reviews or rankings of obfuscators, but so far no luck. Currently using RetroGuard, but I dont know how that compares to KlassMaster, Mocha etc.
Does anyone know of any obfuscator tests, reviews and/or rankings?
Thanks
/Andreas
 
Ranch Hand
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i did it once but i don't remember. did u try DashPro? i thought that was better amongst others.it did >=30% code compression for me.
i can't put results i have here as it was company's proprietory.
regards
maulin
 
andreas krohn
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Code compressions is nice, but primarily I am looking for a obfuscator that can help me fight decompilers successfully...
But I havent tried DashPro so I will take a look, thanks.
/Andreas
 
andreas krohn
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OK, now i have taken a look att DashO, and it looks nice, but I dont know how it compares to other obfuscators (and it costs $895 and up so it is a bit expensive to buy just to test if it is good). That is exactly my problem, all obfuscators say they are the best (strange how that is), but I would like to have something else than propaganda to go on.
/Andreas
 
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Could you explain in a bit more detail for us why you want an obfuscator? I've seen them on sale many times, and always wondered who would use such a thing.
I've always found that any "secrets" which needed to be kept secret should not be put in delivered code at all, so I'm really interested to see the kind of things you don't mind people having, but just don't want them to understand.
 
Greenhorn
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If you create client applications (like Together, netbeans, etc) you have to use a Obfuscator, or someone will decompile it an steal your tricks, also if you create JavaBeans and want to sell them, you need an Obfuscator if you want to allow ppl to try your beans, or they will just download and steal the code decompiling java code is so easy and the decompile code is readable...
 
andreas krohn
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Exactly. In the project I am working on right now I have an Applet with quite a lot of functionality. Putting this functionality on the server would seriously slow down the application and is therefore not a choice. I would not like somebody to JAD my Applet and steal all my code, if they want to steal my code they should at least have to put in some hours of frustrating work.
 
Frank Carver
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These are the sort of arguments I have heard before, but I'm not sure I really believe them.
What I'm trying to get at is some idea of the sort of "tricks" which someone capable of decompiling a class file might be bothered to "steal". There's so much open source Java software that you can find code to do just about anything using a simple web search.
To clarify my question. Can anyone give me an example of some sort of programming "trick" which is so clever that its worth decompiling to steal it rather than just copying the class file and using it as-is. I'm not asking for the "how it's done", just some idea of the "what it can do".
I'm genuinely puzzled.
 
Wanderer
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Well, for example you might want to create a free demo version of your product which is identical to the regular version except for some limitations you impose - e.g. can only be used for one month, or allows a limited number of network connections, or a limited number of files to process. The user should not be able to circumvent these limitations using the class files as they are. But if they can decompile the class files, they might see that it's relatively simple to remove the restrictions from the source. We may not be able to completely prevent reverse engineering in such cases, but it seems reasonable to at least try to make it difficult.
 
Tiago Nodari
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Sometimes its not a programming trick, it might be something to do with business logic, something you dont want ppl to know. A lot of companies like to hide how they do things, that is how they stay alive. The code that was passed in a Obfuscator is a pain to understand, a pain to subclass, since most class names and methods get changed to a, b, kdje and stuff like that
Trust me there are ppl who will get a class, javabean, and etc and decompile and use the code, I have seen ppl steal code, sometimes spend tons of time understanding a code that was obfuscated and then use it at clients saying they had made the code.
I dont mind sharing the code I write, I never personaly used an obfuscator, but its sometimes I think about it, just so some idiot cant just steal my code and say he coded...
a friend suggest this obfuscator, its free, looks pretty good. My friend sent me some code that came out, and it is a pain to read.
http://proguard.sourceforge.net/
tiago
 
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