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CSUR article online

Our paper on software obfuscation has been published with ACM Computing Survey (CSUR). You can find the paper in the ACM digital library here.

Protecting Software through Obfuscation: Can It Keep Pace with Progress in Code Analysis?
Sebastian Schrittwieser, Stefan Katzenbeisser, Johannes Kinder, Georg Merzdovnik, Edgar Weippl

Software obfuscation has always been a controversially discussed research area. While theoretical results indicate that provably secure obfuscation in general is impossible, its widespread application in malware and commercial software shows that it is nevertheless popular in practice. Still, it remains largely unexplored to what extent today’s software obfuscations keep up with state-of-the-art code analysis and where we stand in the arms race between software developers and code analysts. The main goal of this survey is to analyze the effectiveness of different classes of software obfuscation against the continuously improving deobfuscation techniques and off-the-shelf code analysis tools. The answer very much depends on the goals of the analyst and the available resources.