Issues with Virtualization Protection Solutions
Obfuscation can enhance the difficulty of static analysis, but cannot effectively prevent dynamic analysis. The purpose of code virtualization is to increase the difficulty of dynamic analysis.
Java code virtualization refers to the execution of bytecode, which can be done directly, through a custom virtualization engine. Due to being a custom virtualization engine, it is not possible to directly obtain information about its execution method, instruction format, and other details from the outside. Additionally, it leads to significant code expansion, making it difficult to reverse-engineer the code containing its original semantic information.
Virtualization protection is an extremely robust code protection scheme, but the biggest issue with virtualization protection is:PerformanceThe custom virtualization engine is difficult to take numerous performance optimization measures like JVM, and it cannot apply performance optimization technologies like JIT. You can try using the one we mentioned before. JVM Engine Comparing the performance of executing the same code with a regular JVM, there may be a performance gap of more than a hundred times.
Due to the significant impact of virtualization on performance, virtualization protection cannot be applied to all code, but only to critical code. Other code still needs to be protected using obfuscation or encryption. Since virtualization is not used to protect other parts of the code, the entry points of virtualization code can be found in other code. This allows for direct analysis of code functionality at the entry and exit points without the need to understand the logic of the entire code.
Virtualization protection is the most secure code protection method, but it cannot be applied to all code in the program due to its serious impact on performance. It can only protect key code, while the remaining code still carries the risk of exposure. By accessing other parts of the code, functional information of the virtualization portion can be obtained.