.NET Development: In what cases you should use Guardship .NET Protector instead of Obfuscation?

You need Guardship .NET Protector when your .NET EXE file includes very sensitive information such as: user credentials, the license information of a software product, CC numbers, some security keys, and so on.

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The main goal is to protect such sensitive information since just .NET obfuscation could not provide with 100% warranty of protection. Anybody that uses your production .NET EXE should not be able alter it, should not be able to crack it. The obfuscation does not make your .NET executable unbreakable; it just discourages code hackers to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

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For example, you may have to secure a very small application. The application has one class with a single method (function, procedure, sub etc.) inside. Let say the executable is a key that activates your licensed software you are distributing to end-users. Potential hacker intends to break and decipher the license key exe to share your software with everyone around the world for free. Since the executable is actually small in size the hacker can spend some time to successfully recover your code even it was obfuscated. We offer to transform your executable MSIL bytecode into the unmanaged machine code. Guardship .NET Protection Tool enables you to protect the executable file of your .NET application by making its code unreadable for MSIL disassemblers. It does not obfuscate, but rather makes the code unreadable. First of all, it is important to note that the tool is not an obfuscator tool and hence, it does not count renaming, encrypting or incorporating control-flow algorithms into its functions. The idea behind the utility is to ensure that nobody can access the source code by stopping MSIL disassemblers completely. It will give a strongest protection level to your final .NET executable.

The Guardship .NET Protector grants the same layer of protection as native C / C++ code. ASM, C, and C++ ordinarily compile directly to a native machine code. But neither the ASM, C, nor C++ standard describes the layout of a binary executable produced by the compiler. There are a few disassemblers for decompiling unmanaged executables written in ASM, C, or C++. However none of them will manage to produce readable enough code to worth the effort. You will spend more time trying to read the decompiled source with assembler blocks inside, than writing the same-functioning application from scratch.

So you may consider develop your data-sensitive executable in native C++ to provide that native code/ unmanaged layer of protection from scratch. You should be sure that you are using only the native C++ and not the managed .NET extensions to develop your app. As long as you stick to "Visual C++" project types under "Win32" node in New Project dialog, you will only be dealing with native code.

But our recommendation is do not code/develop your EXE in C++ if you do not have enough expertise to do that. The Guardship .NET Protector gives you the ability to keep coding in high-level OOP languages (C# / VB.NET) but completely secures your intellectual property. The Protector is good to secure a small .NET managed executable that contents a sensitive info.

Is an executable protected by Guardship still need the .NET Framework to reside in the target computer, or the executable is 100% native code?
It still needs .NET Framework to be installed into a target PC. When your protected app starts in the memory it is managed.

So is it like a native packer?
It disassembles your .NET code and then compiles the MSIL code of your executable into a native unmanaged application by generating two pieces:
1. Start module [Your_App_Name].com
2. Library [Your_App_Name].lib
When you run the start module [Your_App_Name].com it transforms back to the managed code in your PC memory.

Can Guardship include the .com and the .lib file together into one single .exe file?
Sure. There are Option settings in the Guardship interface. You can select:
1. Executable pair: .COM + .LIB [two files work faster]
2. Single Executable .EXE [a huge protected file]

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