How can I obfuscate (protect) JavaScript? [closed]

How can I obfuscate (protect) JavaScript? [closed]

I want to make a JavaScript application that’s not open source, and thus I wish to learn how to can obfuscate my JS code? Is this possible?

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

Obfuscation:

Try YUI Compressor. It’s a very popular tool, built, enhanced and maintained by the Yahoo UI team.

You may also use:

Private String Data:

Keeping string values private is a different concern, and obfuscation won’t really be of much benefit. Of course, by packaging up your source into a garbled, minified mess, you have a light version of security through obscurity. Most of the time, it’s your user who is viewing the source, and the string values on the client are intended for their use, so that sort of private string value isn’t often necessary.

If you really had a value that you never wanted a user to see, you would have a couple of options. First, you could do some kind of encryption, which is decrypted at page load. That would probably be one of the most secure options, but also a lot of work which may be unnecessary. You could probably base64 encode some string values, and that would be easier.. but someone who really wanted those string values could easily decode them. Encryption is the only way to truly prevent anyone from accessing your data, and most people find that to be more security than they need.

Sidenote:

Obfuscation in Javascript has been known to cause some bugs. The obfuscators are getting a little better about it, but many outfits decide that they see enough benefit from minifying and gzipping, and the added savings of obfuscation isn’t always worth the trouble. If you’re trying to protect your source, maybe you’ll decide that it’s worth your while, just to make your code harder to read. JSMin is a good alternative.

Solution 2:

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Google’s Closure Compiler. It doesn’t just minify/compress, it analyzes to find and remove unused code, and rewrites for maximum minification. It can also do type checking and will warn about syntax errors.

JQuery recently switched from YUI Compresser to Closure Compiler, and saw a “solid improvement

Solution 3:

Obfuscation can never really work. For anyone who really wants to get at your code, it’s just a speed bump. Worse, it keeps your users from fixing bugs (and shipping the fixes back to you), and makes it harder for you to diagnose problems in the field. Its a waste of your time and money.

Talk to a lawyer about intellectual property law and what your legal options are. “Open Source” does not mean “people can read the source”. Instead, Open Source is a particular licensing model granting permission to freely use and modify your code. If you don’t grant such a license then people copying your code are in violation and (in most of the world) you have legal options to stop them.

The only way you can really protect your code is to not ship it. Move the important code server-side and have your public Javascript code do Ajax calls to it.

See my full answer about obfuscators here.

Solution 4:

You can obfuscate the javascript source all you want, but it will always be reverse-engineerable just by virtue of requiring all the source code to actually run on the client machine… the best option I can think of is having all your processing done with server-side code, and all the client code javascript does is send requests for processing to the server itself. Otherwise, anyone will always be able to keep track of all operations that the code is doing.

Someone mentioned base64 to keep strings safe. This is a terrible idea. Base64 is immediately recognizable by the types of people who would want to reverse engineer your code. The first thing they’ll do is unencode it and see what it is.

Solution 5:

There are a number of JavaScript obfuscation tools that are freely available; however, I think it’s important to note that it is difficult to obfuscate JavaScript to the point where it cannot be reverse-engineered.

To that end, there are several options that I’ve used to some degree overtime:

  • YUI Compressor. Yahoo!’s JavaScript compressor does a good job of condensing the code that will improve its load time. There is a small level of obfuscation that works relatively well. Essentially, Compressor will change function names, remove white space, and modify local variables. This is what I use most often. This is an open-source Java-based tool.

  • JSMin is a tool written by Douglas Crockford that seeks to minify your JavaScript source. In Crockford’s own words, “JSMin does not obfuscate, but it does uglify.” It’s primary goal is to minify the size of your source for faster loading in browsers.

  • Free JavaScript Obfuscator. This is a web-based tool that attempts to obfuscate your code by actually encoding it. I think that the trade-offs of its form of encoding (or obfuscation) could come at the cost of filesize; however, that’s a matter of personal preference.

Solution 6:

What i would do:

A. Troll the hacker!

This is will be in the second part my fake/obfuscated secret javascript code LAUNCHER.
The one you see in the source code.

What does this code?

  1. loads the real code
  2. sets a custom header
  3. posts a custom variable

var ajax=function(a,b,d,c,e,f){
 e=new FormData();
 for(f in d){e.append(f,d[f]);};
 c=new XMLHttpRequest();
 c.open('POST',a);
 c.setRequestHeader("Troll1","lol");
 c.onload=b;
 c.send(e);
};
window.onload=function(){
 ajax('Troll.php',function(){
  (new Function(atob(this.response)))()
 },{'Troll2':'lol'});
}

B. Obfuscate the code a little

What is that?

  1. thats the same code as above in base64
  2. this is not the SECRET javascript code

(new Function(atob('dmFyIGFqYXg9ZnVuY3Rpb24oYSxiLGQsYyxlLGYpe2U9bmV3IEZvcm1EYXRhKCk7Zm9yKGYgaW4gZCl7ZS5hcHBlbmQoZixkW2ZdKTt9O2M9bmV3IFhNTEh0dHBSZXF1ZXN0KCk7Yy5vcGVuKCdQT1NUJyxhKTtjLnNldFJlcXVlc3RIZWFkZXIoIlRyb2xsMSIsImxvbCIpO2Mub25sb2FkPWI7Yy5zZW5kKGUpO307d2luZG93Lm9ubG9hZD1mdW5jdGlvbigpe2FqYXgoJ1Ryb2xsLnBocCcsZnVuY3Rpb24oKXsgKG5ldyBGdW5jdGlvbihhdG9iKHRoaXMucmVzcG9uc2UpKSkoKX0seydUcm9sbDInOidsb2wnfSk7fQ==')))()

C Create a hard to display php file with the real code inside

What does this php code?

  1. Checks for the right referrer (domain/dir/code of your launcher)
  2. Checks for the custom HEADER
  3. Checks for the custom POST variable

If everything is ok it will show you the right code else a fake code or ban ip, close page.. whatever.

<?php
$t1=apache_request_headers();
if(base64_encode($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'])=='aHR0cDovL2hlcmUuaXMvbXkvbGF1bmNoZXIuaHRtbA=='&&$_POST['Troll2']=='lol'&&$t1['Troll1']='lol'){
 echo 'ZG9jdW1lbnQuYm9keS5hcHBlbmRDaGlsZChkb2N1bWVudC5jcmVhdGVFbGVtZW50KCdkaXYnKSkuaW5uZXJUZXh0PSdBd2Vzb21lJzsNCg==';//here is the SECRET javascript code
}else{
 echo 'd2luZG93Lm9wZW4oJycsICdfc2VsZicsICcnKTt3aW5kb3cuY2xvc2UoKTs=';
};
?>

base64 referrer = http://here.is/my/launcher.html

SECRET javascript = document.body.appendChild(document.createElement('div')).innerText='Awesome';

FAKE = window.open('', '_self', '');window.close();

Now .. if you define event handlers in the SECRET javascript it’s probably accessible.. you need to define them outside with the launchcode and pointing to a nested SECRET function.

SO… is there a easy wayto get the code?
document.body.appendChild(document.createElement('div')).innerText='Awesome';

I’m not sure if this works but i’m using chrome and checked Elements,Resources,Network,Sources,Timeline,Profiles,Audits but i didn’t find the line above.

note1: if u open the Troll.php url from Inspect element->network in chrome you get the fake code.

note2: the whole code is written for modern browsers. polyfill needs alot more code.

EDIT

launcher.html

<!doctype html><html><head><meta charset="utf-8"><title></title><script src="data:application/javascript;base64,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"></script></head><body></body></html>

Troll.php

<?php $t1=apache_request_headers();if(/*base64_encode($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'])=='PUT THE LAUNCHER REFERER HERE'&&*/$_POST['Troll2']=='lol'&&$t1['Troll1']='lol'){echo 'ZG9jdW1lbnQuYm9keS5hcHBlbmRDaGlsZChkb2N1bWVudC5jcmVhdGVFbGVtZW50KCdkaXYnKSkuaW5uZXJUZXh0PSdBd2Vzb21lJzsNCg==';}else{echo 'd2luZG93Lm9wZW4oJycsICdfc2VsZicsICcnKTt3aW5kb3cuY2xvc2UoKTs=';}; ?>