Code Encryption

Assemblies compiled using the .NET framework contain MSIL (Microsoft Intermediate Language) instructions that are executed by the .NET runtime just-in-time compiler when your application is run on the user machine. The just-in-time compiler converts the MSIL instruction to native machine instructions which are then processed by the machine. The MSIL instructions, together with class, methods, fields and other metadata information available inside a compiled assembly makes it possible for tools like .NET reflector, dotPeek and JustDecompile to translate the code back to its source language (C#, VB or any other .NET language).
Symbol renaming doesn't modify the MSIL instructions at all, it only changes the names of classes and methods but leaves the MSIL instructions untouched. In fact, symbol renaming doesn't offer a good solution for guarding software against unauthorized distribution. Even if symbols are renamed a hacker could still identify where license validation take place and simply patch the assembly to circumvent license validation all together.
By applying code encryption you make it significantly more difficult for someone to read your code and modify your assembly. encrypts the MSIL code and keeps it in a secure storage. When the assembly is loaded Agile.NET binds to the .NET runtime engine and manages decrypting the MSIL on a per method basis. Agile.NET creates a runtime environment that executes the original MSIL code by decrypting one method at a time, this important virtue minimizes the exposure of MSIL code in memory and thus prevents dumping the code from physical memory.

Native Runtime Components

Code encryption adds a native component that has to be shipped together with the encrypted software. The native component binds to the .NET runtime and takes control of method execution. support both x32 and x64 platform by adding x32 version as well as x64 version of the runtime component. By default embeds the runtime components directly into the encrypted assembly. Doing so there is no need for you to add the runtime components to the deployment package explicitly. If you still like to explicitly add them to the deployment package you can do so by checking the 'disable runtime embedding' option available in the options dialog.

Seamless Integration

Code encryption is much easier to integrate with existing software, while symbol renaming may introduce errors due to usage of reflection API in your code and therefore may demand additional configuration code encryption isn't expected to introduce such errors.

Using Code Encryption code encryption tab

To enable code encryption:

  • Select the Code Encryption tab.
  • Check the assemblies you want to apply code encryption with.
  • By checking the 'I want to prevent debugging of protected assemblies' option adds an additional layer of protection that prevents any debugging attempts of your software once it's installed at a customer site. Any attempt to attach a debugger to a protected assembly would crash the software. Component developers should avoid using this option as it will prevent developers using their protected components from debugging their code. This option increases the size of the runtime dlls and therefore it's recommended that you disable runtime embedding if you decide to use anti-debugging with encrypted assemblies.