Exploiting Self-Modification Mechanism for Program Protection

Yuichiro Kanzaki, Akito Monden, Masahide Nakamura, Ken Ichi Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a new method to protect software against illegal acts of hacking. The key idea is to add a mechanism of self-modifying codes to the original program, so that the original program becomes hard to be analyzed. In the binary program obtained by the proposed method, the original code fragments we want to protect are camouflaged by dummy instructions. Then, the binary program autonomously restores the original code fragments within a certain period of execution, by replacing the dummy instructions with the original ones. Since the dummy instructions are completely different from the original ones, code hacking fails if the dummy instructions are read as they are. Moreover, the dummy instructions are scattered over the program, therefore, they are hard to be identified. As a result, the proposed method helps to construct highly invulnerable software without special hardware.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings - IEEE Computer Society's International Computer Software and Applications Conference
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings: 27th Annual International Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2003 - Dallas, TX, United States
Duration: Nov 3 2003Nov 6 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications


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