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Code of App Security Tool Posted to GitHub

Code of DexGuard, software designed to secure Android applications and software development kits (SDKs), was removed from GitHub last week, after being illegally posted on the platform.

The tool is developed by Guardsquare, a company that specializes in hardening Android and iOS applications against both on-device and off-device attacks, and is designed to protect Android applications and SDKs against reverse engineering and hacking.

The DexGuard software is built on top of ProGuard, a popular optimizer for Java and Android that Guardsquare distributes under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. Unlike ProGuard, however, DexGuard is being distributed under a commercial license.

In the DMCA takedown notice published on GitHub, Guardsquare reveals that the DexGuard code posted on the Microsoft-owned code platform was illegally obtained from one of their customers.

“The listed folders (see below) contain an older version of our commercial obfuscation software (DexGuard) for Android applications. The folder is part of a larger code base that was stolen from one of our former customers,” the notice reads.

The leaked code was quickly removed from the open-source hosting platform, but it did not take long for it to appear on other repositories as well. In fact, Guardsquare said it discovered nearly 200 forks of the infringing repository and that demanded all be taken down.  

HackedTeam, the account that first published the stolen code, also maintains repositories of open-source malware suite RCSAndroid (Remote Control System Android).

The spyware was attributed several years ago to the Italy-based Hacking Team, a company engaged in the development and distribution of surveillance technology to governments worldwide. Earlier this year, Intezer discovered a new backdoor based on the RCS surveillance tool.

Related: New Backdoor Based on HackingTeam’s Surveillance Tool

Related: New Hacking Team Spyware Samples Detected: ESET

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