PHP Encryption

At one time or another, a software developer is faced with a potential troublesome issue. When all the programming is done, and it’s time to distribute the actual program, the question arises: How do I protect my intellectual property from being misused, changed and sold by a potential user of my program? Of course there are Copyrights, but not all users might be aware or care about it.

unencrypted code

Usually this is not a problem when using ordinary executable files. The customer would have a hard time opening up the file in Notepad, figuring out and modifying the code. This process is called reverse engineering, and for some people this is an art.

encrypted code

The problem is a bit trickier when programming in an open format such as ASP, PHP or any type of scripting. The program is easily readable and sometimes ingenious and potential lucrative algorithms could fall into the wrong hands. But there is a solution. This article is focused on how to protect your PHP scripts using obfuscation techniques that makes the program unreadable for humans – but still fully functional for a computer.

Here are two of the main Open Source PHP encryption tools:

Turck MMCache for PHP

Turck MMCache is an open source software package with many included features, such as PHP accelerator, optimizer, encoder and dynamic content cache. One drawback is that in order to use all these functions you need to have additional software installed on the running server. It is fully compatible with Zend Optimizer, but not recommended.

PHP Obfuscator (POBS)

This is the software package focused on in this arcicle. It does not need additional server PHP modules installed in order to run. It’s easy to install and easy to use. The main feature is the actual PHP encryption, with many configuration options. The PHP Obfuscator is available for download from their home page.

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Other encoder :