SwiftShield: Swift Obfuscator

SwiftShield is a tool that generates random and irreversible encrypted names for your iOS project's types and methods (including third-party libraries). It uses Apple's SourceKit to mimick Xcode's indexing behavior, revealing a complete map of your project that is used to safely rename parts of your project.

Reverse engineering iOS apps is relatively simple due to the fact that almost every single type and method name is exposed in the app's binary. This allows jailbreak tools like class-dump and Cycript to extract this information and use it to change the behavior of your app in runtime.

Obfuscating code in iOS difficults the usage of these tools, while also makes it tougher for jailbreak developers to create tweaks for your app as SwiftShield's obfuscation changes every time you run it.


The capabilities of SwiftShield are directly related to the capabilities of SourceKit, which unfortunately has its share of bugs. However, although SwiftShield can't obfuscate everything, it can obfuscate just enough to make reverse engineering very hard. Check this document to see its capabilities in detail.


  • You should not have logic based on hardcoded names (like loading MyClass.json because String(describing: type(of:self)) is 'MyClass'). SwiftShield does not obfuscate things like file names and hardcoded strings -- only the types themselves.
  • No Objective-C classes that call Swift methods (but Swift classes calling Objective-C code is fine).
  • Your project should be 100% written in View Code. Older versions of SwiftShield did support obfuscating Storyboards/XIBs, but it was extremely hard to maintain. This parts from the principle that if you have a project big or important enough to be obfuscated, you probably shouldn't be using Storyboards in first place.
  • Your project should not be using Xcode's Legacy Build System setting.
  • Make sure your project doesn't suffer from one of SourceKit's bugs. Although the bugs won't prevent the project from being obfuscated, some of them might require you to manually fix the resulting code as it will not be able to compile.


Check this repo's example project to see it in action! You can run it by executing make swiftshield in your terminal.

Downloading SwiftShield

You can get a SwiftShield binary from the releases page.

Modify scripts that can affect SwiftShield

If your project uses a framework that also modifies your files like SwiftGen, you need to prevent them from running alongside SwiftShield. This can be done by checking for the $SWIFTSHIELDED Xcode variable that is added by SwiftShield after your project is obfuscated.

For example, my SwiftGen Xcode Run Script:

$PODS_ROOT/SwiftGen/bin/swiftgen images --output $SRCROOT/Asset.swift $SRCROOT/Assets.xcassets

...should be changed to:

if [ "$SWIFTSHIELDED" != "true" ]; then
    $PODS_ROOT/SwiftGen/bin/swiftgen images --output $SRCROOT/Asset.swift $SRCROOT/Assets.xcassets

Unlock Sources

If you're using a dependency manager like CocoaPods, you need to make sure that the sources are unlocked. If they aren't, SwiftShield will fail saying that it failed to overwrite the files. To unlock your project, execute:


Running SwiftInfo

USAGE: swiftshield obfuscate --project-file <project-file> --scheme <scheme> [--ignore-public] [--ignore-targets] [--verbose] [--dry-run] [--print-sourcekit]

  -p, --project-file <project-file>
                          The path to your app's main .xcodeproj/.xcworkspace
  -s, --scheme <scheme>   The main scheme from the project to build. 
  --ignore-public         Don't obfuscate content that is 'public' or 'open'
                          (a.k.a 'SDK Mode'). 
  -i, --ignore-targets    A list of targets, separated by a comma, that should
                          NOT be obfuscated. 
  -v, --verbose           Prints additional information. 
  -d, --dry-run           Does not actually overwrite the files. 
  --print-sourcekit       Prints SourceKit queries. Note that they are huge, so
                          use this only for bug reports and development! 
  -h, --help              Show help information.

Deobfuscating crash logs

A succesful run of SwiftShield generates a swiftshield-output/conversionMap.txt file that contains all changes made to your project:

//  SwiftShield
//  Conversion Map
//  Automatic mode for MyApp 2.0 153, 2018-09-24 10.23.48


ViewController ===> YytSIcFnBAqTAyR
AppDelegate ===> uJXJkhVbwdQGNhh
SuperImportantClassThatShouldBeHidden ===> GDqKGsHjJsWQzdq

Make sure to store this file when you publish a release, as it can be used to deobfuscate crash logs from the app that generated it through SwiftShield's deobfuscate subcommand.

USAGE: swiftshield deobfuscate --crash-file <crash-file> --conversion-map <conversion-map>

  -c, --crash-file <crash-file>
                          The path to the crash file. 
  -m, --conversion-map <conversion-map>
                          The path to the previously generated conversion map. 
  -h, --help              Show help information.
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