How do I protect my application from Silverlight Spy?

Silverlight Spy clearly demonstrates that it is very easy to peek into any Silverlight application. With the help of Reflector, it is even possible to decompile Silverlight assemblies to source code in your favorite language.

There are a couple of things you can do to protect your intellectual property:

  • Obfuscate your code. Most well-known .NET obfuscators support Silverlight as well. Obfuscation does not guarantee that your code is safe from decompilers such as Reflector, but it at least raises the bar.
  • Ask yourself whether you really need to run your algorithms on the client. If you want to hide your code, do not send it to the client at all and try to solve your problem on the server.

Protecting intellectual property is a hot-debated topic. See also the following links for an in-depth discussion:

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Does Silverlight Spy support Silverlight 1.0?

Silverlight 1.0 is not supported. Silverlight Spy extensively uses the CLR that is available only in Silverlight 2 and higher versions. Adding support for Silverlight 1.0 is not scheduled.

Silverlight Spy 3 fully supports Silverlight 2 and Silverlight 3 applications.

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Does Silverlight Spy support WPF?

No, Silverlight Spy was specifically designed to explore Silverlight applications.

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Can I run Silverlight Spy on Linux or MacOS?

No, although you can run Silverlight applications on operating systems other then Windows, Silverlight Spy itself is a full .NET 3.5 application that requires Windows.

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