Explain Reverse Software Engineering, Its Tools And Techniques: Software Reverse Engineering can be defined as the process of taking the binary code of a software program and modifying it in such way, that it traces back to the original source code. This process involves reversing the binary code of a program back into binary code, in which it was written in with the help of program language statements. In general, the reverse engineering is very tough and needs many engineers to perform it.

Explain Reverse Software Engineering, Its Tools And Techniques

In this article, we will discuss What is reverse software Engineering, why it is performed, its tools and techniques.

Why It is performed?

The main purpose of the software reverse engineering is to retrieve the program’s source code due to the loss of the source code. This allows the software engineers to perform certain operations:

  • The way program performs their operations can be studied.
  • The program’s performance can be improved.
  • In case the source code is not available, an error can be corrected in the program.
  • With the help of reverse engineering, the malicious content such as viruses in a program can be identified.

A copyright violation may constitute in the reverse engineering for the purpose of duplicating or copying programs. The reverse engineering is prohibited for the licensed use of software in some cases. A certification known as the Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst is offered by the IACRB, which certifies the candidate’s proficiency in the reverse engineering software.

Reverse Software Engineering Techniques

There are many different methods to accomplish reverse engineering of the software. We have described three main methods below:

  1. Analysis via information exchange observation: This is the most common method of reverse engineering, which involves bus analyzers and packet sniffers. The reverse engineering device drivers find this technique quite

useful. Accessing a computer network connection and revealing the data of the traffic is one of the examples of this common method. In embedded systems, the reverse engineering is assisted by the tools introduced by the manufacturers such as JTAG ports. However, low level debuggers are popular in the Microsoft Windows.

  1. Disassembly with the use of a disassembler: In this technique, the program’s raw machine language is read and understood in its own terms, only to aid the machine language mnemonics. The technique can work in any computer program, but for the people who are not used to machine code can take a lot of time.
  2. Decompilation by using a Decompiler: It is a process, which the source code is recreated in some high level language for a program, only to available in the bytecode.  

Reverse Software Engineering Tools

Although, there are many reverse engineering tools, we have listed some of them:

  • ASM: ASM is used to modify the existing classes in binary form directly. It can be defined as an all purpose Java analysis framework and bytecode manipulation.
  • CafeBabe: CafeBabe functions as the editor of the Java bytecode and graphical disassembler. In this tool, the bytecode manual editing is limited to the constant pool section.
  • Boomerang: The motive behind this tool is the creation of a free native code decompiler. This tool can be used in the cases, here the application source code get lost.
  • IDA Pro: For the programs compiled down to the native code, this code is an disassemble and interactive debugger. There are many sophisticated algorithms included in this program for execution maps and generating graphs for the native code.
  • Jad: This tool attempts to develop functionally equivalent Java source code and takes as the input Java class files. When the Java bytecode don’t make the reverse engineering more tough, the resulting Java source code will come fairly close to the original written program.
  • OllyDbg: This tool is a shareware Windows interactive disassembler and debugger, which has an emphasis on the native code analysis. This tool is very useful in the cases, where there is unavailability of the source code for the target program. The tool has some brilliant capabilities such as full support for UNICODE strings, ability to generate a patch to native the code and code analysis to unidentified loops, functions and API calls.
  • REC: REC fully abbreviated as Reverse Engineering Compiler is a machine code Decompiler, which can read an executable file. This tool is designed in such a way that it can read the files produced for different targets.
  • SandMark: SandMark is a Java byte code Obfuscator and code signer, that can implement sophisticated algorithms to offer Java bytecode watermarking.
  • Windows Sysinternals: It is a system monitoring and debugging suite, which can be used to analyze, debug, and monitor all applications running on Windows operating system.
  • ThreatExpert: It is a malware scanner and a threat report generator, which is designed to report the behavior of the worms, computer viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans and many other security related risks. It is an advanced automated threat analysis system.

So it was all about Explain Reverse Software Engineering, Its Tools And Techniques. If you have any problem then please ask us.