Reverse Engineering in simple words can be defined as a process of breaking down something, analyzing it and concluding how it works.
Reverse Engineering is commonly used in computer hardware and software to improve the quality of products, to create similar products at a cheaper rate and repair certain bugs.
The Software Programs are written in high-level Programming languages such as C, C++ or Java, computers don’t understand these Programming languages hence these high-level Programming languages needs to be converted to machine language. Let us go through some Reverse Engineering tools used in Software.
Software Reverse Engineering Tools
A Disassembler is a computer software which is used to convert machine language into assembly language and is used to import or export modules and libraries. If you are a programmer and want to learn how a program works or want to create a program similar to what you have already you will find disassembler quite useful. There are many disassemblers available- IDA-Pro is an interactive disassembler available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X users.
If you are a Software Programmer you must be aware of a debugger, a debugger is defined as a program used by programmers to find and eliminate bugs while writing a program. A debugger lets a programmer set breakpoints at various positions in the program and to change the values of variables at run time. A debugger supports CPU registers, call stack, view of stack and more. Allinea DDT is a powerful debugger of Linux, C, C++.
3. Hex Editor
A Hex editor is a computer program used to view and edit binary files. Hex editors present data in hexadecimal format and are also known as binary editor as they are used to edit binary files. HxD is a free hex editor, is fast and has an easy to use interface. It can perform various tasks which include raw disk editing and modifying RAM.
4. PE and Resource Viewer
PE (Portable Executable) and Resource viewer are used since binary codes run on Windows computers. PE Explorer is a powerful PE and resource viewer and editor which lets you view and edit various PE files which include EXE, DLL and more.
Reverse Engineering is legal but two main concerns of legally implementing Reverse Engineering are – Copyright Protection and Patent Protection. To protect Copyright infringement Reverse Engineering uses clean-room approach. San Jose-based Phoenix Technologies Ltd. used clean-room technique to produce PC BIOS that would be compatible with the BIOS of IBM PC’s.