Use of Software Reverse Engineering

Finding malicious code: Many virus and malware detection techniques use reverse engineering to understand how abhorrent code is structured and functions. Through Reversing, recognizable patterns emerge that can be used as signatures to drive economical detectors and code scanners.

Discovering unexpected flaws and faults: Even the well-designed system can have holes that result from the nature of our “forward engineering” development techniques. Reverse engineering can help identify flaws and faults before they become mission-critical software failures.

Finding the use of others’ code:   In supporting the cognizant use of intellectual property, it is important to understand where protected code or techniques are used in applications. Reverse engineering techniques can be used to detect the presence or absence of software elements of concern.

Finding the use of shareware and open source code where it was not intended to be used. In the opposite of the infringing code concern, if a product is intended for security or proprietary use, the presence of publicly available code can be of concern. Reverse engineering enables the detection of code replication issues.

Learning from others’ products of a different domain or purpose: Reverse engineering techniques can enable the study of advanced software approaches and allow new students to explore the products of masters. This can be a very useful way to learn and to build on a growing body of code knowledge. Many Web sites have been built by seeing what other Web sites have done. Many Web developers learned HTML and Web programming techniques by viewing the source of other sites.

Discovering features or opportunities that the original developers did not realize: Code complexity can foster new innovation. Existing techniques can be reused in new contexts. Reverse engineering can lead to new discoveries about software and new opportunities for innovation


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