e-book Reverse Engineering in Computer Applications

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Obfuscated code becomes "unreadable" not only for the attacker, but also for the developer. Also, adding some extra code branches can reduce performance and even add defects to the code. After all, the target in this case is a particular area of the code. There are some other methods of protection watermarks, the imposition of critical sections of code in separate modules, secure execution environments, etc. However, none of these options can provide complete safety.

The benefits of each application protecting approach must be considered for each unique case. For example, code obfuscation is, in fact, not only a means of protection, but in certain cases may increase performance. Therefore, choosing methods of code protection, first you must consider the threat model — namely, what in the application needs to be protected and in what ways can an attacker most effectively try to get it.

If an attacker strives to change the code, and thus, get control over the application, then the best response is an integrity check. If, however, we are considering an application fragment as an object of the attack, then it is worth considering obfuscation or encryption as an option. Membership Register Login.

Reverse Engineering and Its Application in Rapid Prototyping and Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Copyright Notice. Reverse engineering is used for different purposes: Improving the functionality of the application when the software company that developed the app no longer exists, or there is no way to contact the developer.

Analysis of worms, Trojans and viruses to highlight their signatures and create remedies anti-virus software. Transcript file formats for better compatibility file formats of popular paid applications for Windows without Linux analogues — Open Office or Gimp, for example. It became frighteningly apparent during the Y2K crisis that reverse engineering skills were not commonly held amongst programmers.

Since that time, much research has been undertaken to formalize just what types of activities fall into the category of reverse engineering so that these skills could be taught to computer programmers and testers.

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To help address the lack of software reverse engineering education, several peer-reviewed articles on software reverse engineering, re-engineering, reuse, maintenance, evolution, and security were gathered with the objective of developing relevant, practical exercises for instructional purposes. Reverse engineering of software is protected in the U. Reverse engineering of software can be accomplished by various methods. The three main groups of software reverse engineering are. A number of UML tools refer to the process of importing and analysing source code to generate UML diagrams as "reverse engineering".

See List of UML tools. Protocols are sets of rules that describe message formats and how messages are exchanged i. Accordingly, the problem of protocol reverse-engineering can be partitioned into two subproblems; message format and state-machine reverse-engineering. The message formats have traditionally been reverse-engineered through a tedious manual process, which involved analysis of how protocol implementations process messages, but recent research proposed a number of automatic solutions [11] [12] [13].


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Typically, these automatic approaches either group observed messages into clusters using various clustering analyses, or emulate the protocol implementation tracing the message processing. There has been less work on reverse-engineering of state-machines of protocols.

Software Reverse Engineering (SRE)

In general, the protocol state-machines can be learned either through a process of offline learning, which passively observes communication and attempts to build the most general state-machine accepting all observed sequnces of messages, and online learning, which allows interactive generation of probing sequences of messages and listening to responses to those probing sequences. In general, offline learning of small state-machines is known to be NP-complete [14] , while online learning can be done in polynomial time [15].

An automatic offline approach has been demonstrated by Comparetti at al. Other components of typical protocols, like encryption and hash functions, can be reverse-engineered automatically as well. Typically, the automatic approaches trace the execution of protocol implementations and try to detect buffers in memory holding unencrpyted packets [17]. Reverse engineering is an invasive and destructive form of analyzing a smart card.

The attacker grinds away layer by layer of the smart card and takes pictures with an electron microscope. With this technique, it is possible to reveal the complete hardware and software part of the smart card. The major problem for the attacker is to bring everything into the right order to find out how everything works.

Engineers try to hide keys and operations by mixing up memory positions, for example, busscrambling. Engineers employ sensors to detect and prevent this attack. Furthermore, the payoff from this attack is low since other security techniques are often employed such as shadow accounts. Reverse engineering is often used by militaries in order to copy other nations' technologies, devices or information that have been obtained by regular troops in the fields or by intelligence operations.

Well-known examples from WWII and later include. In the United States even if an artifact or process is protected by trade secrets, reverse-engineering the artifact or process is often lawful as long as it is obtained legitimately. However, an item produced under one or more patents could also include other technology that is not patented and not disclosed. One common motivation of reverse engineers is to determine whether a competitor's product contains patent infringements or copyright infringements.

The reverse engineering of software in the US is generally illegal because most EULA prohibit it, and courts have found such contractual prohibitions to override the copyright law; see Bowers v. Baystate Technologies. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world. IEEE Software 7 1 : 13—