Reverse Engineering

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Reverse Engineering Machine Parts

Just one component of the vast array of software for engineers is reverse engineering software. Basically put, the process of reverse engineering is taking a piece of machinery or an application apart to see how it works. Often, a 3-D image of the parts will be produced using a CMM (coordinate measuring machine, and then used to combine them into an integrated whole again, virtually.

There are many reasons why an engineering company might want to resort to reverse engineering. Although there is a definite range of quite legal goals to reverse engineering, such as to discover why a product failure occurred for example, many instances of reverse engineering are for purposes of technology theft. Many unscrupulous companies use the principles of reverse engineering to lift technology and then use it without paying royalties on patents.

Type of Reverse Engineering

Another type of reverse engineering though, is software reverse engineering. Anyone performing reverse engineering on a software program will probably use several software tools themselves. One of them is called a hexadecimal dumper. This will basically take the binary code of a piece of software and display it in hexadecimal format which is much easier to read. Other programs can display the code in text form.

As a result, many lawsuits have been brought in the US regarding reverse engineering. Although it's admittedly hard to see where anyone might have a legal reason for reverse engineering software, there are some reasons! Malicious software, or malware, is a menace to lots of law abiding Internet users. Reverse engineering such software can help programs learn how to counteract it and render it harmless for the majority of Internet users who don't mean any harm to anyone.


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