Reverse engineering is one of the most widely used topics in various industries, and in this article, we will talk about what it is and its applications.
What is reverse engineering?
Reverse engineering, for which terms such as reverse engineering and back-engineering are also used, is a process in which software, machines, building structures, etc., are broken down to extract their design information. Reverse engineering is the process by which a question is answered. In other words, in two situations, reverse engineering answers, one in the situation where we know the answer to a problem but do not know the question of this answer; Second, when both questions and answers are available, but we do not know how we came to this answer. Reverse engineering is perhaps the most accurate way to redesign items that have been discontinued for decades. In the event that the original work plan is lost or completely lost, reverse engineering may be the only way to get the product back into the life cycle.
What are the applications of reverse engineering?
Reverse engineering has long been used in various fields such as engineering, mechanics, software, etc. Among the applications, we can mention the following:
Replacement of old parts: Reverse engineering helps when you need to replace one of the parts to keep a product in the factory life cycle. In this situation, we may encounter devices that are old, and we no longer know about them. Therefore, with reverse engineering, we can access the necessary information about that part. Also, in the event that a component is used in the machine that is no longer supported and may need to be repaired in the future, it is wise to obtain information about how it works, which is possible with reverse engineering.
Failure analysis: One of the techniques that play a very important role in the field of failure analysis is reverse engineering. If a car breaks down, you need to open it and check its design files to determine where the problem is. By getting this information, you will understand how to solve the problem. In fact, reverse engineering can detect damaged parts of a bad design.
Improving Parts: After failure analysis, you may need to upgrade parts or components. If there is no replacement on the market for that part, you can use reverse engineering to make a copy of the original design. In the meantime, you can improve it by changing part of the design.
Troubleshooting: One of the applications of reverse engineering is in troubleshooting and industrial processes. In a factory, some tasks’ flow may be slower than expected due to reasons such as incorrect or poor performance of one of the tasks and parts. In a factory system involving many units and machines, determining the main source of the problem is a bit difficult. On the other hand, Reverse engineering can figure out how everything works on its own and use it to identify where things are going wrong.
Reverse Engineering in Computer Science
Apart from the mentioned cases, reverse engineering has many applications in the field of software engineering and security, etc. Reverse engineering work in software retrieves the designs, requirements, specifications, and functions of a product, which is achieved by analyzing their code. With reverse engineering in software, a database is created for the program, and information is stored in it. The main task of reverse engineering in software is the simplicity of maintaining the work by improving the system’s comprehensibility and thus creating the necessary documents for older systems. Among the goals of reverse engineering in the software, we can mention coping with complexity, recovering lost data, detecting side effects, providing conditions for simple reuse of code, and so on.
In fact, the use of reverse engineering in software design allows programmers and developers to add new capabilities to software even without any knowledge of its source code. In software testing, reverse engineering helps the tester identify viruses and other malware. In the field of software security, reverse engineering is also widely used to ensure that the system is free from any significant vulnerabilities or security vulnerabilities. This makes the system stronger against any hacking or spying attacks. Even some programmers and software developers themselves act as hackers (what is called ethical hacking) to detect and fix system vulnerabilities.