|Revision $Revision: 1.26 $||$Date: 2002/09/18 06:54:57 $|
This document is an attempt to provide an introduction to reverse engineering software in Linux. Since reverse engineering is rapidly coming under legal fire, this author figures the best response is to make the knowledge widespread. The idea is that since discussing specific reverse engineering feats is illegal, we should then discuss general approaches, so that rather than downloading cracks or describing weaknesses for programs (yes, BOTH are now illegal), it is within every Linux user's ability to make them. Also, closed source programs piss me off. Resistance is futile. You will be Open Sourced.
Reverse engineering as this document will discuss it is simply the act of figuring out what software that you have no source code for does.
Answer: Because you can. Software that exists on your system that you do not have source code to is usually the most interesting kind of software. Sometimes you may be looking for security holes, sometimes you are curious how copy protection works, etc. I don't know about you, but to me, software that I don't have sourcecode to just pisses me off. So I figure: screw it, lets do some damage.
Also, it makes you a better programmer. This book will teach you a large amount about how your computer works on a low level, and the better an understanding you have of that, the more efficient programs you can write in general.
If you don't know assembly language, at the end of this book you will literally know it inside-out. While most first courses and books on assembly language teach you how to use it as a programming language, you will get to see how to use C as an assembly language generation tool, and how to look at and think about assembly as a C program. This puts you at a tremendous advantage over your peers not only in terms of programming ability, but also in terms of your ability to figure out how the black box works. In short, learning this way will naturually make you a better reverse engineer. Plus, you will have the fine distinction of being able to answer the question "Who taught you assembly language?" with "Why, my C compiler, of course!"
|The Linux Compilation Process|