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How to Reverse Engineer Software

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If you’re like most developers, then you like to think about things logically. The beauty of code is that it’s based on pure logic. Any program can be deconstructed, replicated, and put back together if you’re willing to take the time to understand the logic behind it.

What is Software Reversing?

In essence, the software reverse engineering process is quite simple. You take a piece of existing software, and you break it down into the original source code. Once you have the source code, then you can understand everything that’s going on. With this knowledge, you can engineer new code.

Why Would Somebody Want to Reverse Engineer Software?

There are multiple reasons why somebody would want to know how to reverse engineer a software. The most outstanding reason is that developers are by nature curious beings. We don’t like the idea of a piece of software that we can’t understand or that’s above us. We like to be able to break down everything that’s going on into a simple code for our own understanding.

Reversing software and looking at the code of more advanced developers is the way that most of us learn to code in the first place. It teaches us new ways of thinking, gives us bright ideas, and allows us to better understand the principles of systems architecture.

The second reason somebody might wish to reverse engineer software is for debugging. If you’ve released a piece of software that’s experiencing significant problems that don’t seem to be an easy fix, then the best thing to do is deconstruct it and go through the code line-by-line until you can find out where the issues are.

The easiest way to do this is of course to obtain the original source code, but this is often easier said than done. Maybe the code got lost, perhaps an angry developer deleted it, or you’re a competitor who’s seeking to fix the errors and release your own improved version.

Software reversing is the key to understanding. Here are some other popular reasons why people do it:

  • To research computer viruses and how they operate
  • To learn about advanced algorithms and how they work
  • To research database structures and how their network communication works
  • To check their own resistance to reverse engineering
  • To improve errors and improve compatibility with other programs and operating systems

How To Reverse Engineer Software

Reverse engineering software is like taking apart a car and trying to put it back together. You Need to know how it works in the first place, and you need the proper tools to take it apart and put it back together. For instance, if you want to increase your vehicle’s horsepower, then you are going to need to know how engines work.

After you understand the basic principles, then you can use your tools to take the engine out, take it apart, and make unique modifications so that the horsepower increases. Reverse software engineering is no different.

Theoretical Knowledge and Principles

This is the most important part. If you don’t understand the basic functionality behind a piece of software, then you have no hope of reverse engineering it. You should be able to look at a program and immediately be able to replicate certain parts of it or understand the basics of how it works.

If you are reverse engineering for a specific purpose such as reconstructing algorithms, finding a virus, or for cryptography, then you need to be well-versed in these principles.

Tools

The compiled executable file and the source code are two completely different things. To be able to understand the code and break it down to its original structure, then you’re going to need some tools.

Disassemblers

This is the most important software in your toolkit. Disassemblers will take an executable file and break it down into the original source code. Many disassemblers break the code down into what’s called UML (Unified Modeling Language). From here you will have to reconstruct the principles into the specific language that you want. It’s important to understand that they can’t always do this perfectly. However, they get about 90% of the code right. You will have to use your theoretical knowledge to fill in the blanks.

Debuggers

If you are using the software reverse engineering process to find bugs in your program, then a debugger can go a long way to help. In OllyDbg, for example, you can set the debugging software to find specific errors in the source code to prevent you from having to read everything line-by-line.

Modeling

When you’re trying to reconstruct large blocks of code, having a visual aid is incredibly helpful. In Erwin, for example, you can create visual layouts of your code and the operating process to help you better understand which code is responsible for which actions. You can do the same thing in Visio (a Microsoft product) or in ODI (Oracle Data Integrator).

The Difference Between Binary and Source Code

You need to understand that you will rarely ever have access to a software’s exact source code. When developers deploy the software, they first put the code through a compiler. The compiler takes the code (written in any language) and translates it into what’s called binary code (0’s and 1’s) that a computer can understand. When reverse engineering, you are taking this binary code and doing your best to translate it back into readable, understandable code.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can You Reverse Engineer C++ Code?

While it is possible, it is very hard to do. Most C++ programs are high-profile, and developers specifically write obfuscated code to make it hard for reverse engineering. They do this to prevent people from stealing their code and making cheap knock-offs. That being said. However, it can be done. It’s theoretically impossible to write fully obfuscated code. Developers can write their program to intuitively resist disassemblers, though. In the C++ reverse engineering process, you will have to use a lot of human intuition and knowledge about the system’s architecture to fill in the blanks.

How to Reverse Engineer Drivers

Reverse engineering USB drivers is a subject of fun for many coders. It’s not usually used for anything particularly useful, but you can do some pretty cool projects. Most USB devices that you use will utilize Windows. If you want to customize them and recode them for your own personal fun (such as programming an led keyboard or mouse to have special color patterns), you will need to change the USB to a Linux driver.

Once you’ve done that, then you can write additional Linux programs that will be able to interact with and control your USB device in whichever way you see fit.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re trying to take apart software for educational purposes, or you’re trying to replicate your own version of it, reverse software engineering can be a rewarding process. While modern tools make it a lot easier, you will still need to make use of your existing computer science knowledge.

In most software reverse engineering examples, there is no way that you can perfectly replicate the original code that was produced. You can, however, get very close. If you are willing to put in the effort, however, you will find it to be a rewarding process.

Steven Hansen is a founder of Techeries. He is a specialist in digital security solution business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction. He also loves writing about data management and cyber security.

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For-Profit Or Fun: Why Some A Crypto Trading Bot

Steven Sanders

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Wall Street is in an uproar. Papers are flying; curse words are being hurled, financial portfolios are in disarray and have been for the past year because of one word: crypto.

What has happened? What changed?

Well, in the past year, a lot.  I’m not talking just the earth-shattering, meteoric rise and fall of bitcoin as a $20,000+ asset that has made billionaires. I’m not talking about the billions in ICO fundraising that has left some in the blockchain in the community very wealthy, nor the assets lost by foolish investors.

I’m talking about the perplexing case of what exactly cryptocurrency can do for the average layman.  For those without thousands laying around who got in late or those that were too afraid to take the leap, it begs the question: What is the opportunity that remains?

There is a market for cryptocurrency development services. There is also a market for marketing for blockchain companies. Within cryptocurrency as subject, there are dozens upon dozens of opportunities to still profit even as it falls harder than ever before.  

One that has many’s attention is that of the cryptocurrency trading bot.  

Much like forex, stocks, and a flurry of other bots that have been developed to isolate and profit from signals that exist in the market, cryptocurrency has proven no different.

Cryptocurrency bots operate on a trading algorithm set by its developer whom should be or is working with a trader.  These traders often boast about their profits, and that they have systemized some form of reliability by isolating trends/criteria that lead to profitable trades.

The Market & its Infancy

While there are definitely plenty of bots that are successful, there is one drawback to creating a cryptocurrency bot that trades.  The market even with its current fervor is still in its infancy. It is totally new to the manipulations that we have seen happen by governments, social influence, and random freak occurrences.  

There are so many factors that tie into pricing that its hard to predict what will make a bot trade successfully. One one hand, a bot that trades based on analyzing or at least compiling news/trend data, and then offering the ability to select what to trade based on could potentially work.  The difficulty is in sifting through the fake news and what is actually relevant.

News sources naturally sensationalize, but the problem doesn’t only lie there.  Communities like Reddit and telegram are usually far ahead of any development within cryptocurrency.

So unless a bot takes into consideration mentions of particular cryptocurrencies and any words that can help it judge the context, it’d be harder for it to adapt to little more than buying and sell order fluctuations.

Technical analysis is still being worked out, but some have made strides and are certainly profiting regularly, such as Ian Balina and other associates.

That said, a systemized approach of any kind will need to have its kinks worked out, so only time will tell how successful it would be to create a crypto trading bot.  

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Fintech Developers: Do You Need Them?

Steven Sanders

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The Fintech Hunt For Developers

What stresses out fintech finders at night? Hiring and maintaining the quality of new fintech app development talent. Sure, acquiring decent staff has always been a difficult process, but obtaining developers for your project is as can become a shopping frenzy.

Unlike the retail industry where fear-buying with customer discounts is the norm, the financial spending for fintech companies increased in employee salaries by 25% each year. Startups have to spend the additional cash to secure the talent, Fintech Files stated.

But counter offers have been made for some developers. Some fintech developers would tell us that they lost a few potential employees due to better offers. “For larger companies, it’s easier to spend $10K on an experienced developer. However, our smaller fintech companies don’t have that luxury” the developers said.

So what can you do to find great developers within your budget? We can help you with that. Continue reading to learn 3 techniques the professionals use to hiring credible developers on your team.

Background Research

Before hiring a fintech app development team for your startup, you should consider doing some background research to assess the quality of their work and credibility. You should look at their blogs and websites to get detailed information on their services.

Try to look for a portfolio of work to see if they have completed similar jobs that your organization requires. For instance, if you need a fintech app that helps with investing in exchange-traded funds, see if the developer has created investment apps for different clients. You should check their social media profiles to make sure they have good relationships with their customers.

Fintech Developers

Making innovative fintech applications that are valuable requires developers that have fintech expertise. You should get a developer that has a great understanding of the technology but also has an extensive knowledge of the finance industry.

Since the international financial crisis in 2008, there is a been an increase in banking reforms. You’ll want a developer to stay on top of these reforms when developing the app to make sure they meet the desired requirements.

Diversified Skills

Developers are already a costly investment, so you’ll want to find one who is skilled in multiple areas. And some development projects require multiple skills to be completed correctly. For instance, if you’re making a crowdfunding platform, you’ll have to design it with a programming language that works with other software.

You also have to make sure that the developer that you choose has good programming and design skills. Doing this will make sure that the software they create meets your expectations. Fintech developers are good at working with large sets of data, which is ideal if you need projects that require data analytics and big data integration.

Conclusion

Overall, finding the right fintech app development team will take some time. But by slowly going through the hiring process and focus on quality, not quantity, you’ll be fine. Conclusively,  gauge the quality of the team so that your apps can improve the value of your business.

 

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The Latest Trends in Healthcare Mobile App Design [2018]

Steven Sanders

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So far there are over 260,000 mobile Health apps located in the market. Finding one that resonates with the target audience – whether its a provider or a patient – can be a difficult challenge. And in this part, one small issue can mean the difference between project completion and feature.

Functions and Trends

Trends emerge when there are new customer needs that have to be met. Here’s how patients use mobile devices to help manage their health.

  1. Tools to share their data with health care experts and doctors to receive feedback.
  2. For comparing locations, specialists, and prices.
  3. To find nurses, clinicians, and donors.
  4. For training.

Due to these trends, we can see a myriad of uses for healthcare mobile app design. With these top five trends, you’ll notice that your

Corporate Apps

When people think about healthcare mobile app design, they start thinking about fitness trackers. In reality, only 66 out of the 100 largest hospitals in the United States develop and design their own applications.

The institutions like insurance companies and hospitals can make a healthcare app and receive a profit from it. It might make sense to create a mobile app for a specific healthcare consulting firm. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that your app needs to have a good UX design for your consumers.

Artificial Intelligence

AI has two important uses.

Artificial Intelligence is a great way to personalize your customer care options, especially when it comes to speech recognition. Health assistants such as Babylon help patients find their diseases. AI can give automatic reminders to tell users to take their pills or health-related procedures.

For instance, there is an algorithm that takes the photos of 100 different skin types. It uses this data to predict which patient has skin cancer.

Video Chats

Robots have not fully replaced human services. There is still a high demand for doctors, and the best way to do this is through video calls. One example is Ada, which offers a stable solution for startups, and video chats and reference information with healthcare experts.

There is one cost to make a good healthcare application of this type. The content that’s created needs to be peer-reviewed. Ideally, there are a few set requirements that the doctor needs to follow as well. Through video chats, patients can receive increased care, better response times, and better long-term health assistance.

Gamification

Medical routines can be very stressful. Trying to create healthy eating habits can drive your customers crazy. How can you solve this? Start by playing a game with them. For instance, WebMD has pregnancy quizzes for women. If you’re planning to make an app for the healthcare mobile app design industry, gamification helps make your app unique.

Geolocation

How long does it take to get to the nearest emergency unit? Where can I find this antibiotic? Some healthcare apps use GPS to find your location, what are you doing, and if this action is against the doctor’s advice.

Conclusion

To conclude, healthcare mobile app design is starting to make a huge change in our lives. Whether it’s through innovation or increased efficiency, these apps make it easier for patients to receive care from doctors. So, think about your healthcare app before making it receive the best results from your audience.

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