Some terms are self-evident. This is the case with reverse engineering, which actually takes something apart and reassembles it. It can be done physically or virtually, and the goal is to understand how something works in order to create something similar.
Reverse engineering has been used for centuries, almost as long as people have been creating things. Sometimes reverse engineering is used to improve existing creations, while in other cases, reverse engineering involves stealing technology. The latter applies especially to weapons throughout the history of war.
Reverse engineering is not just about weapons. Everyday items such as cars, DVDs and household appliances are under strict scrutiny in every corner of the world. Some companies have the habit of importing goods from other countries, breaking them down piece by piece, and then doing reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering is also done in the virtual world. Computer scientists and scientists practice reverse engineering by building 3D models of real-world devices and then virtually deconstructing them to understand how they work. They sometimes reassemble them completely or slightly differently. The emergence of powerful graphics server and suite makes this possible and ideal.
Computers are also reverse engineered at a more basic level. One form of reverse engineering is decompilation. Decompilation is the process that the computer converts information from low-level format (computer code) to high-level format (ASCII text and numbers), so as to allow users to read instructions, network articles and other information. Common cases of decompilation involve transferring files from one user to another, such as exchanging data or images in e-mail, or rebuilding damaged or unfinished code. Decompilation can also take the form of security vulnerabilities,
Another use of reverse engineering is to create and prevent computer viruses. Virus writers dig deep into computer code to find a place to bury their creations. By refactoring machine code into source code, the virus writer can find what he is looking for. Those who seek to prevent or eliminate computer viruses are the opposite. They also use reverse engineering to deconstruct the virus itself and destroy or preempt harmful executables.