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Learning through Reverse Engineering

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Reverse engineering is an approach that searches for clues to show how an object was made or can be reproduced.


Many among you must be preparing for IIT-JEE, aren’t you? Engineering is an exceptional field of science, and while all engineers like to design and build things, they all also have a curious mind that makes them break apart things to create or learn something new.


What is Reverse engineering?

Reverse engineering is the term for what we mentioned in the previous paragraph. Are you still confused? Let us now understand the definition for better understanding. The act of deconstructing a thing to see how it operates is known as reverse engineering. The sole goal of reverse engineering is to inspect a system to acquire a more parametric concept of its structure. 

Backward engineering is a typical term for this style of engineering. In other words, Reverse engineering is the process of breaking down a system into small components to retrieve its layout or expertise. 

‘If reverse engineering is banned, then a lot of the open-source community is doomed to fail.’ – Jon Johansen

This topic is quite fascinating, and hence, in this blog, we will understand more about Reverse engineering and how learning is possible through the same. The beginnings of reverse engineering are since the investigation of technology for commercial or military purposes.

The exact reverse engineering needs the help of a design engineer, and it’s shortly known as ‘RE.’ Reverse engineering helps us comprehend the original design intent instead of designing and manufacturing a thing from the ground up. The material or product could be a part of the machine, a commercial product bought and seen daily, or even an artwork.

It is a misconception that reverse engineering only involves mechanical or another core engineering. Reverse engineering is for investigations and issue solving, component enhancement, vintage part replacement, preventing industrial crime and opponent espionage, product documentation enhancement, academic reasons, and more.


Uses of Reverse Engineering

It keeps costs down by allowing users to discover what a piece of technology can accomplish without buying a separate solution.

  • It is necessary to upcycle the materials in a different yet still functional fashion.
  • It also investigates workability by discovering element parameters, estimating expenses, and detecting potential unfair competition. Obtaining confidential material by dismantling and studying the configuration of a subsystem is also part of product security analysis.
  • The most crucial function of reverse engineering is dealing with products that are no longer done by the original manufacturer’s warranty or for which the brand no longer exists, making maintenance and supplies for continuing operation impossible. The difficulty is particularly acute in military operations.
  • When a system must connect with another system, reverse engineering determines how the two systems will communicate.

If we want to create Digital Realm, we must work on reverse engineering. It is vital for students as:

  • We can use reverse engineering to visualize what is present. Any pieces, systems, or operations that potentially assist people in other ways are a part of this category. Due to reverse engineering, scrutinizing product lines stimulates innovation and research.
  • If you have a viable product, you can employ Reverse Engineering to go back to the start, review the model, and improve the device’s efficacy. Alternatively, you can use Reverse Engineering to revamp a product in severe need of a makeover.
  • Reverse engineering is to safeguard the device’s consumers’ security and well-being. Also, it aids in the discovery of manufacturing flaws. A problem should occur at the preliminary stages rather than during the cluster level.
  • The novel design is made possible by reverse engineering. During the process, an engineer may come upon a solution. This particular solution can be so efficient that it could be valuable for a separate entity. It demonstrates how engineering links initiatives to prior knowledge. Furthermore, new approaches and concepts may emerge during the process. These are not only cost-effective but better than before too.
  • Reverse engineering aids in the identification of solutions that can reduce manufacturing time or cost by substituting a part. Manufacturers can also do regular upkeep or product replacement instead of waiting for a catastrophe. They can cut down on slowdowns by storing up on extra components or replacing the part when demand is low.


These were some of the benefits of using reverse engineering as a process. Now let us learn about some projects by the use of RE.

  • Porsche and Audi are collaborating on the next-generation electric vehicle chassis. Tesla is their main competitor, and reverse engineering gave them the capabilities they needed to assess them. Porsche and Audi are now exploring ways to replicate Tesla’s technologies in their automobiles. It is at a cost that is affordable enough to justify the investment.
  • The reverse engineering of Encryption system parameters from a bundle of ciphertexts was an incredible achievement that had a significant impact on World War II.
  • The Germans had excellently built fuel cans, which British and American forces noted. They made replicas of those cans via reverse engineering. The cans were christened “Jerry cans” by the public.


Key Takeaways

Having all the benefits does not mean that reverse engineering has no disadvantages. It is sometimes illegal, and it adds additional work. It is beneficial, but you should only do it if you have no other option or are on the verge of disaster.

Also published on Medium.

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