Project #106785 - answer this in 120 words or more. Reverse Engineer

One of the topics mentioned in the book is that of reverse engineering.  This is something of a "slippery slope" area.  While it's certainly legal to reverse engineer your own program code, if you reverse engineer someone else's code you are probably breaking the law.  This doesn't mean it doesn't happen - and in fact, sometimes it's done on purpose.  There are different ways to accomplish this that don't break the law.  For example, the popular Open Office platform was a reverse engineering project of Microsoft Office.  So how did they not break the law?  They took a group of people and put them in a room full of computers with Microsoft Office on them and had them document every feature of the software.  Then, they took a group of programmers and gave them the requirements and told them to write the software.  What they came up with was something that wasn't Microsoft Office, but functioned in the exact same manner.

But there are darker versions of reverse engineering.  A very powerful computer virus called Stuxnet which attacks control systems was reverse engineered and turned into several variations, one of which called Flame.  You can learn more about Stuxnet here (it's a pretty interesting clip, so give it a watch):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSMOs7CF1Eo

Discuss your views on reverse engineering.  Should it be allowed?  Can it really be stopped?  

 

Book:

Title Computer Organization and Design
Author David A. Patterson; John L. Hennessy
ISBN 978-0-12-407726-3

Subject Computer
Due By (Pacific Time) 02/03/2016 09:00 pm
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