10 Best Software Reverse Engineering Tools – What Reverse Engineering Tools to Choose?

2021.9.4

When you completing the reverse engineering job, there may be some potential risks, while with some useful tools, lots of problems can be solved. Now let’s take a look at the 10 best software reverse engineering tools you can run.

What is Reverse Engineering?

Reverse engineering encompasses any activity that is done to determine how a product works, to learn the ideas and technology that were used in developing that product, reverse engineering can be done at many levels and it generally belongs to software maintenance. Generally speaking, reverse engineering is to translate the code that only can be understood by machines into code that can be read by person. But the actual situation is often that we only look for the key code to translate or only understand its logic, because the workload is extremely huge and cumbersome to translate all the machine code. In Forward engineering, we start with requirements, then go with designs, source code to behavior, whereas for reverse engineering, it goes from behavior, source code, designs to requirements. Due to the gap between problem or solution domain, the gap between concrete and abstract, the gap between coherency or disintegration, the gap between hierarchical or associational, there are still difficulties in reverse engineering. 

Best Software Reverse Engineering Tools - What Reverse Engineering Tools to Choose?

1. Ghidra

Ghidra is a framework for software reverse engineering (S.R.E.) developed by NSA’s Research Directorate for NSA’s cybersecurity mission. It assists in the analysis of dangerous code and malware like as viruses and can assist cybersecurity professionals in gaining a better knowledge of potential vulnerabilities in their networks and systems. It supports a diverse collection of process instruction sets and executable formats that can be run interactively or in an automated fashion. Additionally, the application is modifiable via Python or Java plugins or scripts.

 

2. Binary Ninja

Binary Ninja, a Vector 35 product, takes pride in its simplicity of use, making automation more approachable than other options on the market. It runs on 64-bit Linux Ubuntu, macOS 10.13, and Windows 10, and supports PE.COFF, ELF, Mach-O,.NES, and raw binary files. 

 

3. Hopper 

Hopper is a macOS and Linux disassembler. It is capable of disassembling, decompiling, and debugging executables in the 32- and 64-bit architectures. The Mac version is built on the Cocoa framework, whilst the Linux version is built on Qt 5. Hopper comes with an SDK that enables you to modify its functionality and even add your own file and CPU support. Additionally, the majority of the software’s features can be executed via Python scripts, allowing for the transformation of binaries.

 

4. x64dbg

x64dbg is an open-source Windows binary debugger designed for malware analysis and reverse engineering of executables for which you do not know the source code. There are numerous features available, as well as a robust plugin system for adding your own.

 

5. PEiD

PEiD is an intuitive application that relies on its user-friendly interface to detect PE packers, cryptors and compilers found in executable files. Its detection rate is higher than that of other similar tools, since the app packs more than 600 different signatures in PE files.

 

6. Resource Hacker

Resource Hacker is a resource editor for 32bit and 64bit Windows applications. It’s both a resource compiler (for *.rc files), and a decompiler – enabling viewing and editing of resources in executables (*.exe; *.dll; *.scr; etc) and compiled resource libraries (*.res, *.mui). While Resource Hacker is primarily a Graphical User Interface (GUI) application, it also provides many options for compiling and decompiling resources from the command-line.

 

7. IDA Pro

IDA Pro is one of the most widely used reverse engineering software tools available. It is an interactive disassembler with an integrated command language (IDC) and support for a variety of executable formats on a variety of processors and operating systems. Additionally, IDA Pro includes a large number of plugins that enhance the disassembler’s capability. The primary advantage of IDA Pro is that it enables you to modify any aspect of the displayed data interactively. 

 

8. Hiew

Hiew (Hacker’s view) is a popular console hex editor for Windows. Among the features included in this tool is the ability to read files in text, hex, and disassembly mode. It is very beneficial for editing executable files such as COFF, PE, or ELF. It includes an assembler for x86, x86-64, as well as a disassembler for x86, x86-64, and ARM.

 

9. API Monitor

API Monitor is a program that monitors API function calls performed by applications and services. Additionally, this tool may display both input and output data. API Monitor comes pre-configured with definitions for over 13,000 API functions and over 1,300 COM interface methods.

 

10. WinHex

WinHex is a hex editor for Windows that includes a comprehensive range of functionality and development tools. WinHex is capable of displaying checksums and source code for software files, which a standard text editor is unable to achieve.