Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-188: Reverse Engineering (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-188: Reverse Engineering

Attack Pattern ID: 188
Abstraction: Meta
Status: Stable
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary discovers the structure, function, and composition of an object, resource, or system by using a variety of analysis techniques to effectively determine how the analyzed entity was constructed or operates. The goal of reverse engineering is often to duplicate the function, or a part of the function, of an object in order to duplicate or "back engineer" some aspect of its functioning. Reverse engineering techniques can be applied to mechanical objects, electronic devices, or software, although the methodology and techniques involved in each type of analysis differ widely.
+ Likelihood Of Attack

Low

+ Typical Severity

Low

+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - A category in CAPEC is a collection of attack patterns based on some common characteristic. More specifically, it is an aggregation of attack patterns based on effect/intent (as opposed to actions or mechanisms, such an aggregation would be a meta attack pattern). An aggregation based on effect/intent is not an actionable attack and as such is not a pattern of attack behavior. Rather, it is a grouping of patterns based on some common criteria.118Collect and Analyze Information
ParentOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.167White Box Reverse Engineering
ParentOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.189Black Box Reverse Engineering
+ Relevant to the view "Domains of Attack" (CAPEC-3000)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - A category in CAPEC is a collection of attack patterns based on some common characteristic. More specifically, it is an aggregation of attack patterns based on effect/intent (as opposed to actions or mechanisms, such an aggregation would be a meta attack pattern). An aggregation based on effect/intent is not an actionable attack and as such is not a pattern of attack behavior. Rather, it is a grouping of patterns based on some common criteria.513Software
+ Prerequisites
Access to targeted system, resources, and information.
+ Skills Required
[Level: High]
Understanding of low level programming languages or technologies can be very helpful. For example, when reverse engineering a binary file, an understanding of assembly languages can help to determine the purpose and inner-workings of the code. Another example is reverse engineering an application that relies on networking. Here, an understanding networking protocols can provide insight into application details.
+ Resources Required
The technical resources necessary to engage in reverse engineering differ in accordance with the type of object, resource, or system being analyzed.
+ Mitigations
Employ code obfuscation techniques to prevent the adversary from reverse engineering the targeted entity.
+ Example Instances
When adversaries are reverse engineering software, methodologies fall into two broad categories, 'white box' and 'black box.' White box techniques involve methods which can be applied to a piece of software when an executable or some other compiled object can be directly subjected to analysis, revealing at least a portion of its machine instructions that can be observed upon execution. 'Black Box' methods involve interacting with the software indirectly, in the absence of the ability to measure, instrument, or analyze an executable object directly. Such analysis typically involves interacting with the software at the boundaries of where the software interfaces with a larger execution environment, such as input-output vectors, libraries, or APIs.
+ References
[REF-50] "Wikipedia". Reverse engineering. The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_engineering>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Activation_Zone, Attacker_Skills_or_Knowledge_Required, Description Summary, Injection_Vector, Payload, Payload_Activation_Impact, Related_Attack_Patterns, Related_Weaknesses, Resources_Required
2017-05-01CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Prerequisites, Description Summary, Examples-Instances, Resources_Required, Solutions_and_Mitigations, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attacker_Skills_or_Knowledge_Required

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018