"It sounds backwards. It sounds devious. But it is about
analysis: taking things apart, potentially breaking them, to find
out how they work; opening up the hood, seeing what parts are
inside and how they are connected. And, although it sounds somewhat
less noble than "engineering," the world needs reverse engineers
and needs them badly. We especially need the ones who are will to
share what they find publicly, for free."
"Companies don't like it when people take apart their products
to see how they work. They would like it if their products were
treated as black boxes. ... What are they hiding in there?
Companies are hiding a lot of things: their mistakes, security
vulnerabilities, privacy violations and trade secrets. Usually, if
someone finds out how a product works by reverse engineering, the
product will be less valuable. Companies think they have everything
to lose with reverse engineering. This may be true, but the rest of
the world has much to gain."
"Many of the privacy risks we face today such as the unique
computer identification numbers in Microsoft Office documents, the
sneaky collection of data by Real Jukebox, or the use of Web bugs
and cookies to track users were only discovered by opening up the
hood and seeing how things really work. Companies do not publish
this kind of information publicly."