RELEASED: A software reverse engineering (SRE) suite of tools developed by NSA’s Research Directorate in support of the Cybersecurity mission
Reverse Engineering of Software/Algorithms & Mass Adoption of Open-source Code
The National Security Agency released the source code of Ghidra, its reverse engineering tool, April 4.
This source code repository includes instructions to build on all supported platforms (macOS, Linux, and Windows). With this release, developers will be able to collaborate by creating patches, and extending the tool to fit their cybersecurity needs.
This is a reverse-engineering platform so instead it allows security researchers and malware analysts to hack into the code behind the nasty software stuff. Think of it as a magic window into the binary world of software, all the zeros and ones, that translates that installed and compiled code into something that reveals exactly what the software actually does.
Dr Darren Williams, CEO and founder of cyber-security firm BlackFog, who told me that he “welcomes the assistance of the NSA to fight the global effort in identifying and removing bad actors from our devices.” Ghidra shows that the NSA is “serious in working together with industry to solve these very real and potentially very damaging problems” Williams insists.
The reason is that Ghidra is a free alternative to IDA Pro, a similar reverse engineering tool that’s only available under a very expensive commercial license, priced in the range of thousands of US dollars per year.
Being offered for free, most experts expect Ghidra to snap up a big portion of the reverse engineering tools market share within weeks, especially since early user reviews are almost all entirely positive.