In the world of malware analysis, decompilation and disassembly are two of the most common processes used to reverse engineer malicious code. Both decompilation and disassembly are used to convert the code of a program into a form that can be understood by humans. But which one should you use to analyze malware?
Decompilation is a process that converts a program’s executable code into a high-level programming language, such as C++. Since decompiled code is written in a language that is easy to read, it can be used to quickly identify malicious code, or to review the malicious code for mistakes or vulnerabilities. However, the decompiled code may not be exactly the same as the original code, which makes it harder to identify certain malicious code, or to pinpoint the exact location of the malicious code.
Disassembly, on the other hand, is a process that converts a program’s executable code into assembly language. This language is much closer to the machine language of the underlying processor, and is therefore much more difficult to read and understand than decompiled code. However, because disassembly is closer to the original code, it can be used to more accurately pinpoint the exact location of the malicious code, as well as identify any hidden malicious code.
So, which one should you use to analyze malware? The answer depends on your specific needs. If you are looking to quickly identify malicious code, then decompilation might be the best option. However, if you are looking to pinpoint the exact location of the malicious code, and identify any hidden malicious code, then disassembly is the way to go.
No matter which process you choose, it is important to remember that decompilation and disassembly are only two of the many tools used in malware analysis. Other tools, such as static and dynamic analysis, are also important for understanding the behavior of the malicious code. As such, it is important to understand the role of each of these tools in malware analysis, and to use them in combination to get the most accurate picture of the malicious code.