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I had an Apple 2+ but did very similar things.

It got to the point where I could recognize Ultima 4 terrain in Copy2+'s sector editor.

I guess I got started glitching - overwriting lots of things to see what died and by narrowing my probe, discover what smaller bits did. Then editing constants and map data, etc.

I've still got scans of notebooks where I mapped dungeons, recorded stats, etc, and then documented the memory structures once I'd found them.

It's no real surprise that I'm now a maintenance coder / reverse-engineer / re-implementor.




Hello, I love reverse engineering and programming a lot. I'd love to work as a "maintenance coder / reverse-engineer / re-implementor", but I've still no idea in which domain it is really needed. I do it for my own pleasure on some games / softwares at the moment.

Could you tell me what is the best way to become a "a maintenance coder / reverse-engineer / re-implementor" ?

Thank you.

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It sounds like you and tptacek might get along...

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Thank you for your answer.

I've took a look at the Matasano project. It seems terribly interesting for me and it fits with my expectations.

Unfortunately, they recquire to work in their office, as an european (french) guy, I can't afford to move in America : I'd like to stay not too far from my family and friends if possible. I love programming / computer security very much, but I think I'd suffer from not seeing them anymore.

I'm looking for an french/european job, similar to the one proposed for Matasano Project. AFAIK, it doesn't exist... I consider moving to America if it isn't possible, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.

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In Europe I'd guess you'd be most at home in the Linux world. At the moment all the activity there is in virtualisation related companies, so I'd try to approach some of them and see if they've got something for you. I think NetApp is hiring in your area, but I'm not sure what exactly they do there.

You can also become a Vulnerability Reward Program bounty-hunter as a hobby for a while. If you manage to find some high-profile bugs and blog about it, work will probably also start coming to you.

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Thank you for all those precious advices, it means a lot to me.

I'll start blogging as soon as I've got something new and interesting.

I need to show what I can do, I'm currently studying and I feel like I haven't a lot of opportunities to really show off my skills because the level of recquirements is not high enough, that's frustrating sometimes.

I agree that a blog could be a good solution, I also enjoy writing articles even if my English is not the best.

I'll keep you informed if you enjoy receiving news from random internet people.

I'll certainly think about some softwares I'd like to analyze during the next few days and start working on finding bugs/vulnerabilities/things interesting.

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You're already do the hobby stuff that got me here, so I assume you mean the actual job part of it.

I work as a maintenance coder on a framework for a network security appliance. In a sense, everything I mentioned is just this - I often don't have any documentation and have to make things work by, at a minimum, running strace and seeing what they're trying to do and work backward - to find a system that was supposed to be creating those files, etc...

I rarely have to use what you'd call "reverse engineering" skills, but the familiarity with ASM and recognizing certain source-level idioms in the generated code, comes in handy for regular debugging all the time.

I got the job partly by chance - a manager mentioned in passing at an event that his team was hiring and I followed up, and because of what we did. We've got a tremendously wide range of deep products with a wide mix of technologies because we've been around for a long time. Because of this, and our laid-back roles I've been able to work closely with our global ops team, the malware analysts, IT, etc.

I think it probably helps to find a company with complex enough tasks, where you have a slightly under-specified role (I maintain the framework ...), and there are a lot of different engineering/ops/support teams under one roof so there's always something fun going on. Then, be the person who handles what other people would call annoyances like requests from other teams.

Let me know if I missed the mark, or could elaborate.

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Interesting, thank you very much for your detailed answer.

I think I'll aim a maintenance coder job in a company using low level languages (C would be good) and see what opportunities I can get from there.

I enjoy finding and fixing bugs, and as you said, even if it's not always necessary, reverse engineering is often a good ally for fighting bugs.

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Ha ! reminded me of the time where i would do a search and upping the number of magic axes i can have for Ultima 4 as well. Good ol'days.

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