disassembler : Java Glossary

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disassembler
A program to reverse engineer a class file to get back to human-readable reverse polish sort of Java Forth/Assembler source with comments and parameter and temporary variable names lost. A program to go all the way back to Java source is called a decompiler or reverse compiler. javap -c MyClass will lets you see the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) byte code. Javaworld did an article on it around 1997 June.
Java Disassemblers
Program Notes
ClassCracker written in pure Java.
D-Java Defunct. by Shawn Silverman, has trouble with long filenames, uses DOS/DPMI, written in C.
Dis written in C
JadEclipse Opensource Eclipse plug-in.
Jasmin  
Jasper  
javad  
Sun javap Part of JDK (Java Development Kit).
Javel generates C++
Kimera online Disassembler no longer available.
JCD JCD (Java Class Dissassembler)
JReversePro Opensource.
Macho no longer supported.
If thats is not enough, search Google for Java disassembler.

Disassembling exe files

Sometimes the code you want to analyse is not available as Java class files in JVM byte code. It is in C or assembler code linked to by JNI (Java Native Interface). Sometimes it is some utility or BIOS (Basic Input Output System) unrelated to Java, then you need either a 32-bit disassembler for Windows, or a 16-bit assembler for DOS-compatible program. Windows 32-bit exe format is usually known as PE (Portable Executable) even though the format is not in the least portable. It is Windows proprietary.
Windows/DOS Disassemblers
Program Notes
BIEW a multiplatform portable viewer of binary files with built-in editor in binary, hexadecimal and disassembler modes. It uses native Intel syntax for disassemble. Highlight AVR/Java/Athlon64/Pentium 4/K7-Athlon disassembler, russian codepages convertor, full preview of formats - MZ, NE, PE, NLM, coff32, elf partial - a.out, LE, LX, PharLap; code navigator. A sourceforge project.
Anywhere PE Viewer not a full disassembler. It just extracts information from the header of exe and exe files. Written in Java. It is free.
somewhat out of date
IDA Pro debugger and disassembler. Specially designed for hostile code analysis — code containing worms and viruses. It can also disassemble bioses. Even the free version supports scripts. The free version runs in a DOS box. The big restriction of the free version is you cannot save the asm dissassembly. You can only view. The Pro version is a Windows GUI (Graphic User Interface). The Pro Version costs $439.00 USD while the advanced version is $875.00 USD .
PE Explorer 32-bit only. It costs  $129.00 USD for a personal licence. The Resource Tuner subcomponent can be bought separately to let novices do things like change the text in resources, change icons etc. It costs  $40.00 USD for a personal licence.
VCOM Sourcer 8 Commenting Disassembler I cut my teeth on disassembling with an early version of this program for DOS. You can also buy the package in pieces separately if you don’t need all of it. It contains Bioser which helps you decompile bioses into commented listings better that the orginal programmer’s source. It was invaluable in the days when BIOS es were crucial and full of bugs Handles DOS, Windows-16 and Windows-32-bit exes, DLL (Dynamic Link Library) s, device drivers, VxDs, and even OS/2 files. $200.00 USD .

Difficulty

You might ask why it is so much easier to decompile or dissassemble JVM byte code than Intel machine code.

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