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Hacking: The Art of Exploitation »

FERDY CHRISTANT - FEB 19, 2007 (06:39:19 PM)


Computer security is not exactly my favorite subject. Still, I have always been fascinated by the image of the defensive hacker, and even the criminal cracker. It is the dedication, knowledge, and innovation they all posses that I admire so much. That and the satisfaction it must bring to break into something, to discover something you should not be seeing.
Hollywood only contributes to the mystery. In movies, hackers sit next to bleeping computers that scroll through long lines of green cryptic code at warp speed. Only the hacker understands it. While I'm aware reality can't be much further from the truth, I was still curious to learn what hackers really (try to) do.

So I picked up a copy of Hacking: The art of Exploitation. This book definitely answers my questions. The most common hacking techniques are discussed, including password cracking, program exploitation, buffer overflows, command injections, network sniffing, IP spoofing, brute-force decryption, and much more. Before, I had little idea how these tasks were accomplished in practice, but this book explains it in detail, and even provides source code and commands to try it yourself.

Do note that this book is strongly technical. My background in computer science definitely helped to understand the chapter about program exploitation, yet my math was too rusty to fully understand the encryption part. At 214 pages, the book is both deep and brief. It does not try to explain all the topics out there. Instead, it discusses the most important ones by example, and does this very well. Well recommended.

As for the morals behind explaining potentially dangerous hacking techniques to everyone, the author leaves it up to the reader what to do with it. My morale for reading the book was to learn from it. And I did. I am now more aware of software vulnerabilities and possible attacks.

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FEB 20, 08:09:54

comment »

just follow the link? 01 «


FEB 20, 09:29:34 AM

comment » Thanx Ferdy & Patrick! «

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