Download Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by Jon Erickson

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation


Hacking: The Art of ExploitationHacking: The Art of Exploitation  is a book by Jon “Smibbs” Erickson about computer security and network security. It was published by No Starch Press in 2003, with a second edition in 2008. All of the examples in the book were developed, compiled, and tested on Gentoo Linux



Content of 1st edition

The content of Hacking moves between programmingnetworking, and cryptography. The book does not use any notable measure of real-world examples; discussions rarely bring up specific worms and exploits.


The computer programming portion of Hacking takes up over half of the book. This section goes into the development, design, construction, and testing of exploit code, and thus involves some basic assembly programming. The demonstrated attacks range from simple buffer overflows on the stack to complex techniques involving overwriting the global offset table.

While Erickson discusses countermeasures such as a non-executable stack and how to evade them with return-to-libc attacks, he does not dive into deeper matters without known guaranteed exploits such as address space layout randomization. The book also does not cover the OpenwallGrSecurity, and PaX projects, or kernel exploits.


The networking segment of Hacking explains the basics of the OSI model and basic networking concepts, including packet sniffingconnection hijackingdenial of service and port scanning.


The cryptology section of Hacking covers basic information theory, in addition to symmetric and asymmetric encryption. It winds out in cracking WEP utilizing the Fluhrer, Mantin, and Shamir attack. Besides the basics, including man-in-the-middle attacksdictionary attacks, and the use of John the RipperHacking discusses quantum key distributionLov Grover’s Quantum Search Algorithm, and Peter Shor’s Quantum Factoring Algorithm for breaking RSA encryption using a very large quantum computer.

Other Details

  • The front cover of Hacking is the complete cycle, from reverse engineering to carrying out the attack, of developing an exploit for a program that dies of a buffer overflow over long command line arguments.
  • The Persian translation of this book (released under GNU GPLv3 by Saeed Beiki) is available online.[3]

Content 2nd edition

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation Second Edition
Author Jon Erickson
Country United States (Original)
Language English (Second Edition)
Series Second Edition
Genre Computer Science
Publisher No Starch Press
Publication date
February 2008
Media type Print Paperback
Pages 488

Introduction-Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

The introduction of the book states that hacking should only be done within the confines of the law, and only for productive reasons.

0x200 Programming

In the programming chapter of this book, different types of programs are described and shown via examples. The chapter covers control structures and other basic aspects of programming. The live CD provides an environment so that the reader can not only follow along with the examples in the book but do some programming themselves.

0x300 Exploitation-Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Exploitation is taking the computer’s code or set of rules and changing them so the computer does what you want it to do. Finding ways or holes in the system to change is an important part of exploitation. This chapter covers exploit techniques such as memory corruption, Buffer Overflows and format strings, especially using Perl and Bash shellcode.

0x400 Networking

OSI Model
In communication among computers through networking the OSI Model is used. The OSI Model is a model that provides the standards that computers use to communicate. There are seven layers in the OSI Model and they are Physical layer, Data-Link layer, Network layer, Transport layer, Session layer, Presentation layer, and Application layer. Each packet that a computer sends out to another computer must go through each layer of the OSI Model.

The standard way to communicate on a network with the use of computer operating systems is a socket. A socket is used by a programmer to create a way to send and receive data using the layers of the OSI. There are two types of sockets: a Stream Socket and a Datagram Socket. Stream Sockets use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). A Datagram Socket uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

Peeling Back the Layers
‘Peeling back the layers’ describes how the OSI layers actually work. The OSI Model is described in great detail with some images in the book that make it easy to understand.

Network Sniffing
Switched and unswitched networks exist in networking. A switched network uses devices called switches that analyze and tell the packets travelling on the network where their endpoint is. An unswitched network is a free flow of packets without them being stopped and analyzed. Sniffing refers to using a program that allows you to see packets on the network and where they are going.

Denial of Service
denial of service attack is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. This means that the denial of service attack sends a large quantity of communication requests to an intended resource in order to overflow the resource so that it becomes unusable for a certain period of time. These types of attacks are usually directed at routers or firewalls in order to shut them down to gain access to other computers on the network. A router is very susceptible to these types of attacks but a firewall can usually handle the attack and is unaffected. A distributed denial of service attack is when communication requests come from multiple computers, greatly increasing the number of requests over a regular denial of service attack. Some other types of DOS attacks include Ping of Death, Teardrop, Ping Flooding, and Amplification attacks.

TCP/IP Hijacking
TCP/IP Hijacking is another way that uses spoofed packets to take over a connection between the victim and a host machine. This technique is mainly used to collect passwords when a host machine uses a password to be connected to. When this type of attack takes place the victim and the attacker must be on the same network. Another form of TCP/IP hijacking is RST hijacking, which involves injecting a fake reset packet.

Port Scanning
Port scanning is simply a way to figure out which ports are accepting and listening to connections. The hacker would just use a program that lets him know which ports are open by scanning all the ports on a network and trying to open them. There are many other type of scans, such as SYN, Idle, FIN, X-Mas, and Null scans.

Reach Out and Hack Someone
This part is about finding vulnerabilities in the typecasting of the network. Using a debugger to go through lines of code which are used for network protocols is the most efficient way to accomplish this.



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