SPUG: shell 'how to' book for software exploits

Michael R. Wolf MichaelRWolf at att.net
Tue Mar 16 11:31:00 CST 2004

Hey, if you can do it in shell, you can probably do it better in Perl.
(IMHO, Perl and shell are both easy, non-C access to the kernal, or
whatever it's called  in WinDOS).

publishing exploits, a balance point:
 - important information sharing for security professionals (gurus)
 - dangerous information sharing for digital destruction deamons (terrorists)

I guess TMTOWTDI is good?!!! Open Source is always good?


P.S. For those old enough, remember "The Anarchists Handbook" back in
the 70's, that sparked a similar controversey for publishing how to
make a pipe bomb?



Experts publish 'how to' book for software exploits
It includes 'zero day' techniques for exploiting vulnerable computer systems

News Story by Paul Roberts

MARCH 15, 2004 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - A new book by leading security researchers on writing code to exploit security flaws in software, including Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, has raised some eyebrows in the technical community for its publishing of "zero day," or previously unknown, techniques for exploiting vulnerable systems.

The Shellcoder's Handbook: Discovering and Exploiting Security Holes is an advanced guide to writing software exploits. The book is intended as a resource for network administrators who are interested in closing security holes. However, the book also contains working examples of code for exploiting vulnerable systems and previously unpublished techniques for launching attacks such as heap overflows and kernel attacks, according to two of the book's authors.

Shellcode is a term that describes small pieces of computer code that launch operating system "shells," or command interfaces such as the common "C:" command-line interface on Microsoft DOS. Shellcode is often a component of attacks in which malicious hackers use software exploits to get control of vulnerable systems.

The new book is published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. and is scheduled to be released on March 22. It contains chapters on a variety of attack types, including stack overflows, heap overflows and format-string bugs. Authors discuss everything from how to write Windows shellcode to exploiting security holes in Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Tru64 operating system, according to a description of the book published on the Wiley Web page.

Also contained in the new guide are fully functional examples of software exploits, according to co-author Dave Aitel, founder of Immunity Inc., a security consulting company in New York. "The book is trying to teach you how to write exploits, so of course there are exploits," he said.

Aitel said he contributed chapters on heap overflows and Windows exploits, as well as a technique for finding flaws in network communications protocols called "fuzzing."

The information is essential to administrators who want to secure the computer systems they manage, he said. "It's hard to get context on a [software] vulnerability if you don't know how to exploit it," Aitel said. "People who know how to write exploits make better strategic decisions."   continued>>


Michael R. Wolf
    All mammals learn by playing!
        MichaelRWolf at att.net

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