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Compact and Readable Intro - But not ALL you need...
am 13. Juli 2008
Whow - this book gives a brief introduction to C, shell and Assembler programming, gcc and the (immensly powerful) gdb debugger. In no time the author takes readers into the subtleties of buffer-overflows, synflood-attacks and other nice-to-know stuff.
His programming samples are very well chosen - at a first glance they show only simple programming tasks. A second look, expertly lead by author J. Erickson, unveils the hidden "features" and errors leading to potential attacks - brilliant!
But: Imho this book contains advanced geek-stuff. Don't expect non-programmers to really understand much of it...
The included Linux-Live-CD contains a well-prepared (Ubuntu) environment with all samples and required tools. Startup time from this CD is a major hassle - the publishers could improve by providing typical virtual-machine images (e.g. for Parallels and VMWare) - but that might be just personal taste.
A note for Mac users: At least on my (Leopard 10.5.4) MacBook, the samples simply didn't compile with the Apple gcc - be prepared for some updates.
Summary: You're not going to be a "real" hacker after reading this book. Yes - the other's are right: You can find more info online... but still the book is, in my opionion, a very good intro into the various aspects of "breaking" certain parts of other people's software...