Hacking: The art of exploitation, 2nd edition

Well, I am thinking of starting a new section in the blog regarding books I’ve read and stating my opinion about them.

The first book, found here , is
Hacking, the art of exploitation, 2nd Edition by J.Erickson.

The book in general is good, well most of the books from No Starch Press are good and they stick to a “Less talking, more programming” attitude which I like. The writer assumes that you have no previous knowledge of computers in general so it is built in a friendly-for-newcomers way. Also, it ships with a LiveCD containing all the source code.

That said, if you are not a freshman and you bought the book there is still plenty of fun reading it and most of the times I was customizing his algorithms to fit my one needs.


Introductory things such as what is hacking etc. No things to add here. Title says  it all.


The chapter is an introductory to programming, compilers, assembly, Operating Systems data structures, concepts and standard algorithms. It covers most of the things you’ll need. It is limited to C for Unix but I do not consider it a problem since there is this LiveCD that we mentioned before.

3. Exploitation

Again, he starts by defining what is an exploitation, and he starts with a well know vulnerability called Buffer Overflow and he moves on from there.

4. Networking

It starts with the OSI model, moving on to sockets and socket programming, OSI again etc. The best example of OSI models I’ve found around 🙂 Btw I think it starts talking about the reverse tcp shellcodes here.

5. Shellcode

Title says it all. What a shellcode is, develop them and things like this.

6. Countermeasures
Title says it all here.

7. Cryptology 

How to, vulnerabilities etc.

8. Conclusion
… End of book.


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