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Book Review: Hacking- The Art of Exploitation

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

This book is almost like a "Part 2" for many of the other hacker technique genre such as Hacking Exposed or Hack Attacks Revealed. Jon Erickson gives more detail for the intermediate to advanced readers including in-depth looks at stack and heap overflows and other types of vulnerabilities as well as instructions for creating exploit code for these flaws rather than just using exploits developed by others. This is a great book as long as you have some background in this field already.
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  • Clear and easy to understand as long as you have some background already
  • Provides detailed information on types of exploits and writing exploit code
  • Gives the reader the nuts & bolts instead of an overview


  • Too technical for beginners


  • If you have read Hacking Exposed or Counter Hack- this is the next book you should check out
  • Detailed coverage of string vulnerabilities, stack overflows, heap overflows, and more
  • Shows you how to analyze these vulnerabilities and create your own exploit code
  • A must-have book for vulnerability and penetration testing- clear, concise and informative

Guide Review - Book Review: Hacking- The Art of Exploitation

People often talk about whether the hacker technique genre of books such as Hacking Exposed, Hack Attacks Revealed or Counter Hack actually do more to teach the next generation of hackers and crackers than they do to help educate people about security. Those books don't go to nearly the depth that Hacking: The Art of Exploitation does.

Jon Erickson picks up more or less where those other books leave off. He provides a look at techniques and tools used by hackers as well, but he also gives a more comprehensive look at stack overflows, heap overflows, string vulnerabilities and other commonly exploited weaknesses.

Rather than simply describing the vulnerabilities and their exploits theoretically or showing you how to use pre-existing tools to exploit the vulnerabilities, Jon Erickson provides the nuts & bolts you need to learn how to program your own exploit code.

Arguably, this information could very well be used by a hacker wannabe to learn how to break into machines illegally. However, like the other hacker technique genre books, the purpose is to educate so that we can better protect ourselves from such hackers.

Armed with the information in this book you can actively develop your own exploit code to conduct vulnerability and penetration testing- the results of which could be very valuable in helping to secure your networks and computers.

This is an excellent book. Those who are ready to move on to Level 2 should pick this book up and read it thoroughly.

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