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0x600. COUNTERMEASURES > 0x630. Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

With a realistic target in place, let's jump back over to the attacker's side of the fence. For this kind of attack, exploit scripts are an essential tool of the trade. Like a set of lock picks in the hands of a professional, exploits open many doors for a hacker. Through careful manipulation of the internal mechanisms, the security can be entirely sidestepped.

In previous chapters, we've written exploit code in C and manually exploited vulnerabilities from the command line. The fine line between an exploit program and an exploit tool is a matter of finalization and reconfigurability. Exploit programs are more like guns than tools. Like a gun, an exploit program has a singular utility and the user interface is as simple as pulling a trigger. Both guns and exploit programs are finalized products that can be used by unskilled people with dangerous results. In contrast, exploit tools usually aren't finished products, nor are they meant for others to use. With an understanding of programming, it's only natural that a hacker would begin to write his own scripts and tools to aid exploitation. These personalized tools automate tedious tasks and facilitate experimentation. Like conventional tools, they can be used for many purposes, extending the skill of the user.


  

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