INTRODUCTION - Praise for Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, Fourth Edition (2015)

Praise for Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, Fourth Edition (2015)


I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.

—Thomas Jefferson

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

—Albert Einstein

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.

—Ulysses S. Grant

The goal of this book is to help produce more highly skilled security professionals who are dedicated to protecting against malicious hacking activity. It has been proven over and over again that it is important to understand one’s enemies, including their tactics, skills, tools, and motivations. Corporations and nations have enemies that are very dedicated and talented. We must work together to understand the enemies’ processes and procedures to ensure we can properly thwart their destructive and malicious behavior.

The authors of this book want to provide you, the reader, with something we believe the industry needs: a holistic review of ethical hacking that is responsible and truly ethical in its intentions and material. This is why we keep releasing new editions of this book with a clear definition of what ethical hacking is and is not—something society is very confused about.

We have updated the material from the third edition and have attempted to deliver the most comprehensive and up-to-date assembly of techniques, procedures, and material with real hands-on labs that can be replicated by the readers. Twelve new chapters are presented and the other chapters have been updated.

In Part I, we prepare the readers for the war with all the necessary tools and techniques to get the best understanding of the more advanced topics. This section covers the following:

• White, black, and gray hat definitions and characteristics

• The slippery ethical issues that should be understood before carrying out any type of ethical hacking activities

• Programming, which is a must-have skill for a gray hat hacker to be able to create exploits or review source code

• Reverse engineering, which is a mandatory skill when dissecting malware or researching vulnerabilities

• Fuzzing, which is a wonderful skill for finding 0-day exploits

• Shellcodes, creating these from scratch will enable you to dissect them when you find them in the wild

In Part II, we explain advanced penetration methods and exploits that no other books cover today, with hands-on labs for testing. Many existing books cover the same old tools and methods that have been rehashed numerous times, but we have chosen to go deeper into the advanced mechanisms that hackers have used in recent 0-days. We created hands-on labs for the following topics in this section:


imageNOTE To ensure your system is properly configured to perform the labs, we have provided a README file for each lab as well as any files you will need to perform the labs. These files are available for download from the McGraw-Hill Professional Computing Downloads page: Please see the Appendix for more information.

• Network attacks against Cisco routers

• ARP, DNS, NetBIOS, and LLMNR spoofing

• Advanced Linux and Windows vulnerabilities and how they are exploited

• Windows exploits updated with the PyCommand plug-in from the Corelan team

• Exploiting web applications, but instead of looking at well-known attacks (SQLi, XSS, and so on), focusing on bypassing techniques like MD5 injection, MySQL type conversion flaws, and Unicode Normalization Form attacks

• The latest working heap spray techniques with proof-of-concept source code available for replication

• Use-After-Free (UAF), which is the attacker’s vulnerability of choice when exploiting browsers in 2014, dissecting every single step of the techniques used for this real 0-day

• The Browser Exploitation Framework (BeEF) and how to hook and exploit browsers in an automated way

• Patch diffing to find nonpublic vulnerabilities by dissecting Microsoft patches

In Part III, we dedicate a full chapter to each of the latest advanced techniques for dissecting malware. We cover the following topics in this section:

Android malware Now that this malicious code has been ported to smartphones, understanding the process for reversing and emulating this malware in a secure environment is mandatory.

Ransomware One of the most sophisticated threats, ransomware can take full control of your Desktop or encrypt your personal information until you pay a ransom. It is imperative that you know how it works and, most importantly, how to deactivate it.

64-bit malware With malware being ported to 64-bit operating systems, you need to know how to reverse these kinds of binaries and the challenges that you’ll have to overcome.

Next-generation reverse engineering The latest and greatest reverse engineering techniques are discussed as an extra bonus for readers.

If you are ready to take the next step to advance and deepen your understanding of ethical hacking, this is the book for you.