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Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition by Jon Erickson

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Buffer Overflows

Buffer overflow vulnerabilities have been around since the early days of computers and still exist today. Most Internet worms use buffer overflow vulnerabilities to propagate, and even the most recent zero-day VML vulnerability in Internet Explorer is due to a buffer overflow.

C is a high-level programming language, but it assumes that the programmer is responsible for data integrity. If this responsibility were shifted over to the compiler, the resulting binaries would be significantly slower, due to integrity checks on every variable. Also, this would remove a significant level of control from the programmer and complicate the language.

While C's simplicity increases the programmer's control and the efficiency of the resulting ...

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