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

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Sockets

A socket is a standard way to perform network communication through the OS. A socket can be thought of as an endpoint to a connection, like a socket on an operator's switchboard. But these sockets are just a programmer's abstraction that takes care of all the nitty-gritty details of the OSI model described above. To the programmer, a socket can be used to send or receive data over a network. This data is transmitted at the session layer (5), above the lower layers (handled by the operating system), which take care of routing. There are several different types of sockets that determine the structure of the transport layer (4). The most common types are stream sockets and datagram sockets.

Stream sockets provide reliable two-way communication ...

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