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

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Connect-Back Shellcode

Port-binding shellcode is easily foiled by firewalls. Most firewalls will block incoming connections, except for certain ports with known services. This limits the user's exposure and will prevent port-binding shellcode from receiving a connection. Software firewalls are now so common that port-bind shellcode has little chance of actually working in the wild.

However, firewalls typically do not filter outbound connections, since that would hinder usability. From inside the firewall, a user should be able to access any web page or make any other outbound connections. This means that if the shellcode initiates the outbound connection, most firewalls will allow it.

Instead of waiting for a connection from an attacker, connect-back ...

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