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

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System Daemons

To have a realistic discussion of exploit countermeasures and bypass methods, we first need a realistic exploitation target. A remote target will be a server program that accepts incoming connections. In Unix, these programs are usually system daemons. A daemon is a program that runs in the background and detaches from the controlling terminal in a certain way. The term daemon was first coined by MIT hackers in the 1960s. It refers to a molecule-sorting demon from an 1867 thought experiment by a physicist named James Maxwell. In the thought experiment, Maxwell's demon is a being with the supernatural ability to effortlessly perform difficult tasks, apparently violating the second law of thermodynamics. Similarly, in Linux, system ...

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