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REVIEW: "Reversing", Eldad Eilam

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKRVRSNG.RVW 20050603 Reversing , Eldad Eilam, 2005, 0-7645-7481-7, U$40.00/C$51.99/UK#24.99 %A Eldad Eilam www.wiley.com/go/eeilam %C 5353 Dundas
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2005
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      BKRVRSNG.RVW 20050603

      "Reversing", Eldad Eilam, 2005, 0-7645-7481-7,
      U$40.00/C$51.99/UK#24.99
      %A Eldad Eilam www.wiley.com/go/eeilam
      %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
      %D 2005
      %G 0-7645-7481-7
      %I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
      %O U$40.00/C$51.99/UK#24.99 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764574817/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764574817/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764574817/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience a- Tech 2 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 589 p.
      %T "Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering"

      The introduction defines reverse engineering in the broadest possible
      way, but notes that the primary intention of the book is to cover the
      analysis of executable object or binary code. Interestingly, it also
      concentrates on .NET programs, where most other works on the subject
      avoid getting into the Windows environment, with its enormous program
      files.

      Part one contains foundational material on low-level code and
      programming. Chapter one defines reversing in more detail, introduces
      the tools and concepts used, and has an interestingly extended
      discussion of the legal ramifications of the practice. A rather
      generic description of the activities of programming (in both high
      level languages and assembler) is given in chapter two. A review of
      basic internal concepts in the Windows operating system is in chapter
      three. Chapter four describes the various tools needed for reversing.

      Part two demonstrates how to use reverse engineering in different
      situations. Chapter five covers reversing as a tool for finding out
      how to make a given piece of software work cooperatively with another,
      or how to use it most effectively, and manipulates the Windows
      "generic table" API for this purpose. Another mission for reverse
      engineering is to find out how file formats are written, as is
      explained in chapter six. Bugs, particularly those that can be used
      as security vulnerabilities, are covered in chapter seven as another
      task. This is extended in chapter eight to examine malware, which
      might be seen as a kind of program that is all bug.

      Part three deals specifically with piracy and copy protection.
      Chapter nine reviews copy protection concepts and history. Various
      means of preventing reverse engineering are presented in chapter ten.
      Some simplistic examples of breaking copy protection are given in
      chapter eleven (with programs written specifically for the exercise).

      Part four addresses more advanced topics: The Microsoft .NET framework
      in chapter twelve, and decompilers in chapter thirteen.

      The book does provide a reasonable overview, although it certainly
      does not teach reverse engineering as such. Teaching machine language
      programming would occupy a work all of its own, but the material that
      Eilam presents is demanding enough to ensure that if you have the
      background to understand the text, you probably don't need the
      explanations of concepts it provides. It is nice to see some up-to-
      date topics being addressed, but many of the subjects, such as object
      orientation, really have little to do with reverse engineering. The
      text is a welcome addition to the very limited amount in the field of
      software analysis, but certainly is no breakthrough.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005 BKRVRSNG.RVW 20050603


      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      The network is the last ditch attempt to turn powerful
      stand-alone computers into dumb terminals.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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