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The IDA Pro Book: The Unofficial Guide to the World's Most Popular Disassembler Second Edition Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593272890
ISBN-10: 1593272898
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Frequently Bought Together

The IDA Pro Book: The Unofficial Guide to the World's Most Popular Disassembler + Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software + Practical Reverse Engineering: x86, x64, ARM, Windows Kernel, Reversing Tools, and Obfuscation
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Eagle is a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He is the author of many IDA plug-ins, co-author of Gray Hat Hacking, and has spoken at numerous security conferences, including Black Hat, Defcon, ToorCon, and ShmooCon.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; Second Edition edition (July 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272890
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Happy Cat on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
IDA Pro is the world's most popular disassembler. This book is for you if you are a beginner or intermediate reverser and you do not already own the first edition of The IDA Pro Book. Much of the second edition is similar, or identical in some places, to the first edition. The IDA Pro Book 2nd Edition does a great job using IDA Pro as the enabling tool for discussing specific techniques of reverse engineering. It is more of a book about reverse engineering rather than a user manual for IDA.

Part I

Reverse engineering may be illegal in certain situations, but the author, Chris Eagle, gives solid explanations of reasons for reversing. Some of the reasons are obvious and maybe a bit scary, such as malware analysis and vulnerability analysis. Other reasons are more related to traditional computer science such as software interoperability and compiler/assembler validation. Like the first edition of the IDA Pro book, my favorite part of the chapter is still the explanations on disassembly algorithms. The author again does an excellent job highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of linear sweep and recursive descent, as well as explaining their differences and intricacies.

Chapter two is spent enumerating tools that supplement IDA in reversing. This is pretty much the same chapter as the first edition, and legitimately so. Beginners and first-time readers will likely find the chapter's contents to be helpful in working alongside IDA. It's worth noting for the chapter that one of the tools mentioned is PEiD, an application to help identify protections and other attributes of a PE. PEiD, however, is no longer developed or maintained as of April 4th, 2011.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TestUser on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
My review title says it all.

If you want to learn to use IDA Pro, this is by far the best book on the market. No other books even nearly come close.

If you have the 1st edition of the book and think about buying the 2nd edition: several chapters have been added, however in my opinion it is unnessary to invest your money on it. Rather spend your bucks on one of the many other good books on the market.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is so much more than a manual enabling the novice (or advanced user) to exploit the features of IDA PRO as a Disassembler/Debugger; it is everything a technical book should be
in providing instruction, context and even wisdom. I have a thirty-year old CS Masters and its been almost that long since I used assembly language extensively (I also have an MBA :-) ).
While the introduction makes clear that a major goal of this book is to instruct in Reverse Engineering (which it does excellently), it also provides they why's and wherefores of performing this sort of analysis, and gives a vivid picture of the relationship between a family of Software Engineering tools such as Compilers, Linker/Loaders, Library Management Tools,
and Debuggers. This sort of "why do it?" and "what does it mean?" sort of explanation proceeds throughout the volume and I found was excellently illustrated by the excellent description of stack frames on pages 83-98 which certainly refreshed my understanding of compiler mechanics.

I find this sort of superior organization and imparting of "why" as well as "how" knowledge only in the very best of technical books; this is done here without neglecting to illustrate how the advanced user can obtain the greatest use of this tool through customization, scripting and integration with the Operating System. The author is Senior Lecturer at the prestigious Naval Postgraduate School, and active participant in the Computer Security and White Hat Hacking community.

--Ira Laefsky, MSE(CS)/MBA IT Consultant and HCI Researcher
formerly on the Senior Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and DIGITAL Equipment Corporation
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Format: Paperback
This is _the_ manual you need if you use IDA Pro for fun or profit. It covers a wide range of information ranging from disassembly basics to writing plugins for IDA. It provides sufficient detail without the tedious extraneous information you often have to dig through in technical books.

IDA is one of those tools that you can use for a long time and still miss a lot of the functionality that it has. Chris does a masterful job of illuminating these features (as well as the pieces everyone uses) with good examples and an appropriate level of detail.

There is a very well done map to this book in the "Introduction" before chapter one - this enables readers of any level of experience to focus. But, I found that there was value to reading all of the sections anyway - so don;t let this direct you too much.

The accompanying website is well done and provides the examples, a small errata and additional references.

This may go without saying, but you should have access to IDA PRO to get the full value from this book. This edition is less applicable to the freeware version than the last edition was (although I'd still probably recommend it for anyone using IDA).

Bottom line: If you use (or plan to use) IDA PRO - buy this book.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free PDF copy of this book by O'Reilly as a part of their "Blogger Review Program" program.
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The IDA Pro Book: The Unofficial Guide to the World's Most Popular Disassembler
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