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The IDA Pro Book: The Unofficial Guide to the World's Most Popular Disassembler 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593272890
ISBN-10: 1593272898
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  • The IDA Pro Book: The Unofficial Guide to the World's Most Popular Disassembler
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  • 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; 2 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Hulse on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Second Edition Review:
If you are considering any other book about IDA Pro Don't bother, as The IDA Pro Book Second Edition is the only book on IDA Pro that you will need.

The overall structure of the Second Edition is unchanged, which is not a bad thing. The structure Chris Eagle uses allows for inexperienced users to get spun up on the basics of IDA Pro while allowing experienced users to jump into more advanced topics.

The author has an excellent method of elaborating concepts. A Novice user can easily follow the examples and build knowledge as they dive deeper into the book. Experienced users should not be put off by this, the first half of the book may be aimed at the Novice, but the second half is packed with much deeper information on more advanced topics.

If you've read the first edition and take a look at the table of contents for the second edition you may be deceived into thinking very little has changed. In fact, you'd be wrong as the second edition offers much more coverage of IDA Python. The second edition also brings users up to speed on the latest editions to IDA Pro to include Scriptable Plugins, Loader Modules and Scriptable Processor Modules. The Second Edition has an increased number of examples using IDA Python, whereas the examples from the first editions were largely only in C using IDC /SDK.

The Likes & Dislikes of the book remain the same as my review for the first edition. Although, after considering my only dislike I must admit that my suggestion is somewhat beyond the scope of the book.

Bottom line on the Second Edition: If you are new to IDA Pro you NEED this book. If you are experienced with IDA Pro I still suggest picking it up!
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Format: Paperback
IDA Pro is a tool that I always tentatively held at arms length. The magnitude of its complexity and lack of accessible documentation (in the form of vague web tutorials, advanced technical docs that were over my head, and half-remembered bits of advice) kept me from fully embracing this useful tool. Chris Eagle's book is the book I wish I had years ago.

The IDA Pro Book is the first book you should read if you are interested in IDA Pro, or disassembly and reverse engineering in general. It is also a book that intermediate and expert IDA Pro users can learn something new from as well.

The book focuses on IDA Pro, while delving into other related topics (assembly, binary formats, variations between compilers, etc.) to give the reader a general understanding but not so much as to be distracting. There is little fluff material, but plenty of concise, practical examples and scenarios.

As much as I enjoyed The Shellcoder's Handbook and Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering, I would say reading The IDA Pro Book first would be an excellent primer.
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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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This is a really good book. Definitively a complete reference on IDA Pro. Chris Eagle has gone to great lengths to put in the detailed screenshots and examples to illustrate the power of IDA. There are chapters on IDC scripting, reversing obfuscated code, etc. Every small feature of IDA is well documented. This book is a good reference for novice to advanced users. One thing that is missing (may not technically be termed missing because it was released after the book was published) is the bochs emulator support using IDA Plugins. Since it is a plugin, it cannot technically be termed missing but would have been cool to read about in this book...may be in the next edition. This is a definite buy for reverse engineering enthusiasts.
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