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The Rootkit Arsenal: Escape and Evasion: Escape and Evasion in the Dark Corners of the System Paperback – May 4, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 908 pages
  • Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 1 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598220616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598220612
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Rootkit Arsenal: Escape and Evasion in the Dark Corners of the System

Wow...! This was my first reaction when I received this massive 900+ pages book from Amazon. I was just spell bounded and surprised to see such an enormous amount of information compiled on the lesser known area of computer security, the Rootkits.

The book starts with basics of system internals which is essential to understand the depth of Rootkits. It covers about various memory models, interrupts, TSR, Windows architecture etc in detail. Then it delves into explaining the ingredients of Rootkit including installing and launching of the Rootkit. All these system internals have been covered in very precise and concise manner.

The chapter 5 is where the real fun starts as it goes on elaborating all the hooking mechanisms from user land to kernel and then it describes various techniques for detecting these hooking mechanisms. Later chapters does awesome job of explaining the advanced Rootkit techniques. The Anti-Forensics section is just mind blowing, no explanation needed.

One of the salient features of this book is the code samples. Every technique mentioned in this book is illustrated with well explained, working code example. This along with Rootkit detection mechanisms explored in the book sets it apart from its predecessor, Rootkit - Subverting Windows Kernel.

Its clearly evident that author has taken great pain and patience to present the darkest topic of computer arena in a very simple and understandable manner in this gigantic compilation. By far this is the very good reference book and very well recommended for any one who wants to conquer the mysterious world of Rootkits.
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Format: Paperback
Bill Blunden's book, The Rootkit Arsenal: Escape and Evasion in the Dark Corners of the System, is one of the hidden gems out there as far as computer security books are concerned, and I hope that I can convince you to give it a look. This review has been too-long to arrive, as I haven't had the time to read that I would like. That said, I felt it was very important to finally get the review up, as this is a book that I'm sure my regular readers will enjoy.

I first spotted this book on a vendor table at Defcon, and it stood out among the rest mostly because *I hadn't heard of it*. I try to keep up with new book releases, especially on attack-oriented topics that would be of interest to the penetration testers and vulnerability analysts that read this blog. It was surprising to me that one had flown under the radar. I picked it up and flipped through the table of contents [...] (which I encourage you to do as well), and was very impressed with the amount of material it covers.

I looked up the author, and was disappointed to realize that I had missed his talk at Blackhat earlier that week (looking forward to the video). I contacted him, and he was kind enough to supply a review copy of the book. It arrived very quickly, with a humorous personal note on the inside cover, and ever since, I have been learning a lot from it.

The author's style is excellent. The material is technical and has the potential to be very dry, but the text has a very conversational tone, as if it were being presented as a lecture for a (particularly good) class. Each concept is tied back to the main topic: hiding operations and data from the user and operating system, and frustrating forensic analysis.
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Format: Paperback
Man! This thing is dangerous! The first couple of chapters provide probably one of the best overviews I've seen on the topics of IA86 and Win32 architecture. Then we get into the meat of the techniques for building rootkits. Finally, the author goes into anti-forensics. It's about as deep a dive into the subject as you'll find anywhere with examples that demonstrate how to use rootkits to pull off privilege escalation exploits, subverting group policy, hiding applications, and drivers, etc, etc. After the tutorial chapters, there are gobs and gobs of code (I only wish that it were on CD or downloadable -- but you actually learn from entering and building it). Be forewarned: the code really works!
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Format: Paperback
You cannot become an expert at developing Windows Rootkits without first gaining a thorough understanding of Intel system architecture, Windows architecture and the Windows Driver Model. This book provides some of the best coverage I've seen of those topics, in addition to providing a VERY complete coverage of rootkit development.
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Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: Bill mentions me and my book "Real Digital Forensics" on pages xxvi and 493. He sent me a free review copy of his book.

"Wow." That summarizes my review of "The Rootkit Arsenal" (TRA) by Bill Blunden. If you're a security person and you plan to read one seriously technical book this year, make it TRA. If you decide to really focus your attention, and try the examples in the book, you will be able to write Windows rootkits. Even without taking a hands-on approach, you will learn why you can't trust computers to defend themselves or report their condition in a trustworthy manner.

Author Bill Blunden is an excellent technical writer. He keeps the reader's attention despite the mind-numbing complexity of some of his topics. He also provides exceptional background material and knows how to lead the reader through a series of learning sessions prior to directly addressing writing rootkits. Thanks to this progressive method, the reader acquires a thorough grounding in a variety of topics neglected by other texts. I highly recommend reading this book prior to other books on rootkits, although motivated readers might want to read books like Windows Internals, 5th Ed, prior to TRA.

I especially appreciated Bill's practical approach; he frequently shares tips to solve problems readers will encounter. For example, he describes how to access Microsoft symbols via a remote symbol server, rather than just downloading outdated symbols to a local system. He also explained how to set up a remote kernel debugger using a null modem.

Two other aspects of TRA made an impression on me. Bill very thoroughly discusses Windows and rootkit technology. He outlines numerous options, then examines the pros and cons of each technique.
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