Exploit writing tutorial part 11 : Heap Spraying Demystified

A lot has been said and written already about heap spraying, but most of the existing documentation and whitepapers focus on IE7 or older versions.
Although there are a number of public exploits available that target IE8, the exact technique to do so has not been really documented in detail.
Of course, you can probably derive how it works by looking at those public exploits.

With this tutorial, I’m going to provide you with a full and detailed overview on what heap spraying is, and how to use it on old and newer platforms.
I’ll start with some “ancient” techniques (or classic techniques if you will) that can be used on IE6 and IE7.
We’ll also look at heap spraying for non-browser applications.
Next, we’ll talk about precision heap spraying, which is a requirement to make DEP bypass exploits work on IE8.
I’ll finish this tutorial with sharing some of my own research on getting reliable heap spraying to work on IE9.
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Exploit writing tutorial part 10 : Chaining DEP with ROP – the Rubik’s[TM] Cube

About 3 months after finishing my previous exploit writing related tutorial, I finally found some time and fresh energy to start writing a new article.
In the previous tutorials, I have explained the basics of stack based overflows and how they can lead to arbitrary code execution. I discussed direct RET overflows, SEH based exploits, Unicode and other character restrictions, the use of debugger plugins to speed up exploit development, how to bypass common memory protection mechanisms and how to write your own shellcode.
While the first tutorials were really written to learn the basics about exploit development, starting from scratch (targeting people without any knowledge about exploit development) you have most likely discovered that the more recent tutorials continue to build on those basics and require solid knowledge of asm, creative thinking, and some experience with exploit writing in general.
Today’s tutorial is no different. I will continue to build upon everything we have seen and learned in the previous tutorials. Today I will talk about ROP and how it can be used to bypass DEP (and ASLR)…
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