Appendix A. Tools
When I was young, I had a lot of fun playing a game called Neuromancer, which takes place in a world created by William Gibson, in the book with the same name. The game was very good at giving a similar feeling (I now know) to that of a hacker learning about and making his way through a system for the first time. The Internet was young at the time (1989), but the game had it all: email, newsgroups, servers, hacking, and artificial intelligence. (I am still waiting for that last one to appear in real life.) I was already interested in programming at that time, but I think the game pushed me somewhat toward computer security.
In the game, your success revolved around having the right tools at the right time. It did not allow you to create your own tools, so the action was mostly in persuading shady individuals to give, trade, or sell tools. In real life, these tools would be known under the name exploits. (It was acceptable to use them in the game because the player was fighting the evil AI.) Now, many years later, it is funny to realize that real life is much more interesting and creative than any game will ever be. Still, the security business feels much the same as in that game I played ages ago. For both, it is important to do the following:
This appendix contains a list of tools you may find useful to perform the activities mentioned throughout the book. While some of these are not essential (meaning there are lower-level tools that would get the work done), they are great time-savers.