Introduction to Windows shellcode development – Part 1

Shellcode imageThis article contains an overview of shellcode development techniques and their specific aspects. Understanding these concepts allows you to write your own shellcode. Furthermore, you could modify existing exploits that contain already made shellcode to perform custom functionality that you need.


Let’s say you have a working exploit in Internet Explorer or Flash Player that opens calc.exe. This isn’t really useful, is it? What you really want is to execute some remote commands or to do other useful functionality.

In this situation you may want to use standard existing shellcode as the ones from Shell Storm database or generated by from Metasploit’s msfvenom tool. However, you must first understand the basic principles of shellcoding so you can use them effectively in your exploits.

For those who are not familiar with this term, as Wikipedia says:

In computer security, a shellcode is a small piece of code used as the payload in the exploitation of a software vulnerability. It is called “shellcode” because it typically starts a command shell from which the attacker can control the compromised machine, but any piece of code that performs a similar task can be called shellcode… Shellcode is commonly written in machine code.

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