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Hello,

I am inquiring about 2 things:

1) How do you Identify what language a program is written in (I.E. Notepad is written in (C++, Assembly, or ...)). I would like to know how to tell what any given program or applicaton is written with.

2) What or where would you recommend I start to learn programming? I learned TRS-80 Basic in middle school. I then went on to learn Basic for the Commodore VIC-20. I was taught very little assembly and some Visual Basic 6.

I would like to learn about the lowest level of programming possible. I understand it to be the most difficult, but also the most powerful (by powerful I mean it will undermine an operating system, where Visual Basic runs on top of the operating system).

I believe I have a pretty good idea already about this, but would like to get the opinions of some experienced programmers regarding their beliefs and experiences.

As a Network Administrator I believe the best defense is knowing how people infiltrate systems. That means being a good Hacker/Cracker. Likewise being good at stopping viruses or knowing when one is or is not a virus is knowing how and what language they are written in.

I intend to decompile some programs labeled viruses, because there is controversy surrounding one that the publisher insists is not a virus even though the anti-virus claims it is.

The biggest reason for the concern is if the anti-virus labels a given program a virus, then you must trust the person giving it to you or risk being violated. The recommendation that I place this program in my exclusions list so that the anti-virus ignores it is ridiculous to me. I would never consider that.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Tom Daniels

Comments

  • Phat NatPhat Nat Member Posts: 757
    : Hello,
    :
    : I am inquiring about 2 things:
    :
    : 1) How do you Identify what language a program is written in (I.E. Notepad is written in (C++, Assembly, or ...)). I would like to know how to tell what any given program or applicaton is written with.
    :
    : 2) What or where would you recommend I start to learn programming? I learned TRS-80 Basic in middle school. I then went on to learn Basic for the Commodore VIC-20. I was taught very little assembly and some Visual Basic 6.
    :
    : I would like to learn about the lowest level of programming possible. I understand it to be the most difficult, but also the most powerful (by powerful I mean it will undermine an operating system, where Visual Basic runs on top of the operating system).
    :
    : I believe I have a pretty good idea already about this, but would like to get the opinions of some experienced programmers regarding their beliefs and experiences.
    :
    : As a Network Administrator I believe the best defense is knowing how people infiltrate systems. That means being a good Hacker/Cracker. Likewise being good at stopping viruses or knowing when one is or is not a virus is knowing how and what language they are written in.
    :
    : I intend to decompile some programs labeled viruses, because there is controversy surrounding one that the publisher insists is not a virus even though the anti-virus claims it is.
    :
    : The biggest reason for the concern is if the anti-virus labels a given program a virus, then you must trust the person giving it to you or risk being violated. The recommendation that I place this program in my exclusions list so that the anti-virus ignores it is ridiculous to me. I would never consider that.
    :
    : Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    :
    : Thank you,
    :
    : Tom Daniels

    Tom,

    I'm no Assembly genius, although I know enought to get by. As for the program being labelled as a virus, it may just contain a certain byte pattern that is known to be a virus. I have seen a font that was labelled as a virus for that exact reason.

    Alot of times with DOS files, if you looked into an executable file you could find "Copyright Borland..." or something similar, but usually (as far as I know) there isn't a definite way to tell. If you decompile it though, it doesn't matter. In the end, everything comes down to assembly language ;)

    Phat Nat

  • thomas_d9thomas_d9 Member Posts: 13
    Thanks very much for the reply. It was a keylogger program, since it sent logged keystrokes to an e-mail address it was labeled a trojan. There was no way of knowing without decompiling if it sent to more than just the address specified by the user, so I opted not to use it or recommend it to others. :(

    Thank you again for the reply. :)

    Tom
  • shaolin007shaolin007 Member Posts: 1,018
    : Hello,
    :
    : I am inquiring about 2 things:
    :
    : 1) How do you Identify what language a program is written in (I.E. Notepad is written in (C++, Assembly, or ...)). I would like to know how to tell what any given program or applicaton is written with.

    [green]
    Probably with a debugger and seeing how the flow of the program is laid out. If the stack is used alot you know it was made with some high level language more than likely. Programs in assembly utilize the registers better and use the stack only when necessary.
    [/green]

    : 2) What or where would you recommend I start to learn programming? I learned TRS-80 Basic in middle school. I then went on to learn Basic for the Commodore VIC-20. I was taught very little assembly and some Visual Basic 6.

    [green]
    Assembler of course. If you want to be a good programmer then learning the basics of computer science is a must. Programming in assembly allows you to learn this while a higher level language is like a black box, you know it does something but you don't know how it does it.
    [/green]

    : I would like to learn about the lowest level of programming possible. I understand it to be the most difficult, but also the most powerful (by powerful I mean it will undermine an operating system, where Visual Basic runs on top of the operating system).

    [green]
    Well you can always learn machine code, but are you insane? :-) No, learn assembly and you will find out all the tricks of the trade, and it's no harder than learning a higher level language, actually easier if you ask me.
    [/green]

    : I believe I have a pretty good idea already about this, but would like to get the opinions of some experienced programmers regarding their beliefs and experiences.
    :
    : As a Network Administrator I believe the best defense is knowing how people infiltrate systems. That means being a good Hacker/Cracker. Likewise being good at stopping viruses or knowing when one is or is not a virus is knowing how and what language they are written in.

    [green]
    It can be hard to detect virus's since people write them in a way so thier not easily detected and can even look like legit programs!
    [/green]

    : I intend to decompile some programs labeled viruses, because there is controversy surrounding one that the publisher insists is not a virus even though the anti-virus claims it is.

    [green]
    Run it through a debugger on a closed machine. Follow it through its program and see what it does. Thats only the real way your going to find out.
    [/green]

    : The biggest reason for the concern is if the anti-virus labels a given program a virus, then you must trust the person giving it to you or risk being violated. The recommendation that I place this program in my exclusions list so that the anti-virus ignores it is ridiculous to me. I would never consider that.

    [green]
    Sometimes our best efforts are in vain. The bad guys are always one step ahead of the good guys as they say. They're looking for weakness while your trying to plug up yours, but there are just too many! The only thing we can do is try to make it harder for them to find different holes in our defense.
    [/green]


    : Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    :
    : Thank you,
    :
    : Tom Daniels
    :
    :

  • Phat NatPhat Nat Member Posts: 757
    : Hello,
    :
    : I am inquiring about 2 things:
    :
    : 1) How do you Identify what language a program is written in (I.E. Notepad is written in (C++, Assembly, or ...)). I would like to know how to tell what any given program or applicaton is written with.
    :
    : 2) What or where would you recommend I start to learn programming? I learned TRS-80 Basic in middle school. I then went on to learn Basic for the Commodore VIC-20. I was taught very little assembly and some Visual Basic 6.


    Well, I first started out learning Turbo Pascal 7.0 Once I started getting deeper I found it didn't have the flexability to do everything, although it does support inline assembly and has BASM (Built-In ASM).
    I still use TP7 for most of my programming, but I've written many units that are composed mostly of ASM through the TP7 interface. I find this method easy to learn, because you can write a program, then speed it up by replacing commands with assembly commands or write stuff that the program doesn't let you do normally (such as many graphics commands) through assembly.

    I know the hard core assemblers are going to laugh at the fact I'm mentioning Pascal, but IMO it's a good place to start. In your case maybe see if you can find a Basic assembler with built-in assembly.

    Phat Nat

  • A-BaseA-Base Member Posts: 2
    I was in the same boat, how to learn to program and all I got was apathy and "hang up with status" type response from established programers.
    Simply because the type of program I had developed runs SubRoutine so i could do what I care with the rest of the functions.
    However, i was never shown how to code the darn thing and ulimately all I have is a white elephant.
    Unitl,
    to the rescue
    http://www.realsoftware.com/download

    Tutorials
    http://www.maui.net/~mauitom/RBTutorialFive.html

    I would say, VB sucks in comparison !
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