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Security Portal: Computer Crime Investigator's Toolkit: Part III - Perl Scripting

Jan 17, 2001, 21:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ronald L. Mendell)

"Perl is a programming language adept at processing lists and strings. If you want to search log files and output the information, Perl is a very useful tool. Some computer writers have characterized the language as the duct tape of computing. The New Hacker's Dictionary describes it as the "Swiss-Army Chainsaw." Its compactness, flexibility, and relative ease of use make it attractive to hackers of all persuasions."

"While one doesn't have to be a master programmer to be a computer crime sleuth, being able to read code helps generate insight. If you find a Perl script useful for checking the aging of passwords, for example, understanding how the program works goes a long way toward implementing the tool properly. And, you learn during the process how to develop your own tools. Some investigators may prefer C or C++ as a starting point. That preference has some merit since quite a few computer security tools are available written in those languages. But the most important skill is to learn a code and then build on that knowledge. More common ground exists between languages than you might realize."

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