Skip to content

Introduction to shellcode

A shellcode is just a small piece of code that spawns a shell (ex: /bin/sh).


In binary exploitation, if you put your shellcode inside an executable memory space, then jump to it. You can spawn a shell on the victim machine.


  • Local : Spawn a shell on the local machine.
  • Remote : Spawn a shell over TCP/UDP (reverse or bind shell).
  • Staged : 2 parts (dropper + actual shellcode)
  • Egg-hunt : Place an egg (unique value) just before your shellcode. Then, look for this egg inside the process's address space to find your shellcode address (Very usefull when you can't determine where your shellcode will be in memory).
  • Omelette : Similar to egg-hunt shellcode, but looks for multiple blocks (eggs) and recombines them into one larger block (the omelette) that is subsequently executed.


You can use shellcode encoding for multiple purposes :

  • bypass badchars (null-free, alphanumeric, ...)
  • AV evasion
  • reduce code size
  • ...