what-is-hook

What is Hook in Programming And Why is it Important

Since Hooking has become a crucial concept in computer programming, therefore it has become a need of an hour to know what is hook and how it is essential for the programmers. 

Programmers are well familiar with this term, but if you are not a programmer and want to know what exactly hook is in programming, you are on the right spot.

A hook is basically a place where you can insert coding to monitor a program’s functioning. This blog will help to understand hook and the other aspects in relation to hook in programming.

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What Is A Hook?

A Hook is a place or an interface present in packaged code that allows you to insert a customized program in programming.

For example, you as a programmer want to provide a code that analyzes the frequency of a particular logic path within the program.

Hooks are given for a prescribed purpose and are documented accordingly for the programmer. So these are to be used appropriately so that it can be used to perform the core of the function of Hooking; otherwise, it may lead to the destruction of the program. This is also a reason to carefully understand what is hook.

Meaning Of Hook

In computer programming, programmers use a technique to modify or extend applications, operating systems, or other software components through intercepting calls or messages or events occurring within such components. Code that is used to perform intercepting such call messages or events is called a hook.

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Example

Browsers also use the hook function to make it simple for antivirus software in order to scan downloads. The interesting fact about the same is that when it starts a download, it says, ‘hey anyone listening, I’m starting a download!’ and thereby other programs can also react to the same. You won’t be able to understand this procedure unless you know what is hook.

Why Is It Important To Know What Is Hook?

1. Hooking allows a programmer to change the behavior of a program. Code in a program gives this feature to modify the program’s original behavior without changing the codes of the corresponding class. And all this is done by hook function. Thereby the need to understand hooks arises.

2. Secondly, the hook function helps to add new functionalities to applications.

3. It ensures the inter-communication between the other processes and messages of the system.

4. The major aspect of knowing about hooks is that it may degrade the performance of a program due to an increase in processing load. And it is required to perform these functions for each message. Thus, it should be cautiously handled, and it must be installed when it is much needed and thereby can remove it as soon as possible.

5. If we say in common parlance what is hook, then it is a kind of function which allows a programmer to modify or extend the behavior of the existing system or program. If we can extend any chrome or browser, then it is because of hooks in such chrome or browser.

In a nutshell, if we say what is hook,  it is like you fix your program so that if any particular thing happens in such a program, it will inform you. That is why some developers put this function intentionally.

What Is Hook As Design Patterns?

One interesting fact about the hook is that now all the design patterns typify semantics for hooks. Whereby semantics is generally expressed in the hooks with the name of “in the command”. The main function of Hook as Design patterns is to implement subsystems of hotspots.

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If you are a video games lover, you should also know what is hook as hooks in action also support video games.

Two Concepts Of Hooking

It is imperative to know the concept of IAT hooking and Inline Hooking to understand what is hook as it performs the function of hooking in the program.

1.  IAT HOOKING – Import Address Table hooking

In programming, the operating system is responsible for loading executable files into memory on double-clicking or otherwise. Here, loading means to read and interpret the bytes of the program on disk. Loading also finds out which part of the program will go where and how the file will be saved in the program.

A running program is basically a simple set of instructions and data which are loaded in the memory of the program, and it consists of 1 thread executing instructions.

2.  Inline Hooking

Inline Hooking and IAT hooking are almost similar, and the basic difference between the two is that inline Hooking writes the malicious functionality into a legitimate DLL instead of misguiding a victim file.

Types Of Hooks

 To know more about hooks in programming we should look into its types. Following are the types of hooks-

1.  Virtual Method Table Hooking

The virtual method is similar to the static method. But we can modify virtual methods comparatively as the compiler does not know the address of a particular virtual function when we put it in the code. 

That is why the compiler builds a Virtual method table to provide a method to search the function address meanwhile. VMT uses more memory and also runs faster.

Conclusively, VMT has pointers with memory addresses for interface functioning. It must be performed to replace the original memory address with the address of the valid hook function. Thereby, Hooking performs the vital function in a program.

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2.  Hooking API

API stands for an application programming interface. This method is used to reprogram the functioning of the operating system, as we can change the parameters of commands by modifying the action that was performed originally. It also specifies the significance of the hook.

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Conclusion

Hook has emerged as an important tool for programmers as they can modify and extend the code of the program or system. Hooking is a technique to change the behavior of the operating system or of other Softwares. 

Thus, it helps them to monitor the functioning of a program accordingly, for example, debugging. After understanding the concept and significance of hook in programming. We have learned how important it is to know what is hook in today’s time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Main Purpose Of Hooking In Programming?

In programming, the term hooking covers a range of methods used to adjust or augment an operating system’s behavior, apps, or other software parts by intercepting function calls or events or messages passed between software segments.

What Is The Method Of Inserting Hooks?

Generally, hooks are inserted when the software is already being run, but Hooking is inserted before the app starts. There are two types of Hooking, one is Source modification and the other is Runtime modification.

What Is Hooking In Cybersecurity?

Code hooking is an extremely intrusive coding activity where primarily OS function calls are intercepted by a program to augment or alter their behavior. Antivirus does this all-time when they find a piece of malware or when some modified routine is behaving badly.

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