Ethical Hacking Books

cyber security
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Cyber attacks continue to be a pressing issue for individuals and businesses. According to a 2021 Internet Crime Report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, about 847,376 cybercrime complaints were reported, resulting in a loss of over $6.9 billion in the United States alone. With such high stakes, it’s more important than ever to understand cybersecurity.

Among the most vulnerable to these attacks are small and medium businesses. However, a recent survey by CNBC has shown that only 28% of this population has a plan in place in the event of a cyber attack. This means many need help learning more about cybersecurity.

One area that requires the utmost attention is ethical hacking. It is the practice of proactively finding and fixing security vulnerabilities in computer systems before they get exploited by malicious hackers. By understanding more about ethical hacking, businesses can better protect themselves against cyber crimes.

Can ethical hacking be self-taught?

To be an ethical hacker, you must learn the essential hacking techniques. These skills can be acquired depending on the individual’s curiosity, self-discipline, and dedication. Formal training and certification are available, but these require financial resources that may not be accessible to everyone.

In that case, those who cannot afford a formal course can explore self-learning through various resources. One of the essential tools for ethical hacking is books, which experts in the field author. There are multiple books available on the subject that can help anyone get started in this field.

There are also tutorial websites and online forums dedicated to ethical hacking where individuals can exchange knowledge and ask questions. These sources of information are precious for those who want to learn more about ethical hacking.

Software tools are also available for those who require an applied approach to ethical hacking. Many of these tools are open source and can be helpful for automated security testing or identifying specific vulnerabilities in systems.

By leveraging these tools, individuals can acquire the necessary skills to become ethical hackers. Thus, hacking can be self-taught with dedication and the right resources.

Which hacking book should I read first?

Several reputable books written by experienced hackers and security professionals on ethical hacking contain information about security protocols and techniques. But starting with the fundamentals is essential if you are new to the field.

John Slavio’s “Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide to Computer Hacking, Basic Security, And Penetration Testing” is an excellent start for those just getting into ethical hacking. Published in 2017, it is perfect for beginners looking to enter the hacking field, as it provides a comprehensive overview of the topic.

It contains basic concepts, such as the history of hacking, types of hackers, essential tools and software for hacking, and how to hide your IP address. It also covers more advanced topics, such as mobile hacking, attacking email addresses, penetration testing, and spoofing attacks.

Investing in this book, individuals can understand the basics and progress quickly to more complex levels. This makes it an ideal starting point for those just getting into hacking.

List Of Top 10 Ethical Hacking Books

Before you perform ethical hacking, gaining knowledge about the subject is essential. Choosing the right books can make all the difference and help you understand the fundamentals of ethical hacking quickly. Without the right resources, learning this skill can be tricky and time-consuming.

To avoid getting overwhelmed, it’s best to choose books written by experts in the field. Here is a list of the top 10 ethical hacking books that you can refer to get started:

10. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws

Authored by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto, this book is considered the bible for ethical hackers. With over 800 pages, it provides comprehensive coverage of web application security, including common vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques.

It also guides users to perform hybrid file attacks, HTML5, UI redress, and frame busting. With an abundance of practical examples and step-by-step instructions provided in this book, users can gain hands-on experience in web application hacking.

9. Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters

This book by Justin Seitz is ideal for experienced Python developers who want to learn how to use the language to create security tools. It covers topics such as creating backdoors, exploits writing, and port scanning. It also gives readers a clear understanding of detecting sandboxing and automating common malware tasks.

By exploring the dark side of Python, users can learn how to create powerful and undetectable malware. This will allow them to better protect their systems and spot potential security vulnerabilities in their network.

8. Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C

Written by Bruce Schneier, this is a must-read for anyone interested in cryptography and security. It covers the fundamentals of cryptography, including encryption algorithms, protocols, and tools. It also includes source code in C for the various algorithms discussed.

This book is an ideal resource for those seeking a comprehensive overview of modern cryptography. It provides detailed explanations of various encryption methods and protocols to secure data and prevent cyber attacks.

It provides readers with the tools to protect their systems and data from malicious hackers. The in-depth coverage makes it an invaluable resource for anyone interested in cryptography and ethical hacking.

7. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

This book is a comprehensive guide to social engineering. Christopher Hadnagy, the author of ‘Social Engineering’, explains that this technique is an “art form of persuading people to reveal confidential information.”

It discusses how attackers manipulate people by exploiting their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, such as a lack of security awareness and trust. It also provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct effective social engineering attacks.

If you’re looking to discover more about the psychology of social engineers and how to protect yourself from their attacks, this book is an absolute must-have. It serves as a crucial resource for anyone seeking security against such malicious activity. Especially for those running businesses, protecting their data from malicious actors is essential. So, this book is a must-read for them.

6. Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software

Co-authored by Sikorski and Honig, this book is a comprehensive guide to malware analysis. It provides details on how to analyze and debug malicious software (malware).

In 2022, 80% of organizations with critical infrastructure experienced a ransomware attack. This makes it essential to understand how malware works, so you can prepare for and stop these threats before they cause serious damage.

With this book, a cybersecurity analyst can learn to set up safe virtual environments to analyze malware and understand the damage it has done. They will also learn how to clean the network and verify that the malware never returns.

5. The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing

Offensive hacking skills are essential for any security professional or researcher. Penned by Peter Kim, the third installment of “The Hacker Playbook” series is an excellent resource on offensive security.

It covers topics such as reconnaissance and scanning, exploitation, privilege escalation, custom malware development, pivoting techniques, and more. It also explores new strategies and attack paths, providing readers with the latest information on offensive security.

This book also acquaints you with the Red Team. They simulate real-world, advanced attacks to test the defensive teams of an organization. It is a must-read for any ethical hacker or security professional looking to hone their offensive hacking skills.

4. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking

Hacking and penetration testing play an essential role in identifying the loopholes and vulnerabilities of a system. In this book, author Georgia Weidman provides an in-depth explanation of various penetration testing techniques.

It highlights the core principles and concepts of penetration testing, such as how to identify targets, gather intelligence, and perform vulnerability scans. It also teaches how to bypass antivirus software and write custom scripts for automation.

If you’re eager to sharpen your penetration testing expertise, this book is a must-have! It offers an invaluable resource for learning the fundamentals and mastering the craft. With its hands-on approach, readers can gain a better understanding of ethical hacking and its implementation.

3. Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide

Advanced penetration testing techniques are necessary for uncovering hidden vulnerabilities in systems. The Metasploit framework is a vital tool for this purpose, but it can be challenging for first-time users.

This book by Kennedy, O’Gorman, Kearns, and Aharoni is the perfect resource to learn more about the Metasploit framework. It covers all aspects of this popular tool, including its installation, basic commands, and usage in penetration testing.

It also gives readers a detailed understanding of the framework’s interfaces and module system. You will also learn to integrate NeXpose, Nessus, and Nmap with Metasploit, which helps automate discovery. With the help of this book, users can learn the essential skills to become ethical hackers.

2. Hacking: The Art Of Exploitation

As one of the world’s most famous hacking books, “Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” by Jon Erickson is an excellent resource on ethical hacking. This book dives deep into network and computer security, allowing readers to learn the fundamentals of disruption from a hacker’s perspective.

The second edition of this book introduces readers to a hacker’s version of C programming, allowing them to learn the basics and even build their tools. It also covers more advanced topics, such as hijacking TCP connections, cracking encrypted wireless traffic, and speeding up brute-force attacks.

Any aspiring ethical hacker should have this book in their collection as it provides a comprehensive overview of the topic and helps them acquire essential skills.

1. Computer Hacking Beginners Guide

Hacking for the first time can be intimidating, but this book by Alan T. Norman makes it easy for first-time hackers. It provides the different tools criminal and ethical hackers use, allowing readers to understand the various aspects of information security and computer networks.

It covers topics such as network mapping, packet sniffing, spoofing techniques, and email hacking. It also provides step-by-step instructions on identifying attacks in any system and protecting yourself against them.

Another area that this book covers is ethical hacking, providing readers with tips on how to use their skills for good. This helps them understand the ethical implications of hacking and make better-informed decisions.

This book is an excellent foundation for anyone exploring the ethical hacking world. With its comprehensive coverage and easy-to-follow instructions, readers can quickly gain a solid background in hacking.

Where can I get these ethical hacking books?

Ethical hacking books are widely available online and at bookstores. Several of them can also be downloaded digitally. Amazon, Flipkart, and various other e-commerce sites have a vast collection of books for those looking to learn about ethical hacking.

In addition, most of the top books mentioned in this article are also available as audiobooks. This is ideal for those who want to learn on the go or prefer listening over reading.

Ethical hackers are in high demand, and learning the right skills is essential to get started. With the help of these books, readers can gain a comprehensive understanding of ethical hacking and hone their skills. They also provide practical examples, which will help users gain experience as they progress.  So, make sure to pick up one of these books and get started with ethical hacking.

What’s next?

Now that you’ve gained a comprehensive knowledge of ethical hacking and the tools to use, it’s time to launch your journey! Dedication and the right resources will help you master the craft of ethical hacking.

Staying abreast of cutting-edge tools, tactics, and trends in the industry is essential to thwart malicious hackers. Most importantly, know your limits and always practice ethical hacking responsibly. This will help you develop a greater understanding of security and protect yourself from potential cyber threats.

Cyber security is an ever-evolving field, and ethical hackers must stay up-to-date with the latest trends. With the best ethical hacking books and resources mentioned above, you can quickly master the craft and become an ethical hacker.

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