Today we will learn about Top 7 cybersecurity books for ethical hackers.
Ethical hacking is a huge field with many different specializations. Because ethical hackers are expected to perform security assessments of an organization’s complete network environment, there are a number of books that provide extremely detailed descriptions of how to hack into a specific type of target or how to perform specialized activities (such as reverse engineering or cryptanalysis).
This list focuses on some of the best books for generalists on ethical hacking. Books that provide a solid overview of ethical hacking or that focus on common goals (like web applications) were preferred.
[Top 7 cybersecurity books for ethical hackers]
1. “Ghost in the Wires” by Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon
“Ghost in the Wires” by Kevin Mitnick is a great book to read if you want to get into the “why” of ethical hacking. Mitnick is one of the most successful social engineers in history, and his cat-and-mouse story is extremely engaging. Social engineering is one of the most powerful techniques in the ethical hacking toolkit, and Mitnick is a master at it.More Info Here…
“Ghost in the Wires” is not a book that will teach you how to hack into a computer or extract user credentials from Active Directory. It will provide a fun introduction to the world of ethical hacking and useful tricks and case studies for future involvement in social engineering.
2. “The 24 Deadly Sins of Software Engineering” by David LeBlanc, Michael Howard and John Viega
“The 24 Deadly Sins of Software Engineering” by Michael Howard, David LeBlanc, and John Viega is the essential book for ethical hackers. This book covers the most common mistakes developers make that open their applications to potential exploits. The book includes a description of each “sin”, sample code and a description of how to identify them
sin in checking and testing the source code.
A comprehensive understanding of each of the 24 deadly sins is essential for an ethical hacker. These are the vulnerabilities you are most likely to look for and exploit during ethical hacking. Learning how to identify and exploit these vulnerabilities now can save a lot of time and trouble during a live engagement.
3. “Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” by Jon Erickson
“Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” by Jon Erickson provides a comprehensive overview of what an ethical hacker needs to know. This includes programming basics, common exploits, networking basics, shellcode, common countermeasures, and cryptography. The text includes numerous sample code examples that provide an opportunity to become familiar with the various techniques described.
Many ethical hacking books are designed to provide a very deep dive into a specific topic. Before reading them, go through “Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” to make sure you have the basic knowledge needed to get the most out of these more advanced books.
4. “The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto
Web applications are a prime target for ethical hackers. A web application is typically designed to be exposed to the public Internet, but has direct access to sensitive internal resources such as databases. Since a web application contains an average of 22 different vulnerabilities, there are plenty of potential attack vectors for an ethical hacker.
“The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto is one of the best books available to learn about web application hacking. In addition to reading the book, check out Stuttard’s other work with PortSwigger: Web Security Academy.
5. “Hacking Exposed” by Stuart McClure
“Hacking Exposed” is designed to give cyber defenders a hacker’s perspective. It provides guidance on various attack methods and describes how to defend against SQL injection and other common attack techniques.
The book “Hacking Exposed” is worth reading because it provides a broader overview of hacking techniques than many of the other books on this list. In addition to discussing common ethical hack targets (Windows/Linux computers, web applications, and so on), he also discusses hacking infrastructure and mobile devices and countermeasures to protect against these attacks. Read this book to get a foundation in these subjects, then find a specialized book to dive deeper into hacking routers or mobile devices.
6. “Black Hat Python” by Justin Seitz
Leveraging automation is key to becoming an effective ethical hacker. A large percentage of an ethical hacker’s work is trying the same collection of techniques on different systems and across jobs. The ability to script common activities allows an ethical hacker to do their job faster, more efficiently, and more consistently, and may be essential to achieving a target before being detected.
Python is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world, and “Black Hat Python” by Justin Seitz teaches how to use the language to create ethical hacking scripts. This book provides practical examples for scripting each phase of ethical hacking engagement, from initial network exploration to exfiltrating data from a compromised computer.
7. “RTFM: Red Team Field Manual” by Ben Clark
Ben Clarke’s “Red Team Field Manual” is a little different from the other books on this list. While reading the book before starting ethical hacking is certainly helpful, it is designed to go with you and be a source of information on ethical hacking.
This is a reference guide built on years of ethical hacking experience. It provides instructions on how to do certain tasks and helps ensure that you can get the correct syntax for terminal commands when Google or the man page is not an option.
Conclusion: Getting started in ethical hacking
Ethical hacking is a rapidly evolving field and it is essential to keep learning to keep up with the latest vulnerabilities and attack vectors. Reading cybersecurity news, attending interviews, and digging into CVE is the best way to keep up with the state of the art in the hacking world.
However, before learning about the cutting edge of ethical hacking, it is necessary to understand the basics and the ecosystem in which ethical hackers operate. Reading these seven best books is a great way to get the basics of ethical hacking.