Hacking requires depth and breadth of knowledge, checkout these hand picked top quality books for aspiring hackers.
Looking for the best hacking books? We have shortlisted some of the highly recommended books for beginners and advanced hackers. The ethical hacking books may help you get the best security professional job you aspire.
The job of an ethical hacker is to perform hacking to protect from crackers (unethical hackers). Some of these hacking books for beginners are about basic concepts, whereas other books focus on more advanced hacking techniques that experienced hackers can use.
Hacking is considered to be a two-way tool wherein a computer system is penetrated either to make it more secure or to create mischief. Ethical hacking is defined as making use of programming skills, so as to penetrate a computer system and determine its vulnerabilities. The ethical hackers are skilled computer experts, often called the “white hats”. As against non-ethical hackers or “black hats” that penetrate into a computer system and exploit it for their own personal gains or mischief, the “white hats” evaluate and point out the vulnerabilities of the system software, and suggest system changes to make it less penetrable.
With an increase in the use of the Internet, concerns regarding its security have also grown manifold. This is particularly true in the case of highly confidential data. There have been past instances where the sites owned by even the most influential organizations have been hacked. This calls for designing systems that are impenetrable or an identification of the weaknesses of an existing system. Due to this reason, there is now a high demand for computer experts who can conduct ethical hacking operations.
Most of the organizations seek to acquire ethical hacking services from full-time employees or consultants so as to ensure the security of their systems and information, thus making ethical hacking a highly lucrative profession.
Best Hacking Books You Must Read to be a Hacker
Are you willing to become an ethical hacker? One of the best ways is to start reading books about hacking and try it yourself. Some of the best how to hack books that an aspiring ethical hacker must read are:
This hacking book is a must-read for all hackers, however, this can be a little overwhelming for beginners. This book focuses on many common obstacles people face at the ethical hacking job. This book can help intermediate-level hackers do their job more efficiently.
This is one of the best books which will take you through the technicalities of areas like programming, shell code, and exploitation. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or have very little hacking knowledge, this book will help you understand the complexities of digital security tasks.
This excellent and well-written book will make you learn all the clever stuff of getting access to a system. All in all, the best book to buy.
The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick
This is a fascinating book that explores the ways hackers use social engineering to exploit human vulnerabilities and deceive their targets. Mitnick, a former hacker turned security consultant, shares his firsthand experience and offers practical tips for protecting yourself and your business from social engineering attacks.
Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick
“Ghost in the Wires” is a captivating book written by Kevin Mitnick, one of the most notorious hackers in history. In his autobiography, Mitnick shares his thrilling experiences as a hacker, his run-ins with law enforcement, and his ultimate capture.
Mitnick’s story is a fascinating insight into the world of hacking and social engineering, and his account of his adventures is both entertaining and educational.
The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy (Syngress Basics Series)
This is probably the best book to start for beginners. The best thing about this book is that it covers all the basics of penetration testing and hacking, without assuming that the reader has any prior hacking knowledge. It provides a step-by-step journey of penetration testing, moving from Information Gathering to Scanning, Exploitation, and finally, Report Writing.
Instead of dealing with individual concepts in-depth, this book will provide you with a wholesome picture of hacking.
This book deals with Penetration Testing by making use of the open source Metasploit Framework testing. It is suitable for readers who have no prior knowledge of Metasploit. The tutorial-like style of the book makes you learn things by doing them.
The ending of the book provides you with an actual penetration test’s simulated version so as to provide you with a realistic experience.
Right from the beginning, this book gives you what you need, without wasting time in unnecessary justifications. Instead of explaining only theoretical concepts, the book consists of finely tuned and crystal clear tutorials. It provides a good mix of basics and high-level knowledge and works cohesively with the reader.
This is undoubtedly one of the most well-written books of all time. It provides crisp and clear writing with relevant examples along with a humorous touch to enliven the dry and mundane subject. The contents of the book are well organized in a neither too chatty nor too dry manner. However, you require some basic networking background to derive full benefits from this book.
This certification book is easy to read, straightforward, and explains some of the complex topics in an excellent manner. All you need to do in order to pass the test is to read the book and do the practice exercises.
In addition to this, the “remember these sections” and the content headers highlight all the key topics that one must pay attention to. So, if you wish to straightaway get down to the study material without wasting time on esoteric gibberish, this is the book for you.
(By: Peter Kim )
This is a good book for hands-on examples to get experties on pen testing. The book assumes a basic understanding of Linux OS. It is aimed for advanced hackers.
Although, hacking may sound like an interesting area of study, when it comes to the application of the various concepts of penetration testing, it is easier said than done. In addition to having an educational background in the field of computer science, the hackers must have an affinity for learning and acquiring new skills on an ongoing basis. Also, ethical hackers must possess out-of-the-box thinking so that they are able to come with a maximum number of possible ways of designing and securing a computer system.
- Updated on March 2023 – Added two more books, validated all books are still the best for learning hacking.
- Updated on July 2021 – validated all books are still the best for learning hacking.
- Updated on Nov 2020: Added Advanced Pen Testing book based on more reviews across the web.
- Updated on July 2020: Updated Beginners book based on more reviews across the web.
- Updated in April 2019: Minor changes and updates to the introduction section.