My top 5 ethical hacking books

Apr 20, 2018

updated at: Jun 10, 2018

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I'm very interested in security, moreover penetration testing. I started to read some books and here is my top 5!

Hacking the art of exploitation 2nd edition

By Jon Erickson.

Amazon.co.uk

This book is 10 years old, but boy I learned a lot. If you want to get started in the hacker field and you want to go balls deep directly this is the book to go with. The goal of this book is not to learn how to hack but how things really work. The book first explains what assembly is and how code gets read by the computer, next you get an introduction to C and after that the fun starts. You learn about creating reverse shells, how to capture and modify packets, encryption, buffer overflows and shellcode. What I really liked was the shellcode part and debugging memory, the sad part is that the book only covers 32 bit architecture so almost nothing works when copying code (but you are a hacker so you should find out how it works on your architecture!). I really hope one day there will be a 3rd edition.

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The Hacker playbook 2

By Peter Kim.

Amazon.co.uk

On a penetration test when you are out of ideas for exploiting for example, open this book at the correct chapters and continue your pentest. This is what the book is intended for, it is something you bring with you, open at a specific chapter and get that shell.

NOTE: The Hacker Playbook 3 got recently released and is more focussed on red teaming.

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Black hat python

By Justin Seitz.

Amazon.co.uk

Very good coverage of what you can do with Python. It starts with building little tools like tcp_server, netcat, tcp_proxy all in python step by step guide. And ends with Windows privilege escalation and automating forensic tools.

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Red team field manual

By Ben Clark.

Amazon.co.uk

This is not a real book, it's a book full of cheatsheets for various stuff like reverse shells in different languages, firewall ports, Windows NT version explanation and so on.

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Advanced penetration testing

By Wil Allsopp.

Amazon.co.uk

This book is not like the others; a tutorial. It wants to show you how things are really done in the real world, it explains what an advanced persistent threat (APT) is and how to model it in the real world. One of the scenario's was connecting to your C2 server via DNS or via TOR, which was very interesting.

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