13 Best Ethical Hacking Books in 2022

13 Best Ethical Hacking Books in 2022

If you're interested in becoming an ethical hacker or preparing for a cybersecurity certification, you'll need to have a sound foundation in computer networking and programming.

In this article, we will recommend the best ethical hacking books for different purposes.

Here are the best ethical hacking books in 2022:

1. Ethical HackingA Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Learn and Master Ethical Hacking

1. Ethical Hacking Book Cover

Ethical Hacking covers a wide range of topics related to ethical hacking.

For example, you will learn about different types of attacks that can be carried out against computer systems, how to find vulnerabilities in systems, and how to write exploits that can take advantage of these vulnerabilities.

On top of that, this ethical hacking book does a great job at covering topics of social engineering and psychology behind it.

Authors: Hilary Morrison, Hein Smith

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the basics of ethical hacking
  • Understand what it means to be an ethical hacker
  • Know about the tools and terminology you need to get started
  • Gain in-depth knowledge about the processes of enumeration, sniffing, port scanning, and network mapping
  • Determine vulnerabilities, exploits, and weaknesses in computer systems
  • Understand malware and how to infect networks, servers, and computers with ease
  • Evade intrusion detection systems
  • Master system hacking, social engineering, hacking the web, and the cloud

2. The Hardware Hacking HandbookBreaking Embedded Security with Hardware Attacks

2. The Hardware Hacking Handbook Book Cover

The Hardware Hacking Handbook is an indispensable resource for understanding embedded devices security and executing hardware attacks.

Written with wit and infused with hands-on lab experiments, this handbook puts you in the role of an attacker interested in breaking security to do good.

Starting with a crash course on the architecture of embedded devices, threat modeling, and attack trees, you’ll go on to explore hardware interfaces, ports and communication protocols, electrical signaling, firmware images, and more.

Along the way, you’ll use a home testing lab to perform fault-injection, side-channel (SCA), and simple and differential power analysis (SPA/DPA) attacks on a variety of real devices.

If you want to learn more about cryptography, check out my review of best cryptography books to help you get started.

The authors also share insights into real-life attacks on embedded systems, including Sony’s PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, and Philips Hue lights.

Whether you’re an industry engineer tasked with understanding these attacks, a student starting out in the field, or an electronics hobbyist curious about replicating existing work, The Hardware Hacking Handbook is an essential resource.

Authors: Jasper van Woudenberg, Colin O'Flynn

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the basics of embedded systems
  • Model security threats for embedded devices
  • Use electrical analysis techniques to extract passwords and cryptographic keys from embedded devices
  • Apply different types of fault injection attacks
  • Perform simple and differential power analysis attacks

3. Practical IoT HackingThe Definitive Guide to Attacking the Internet of Things

3. Practical IoT Hacking Book Cover

Practical IoT Hacking is a book that walks you through the common threats and a threat modeling framework of the Internet of Things (IoT).

You will develop a security testing methodology and discover the art of passive reconnaissance. The book also assesses security on all layers of an IoT system.

Next, you'll perform VLAN hopping, crack MQTT authentication, abuse UPnP, develop an mDNS poisoner, and craft WS-Discovery attacks.

Moreover, you'll tackle both hardware hacking and radio hacking, with in-depth coverage of attacks against embedded IoT devices and RFID systems.

The tools and devices used in the book are affordable and readily available.

Whether you're a security researcher, IT team member, or hacking hobbyist, you'll find Practical IoT Hacking indispensable in your efforts to hack all the things.

Authors: Fotios Chantzis, Ioannis Stais, Paulino Calderon, Evangelos Deirmentzoglou, Beau Woods

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the basics of IoT security
  • Assess the security of IoT systems
  • Discover common threats to IoT systems
  • Develop a security testing methodology
  • Master passive reconnaissance techniques
  • Understand all layers of an IoT system
  • Hack embedded devices and RFID systems
  • Use affordable and readily available tools and devices
  • Write a DICOM service scanner
  • Hack a microcontroller
  • Reverse engineer firmware
  • Analyze mobile companion apps
  • Develop an NFC fuzzer
  • Hack a smart home

4. Advanced Penetration TestingHacking the World's Most Secure Networks

4. Advanced Penetration Testing Book Cover

Advanced Penetration Testing provides a more complex attack simulation and integrates social engineering, programming, and vulnerability exploits into a multidisciplinary approach for targeting and compromising high security environments.

The book features techniques not taught in certification prep or covered by common defensive scanners. It also contains custom coding examples in VBA, Windows Scripting Host, C, Java, JavaScript, Flash, and more.

Advanced Penetration Testing is perfect for anyone who wants to harden their IT infrastructure against targeted advanced attacks from motivated professionals.

Authors: Wil Allsopp

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Use Advanced Penetration Testing tools
  • Penetrate high security networks
  • Escalate privilege and breach networks
  • Infiltrate further using harvested credentials
  • Use SQL injection and cross-site scripting

Wil Allsopp: About the author

Wil Allsopp is a cyber security expert and has written several books on the subject. He is also a regular guest on BBC radio and television, and has given expert testimony in court.

5. HackingThe Art of Exploitation

5. Hacking Book Cover

Hacking is a comprehensive introduction to the techniques of exploitation and creative problem-solving methods. It shows how hackers exploit programs and write exploits, instead of just how to run other people's exploits.

This book explains the technical aspects of hacking, including stack based overflows, heap based overflows, string exploits, return-into-libc, shellcode, and cryptographic attacks on 802.11b.

If you are interested in learning about ethical hacking, then this book is for you. It provides a detailed and informative guide to the subject, explaining everything from the basics of hacking to more advanced topics.

Authors: Jon Erickson

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Learn how to exploit programs
  • Understand the technical aspects of hacking
  • Discover creative problem-solving methods
  • Grasp the concepts of computer security
  • Understand stack-based overflows, heap-based overflows, string exploits, return-into-libc, shellcode, and cryptographic attacks on 802.11b.

Jon Erickson: About the author

Jon Erickson is a computer security specialist and cryptologist who has spoken at many conferences around the world. He has a formal education in computer science and currently works in Northern California.

6. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, Fifth Edition

6. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, Fifth Edition Book Cover

Gray Hat Hacking is a comprehensive guide to ethical hacking that covers the latest tools and techniques.

The book teaches you how to find and fix critical security flaws in your network before cybercriminals can exploit them.

You'll also learn how to protect yourself against ransomware, malware, and other attacks. The book features new chapters on exploiting the Internet of things and embedded devices, as well as updated information on reverse engineering techniques and wireless security.

Authors: Daniel Regalado, Shon Harris, Allen Harper, Chris Eagle, Jonathan Ness, Branko Spasojevic, Ryan Linn, Stephen Sims

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Apply different types of ethical hacking
  • Use various tools and techniques to hack systems
  • Understand cyber law and the legal implications of hacking
  • Protect systems from hackers

7. Linux Basics for HackersGetting Started with Networking, Scripting, and Security in Kali

7. Linux Basics for Hackers Book Cover

If you're getting started along the exciting path of hacking, cybersecurity, and pentesting, Linux Basics for Hackers is an excellent first step. Using Kali Linux, an advanced penetration testing distribution of Linux, you'll learn the basics of using the Linux operating system and acquire the tools and techniques you'll need to take control of a Linux environment.

First, you'll learn how to install Kali on a virtual machine and get an introduction to basic Linux concepts. Next, you'll tackle broader Linux topics like manipulating text, controlling file and directory permissions, and managing user environment variables. You'll then focus in on foundational hacking concepts like security and anonymity and learn scripting skills with bash and Python.

If you are new to Python, check out my review of best Python books to help you get started.

Authors: OccupyTheWeb

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Install Kali on a virtual machine
  • Get an introduction to basic Linux concepts
  • Manipulate text, control file and directory permissions, and manage user environment variables
  • Understand foundational hacking concepts like security and anonymity
  • Use scripting skills with bash and Python
  • Write a tool to scan for network connections
  • Connect and listen to wireless networks
  • Cover your tracks by changing your network information and manipulating the rsyslog logging utility
  • Keep your internet activity stealthy using Tor, proxy servers, VPNs, and encrypted email
  • Use and abuse services like MySQL, Apache web server, and OpenSSH
  • Build your own hacking tools, such as a remote video spy camera and a password cracker"

OccupyTheWeb: About the author

OccupyTheWeb is a former professor, full-time ethical hacker and security consultant. He has been working in the IT security field since 2002. He has also written articles for various security magazines and websites.

8. Hands on HackingBecome an Expert at Next Gen Penetration Testing and Purple Teaming

8. Hands on Hacking Book Cover

Hands-On Hacking is a fast, hands-on introduction to offensive hacking techniques. Written by infosec experts with proven history of publishing vulnerabilities and highlighting security flaws, this book covers the fundamental basics of how computer networks are inherently vulnerable to attack. It teaches you how to apply hacking skills to uncover vulnerabilities and ultimately improve an organization's security.

Authors: Matthew Hickey, Jennifer Arcuri

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the basics of hacking
  • Breach a computer network
  • Discover common security flaws and their exploits
  • Master the techniques used by ethical hackers and criminal crackers alike

9. Hacking the HackerLearn From the Experts Who Take Down Hackers

9. Hacking the Hacker Book Cover

In Hacking the Hacker, you'll learn about the work of ethical hackers, what goes on behind the scenes, and the tools of the trade.

The book profiles some of the world's top ethical hackers, security researchers, writers, and leaders - including Dorothy Denning, Martin Hellman and Bill Cheswick.

You don't need any technical expertise to understand this book - it's designed to be an introduction to the field.

So if you're interested in cybersecurity or just want to know more about how hacking works, then this is the book for you!

Authors: Roger A. Grimes

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand different types of hackers
  • Understand the basics of cybersecurity
  • Know what different hacking tools are used for
  • Defend against common cybersecurity attacks
  • Gain an understanding of the ethics of hacking

Roger A. Grimes: About the author

Roger A. Grimes is the author of 13 books and over 1,100 national magazine articles on computer security, specializing in host security and preventing hacker and malware attacks. He is a frequent speaker at national computer security conferences, was the weekly security columnist at InfoWorld and CSO magazines from 2005 - 2019, and former instructor and penetration tester for Foundstone.

10. Social EngineeringThe Science of Human Hacking

10. Social Engineering Book Cover

Social engineering is the use of manipulation techniques to get someone to take an action that they wouldn't normally take.

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking will teach you how to recognize and prevent social engineering attacks. It includes examples of real-world social engineering attempts, as well as tips on how to protect yourself and your organization from such attacks.

This book provides an inside look at the most common social engineering tricks and how they are used to gain access. You will also learn about the science behind emotions and decisions, which can be used by social engineers. Additionally, this book includes counter-measures that can keep hackers at bay.

Authors: Christopher Hadnagy

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the different types of social engineering
  • Understand how social engineering is used to exploit human nature
  • Understand how to protect yourself and others from social engineering tactics

Christopher Hadnagy: About the author

Christopher Hadnagy is the founder and CEO of Social-Engineer, LLC. In his sixteen years in the industry, he has written the world’s first social engineering–framework, created the first social engineering–based podcast and newsletter, and written four books on the topic.

11. Ethical HackingA Hands-on Introduction to Breaking In

11. Ethical Hacking Book Cover

Ethical Hacking is a practical guide that will teach you how to hack computer systems from the ground up.

You'll learn how to capture traffic, view it in Wireshark, and deploy reverse shells to remotely run commands on a victim's computer.

In advanced chapters, you'll learn how to exploit websites with SQL injection and escalate your privileges to extract credentials. You'll also learn how to write your own tools in Python.

If you are new to SQL, check out my review of best SQL books to help you get started.

Ethical Hacking will prepare you for a career in penetration testing. It is a hands-on guide that will teach you how to think like an ethical hacker.

Authors: Daniel G. Graham

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Capture a victim's network traffic with an ARP spoofing attack
  • View captured traffic in Wireshark
  • Deploy reverse shells that let you remotely run commands on a victim's computer
  • Encrypt files by writing your own ransomware in Python
  • Fake emails like the ones used in phishing attacks
  • Exploit websites with SQL injection
  • Escalate privileges to extract credentials
  • Traverse a private network
  • Fuzz for new vulnerabilities
  • Craft trojans and rootkits
  • Install Linux rootkits that modify a victim's operating system
  • Perform advanced Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks.

12. Learn Ethical Hacking from ScratchYour stepping stone to penetration testing

12. Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch Book Cover

Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch starts with the basics of ethical hacking, how to practice hacking safely and legally, and how to install and interact with Kali Linux and the Linux terminal.

After that, you will explore network hacking, where you will see how to test the security of wired and wireless networks. Then you'll learn how to crack the password for any Wi-Fi network (whether it uses WEP, WPA, or WPA2) and spy on connected devices.

You'll see how to discover, exploit, and prevent a number of website vulnerabilities such as XSS and SQL injections. Each section ends with learning how detect, prevent, & secure systems from these attacks.

This book is perfect for anyone interested in learning how to test the security of systems like professional security experts.

Authors: Zaid Sabih

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Learn about the basics of ethical hacking
  • Understand how computer systems work and their vulnerabilities
  • Explore Linux basics, commands, and how to interact with the terminal
  • Access password-protected networks and spy on connected clients
  • Use server and client-side attacks to hack and control remote computers
  • Control a hacked system remotely and use it to hack other systems
  • Discover, exploit, and prevent a number of web application vulnerabilities such as XSS and SQL injections
  • Secure systems from hackers

Zaid Sabih: About the author

Zaid Sabih is an ethical hacker and a computer scientist.

13. Penetration Testing Azure for Ethical HackersDevelop practical skills to perform pentesting and risk assessment of Microsoft Azure environments

13. Penetration Testing Azure for Ethical Hackers Book Cover

Penetration Testing Azure for Ethical Hackers teaches you how to simulate real-world attacks on your Azure environment in order to find and fix vulnerabilities.

You'll learn how to identify and exploit common security issues, as well as how to protect your environment from attack. By the end of this book, you'll be able to use your ethical hacking skills to secure your own Azure infrastructure.

Authors: David Okeyode, Karl Fosaaen, Charles Horton

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Topics covered

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the different Azure attack techniques and methodologies used by hackers
  • Find out how you can ensure end-to-end cybersecurity in the Azure ecosystem
  • Discover various tools and techniques to perform successful penetration tests on your Azure infrastructure.

FAQ: Ethical Hacking Books

What's the best ethical hacking book?

Ethical Hacking is the best ethical hacking book for anyone who wants to learn about the basics of ethical hacking. Hilary Morrison and Hein Smith do a great job at covering the different types of attacks that can be carried out against computer systems, how to find vulnerabilities in systems, and how to write exploits that can take advantage of these vulnerabilities.

This book is also a great resource for understanding the psychology behind social engineering and how to evasion intrusion detection systems.

What does ethical hacker mean?

An ethical hacker is a computer and network security expert who specializes in penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.

Ethical hackers are employed by companies to test their security measures and identify vulnerabilities before malicious hackers do.

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