Best Ethical Hacking Books for Beginners and Professionals

Do you have a passion for hacking? Do you want to take it as a career and become a system security expert? Or you may be a beginner and want to learn the basics of hacking.

Before we start to look at the Best Ethical Hacking Books for Beginners and Professionals, let us get introduced into the basics of Ethical Hacking.

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What is Ethical Hacking?

The term “Ethical Hacking” refers to the structured legalized hacking of a system. This is done to find the loopholes in security. Ethical hackers perform this with the permission of the organization that owns the system.

Why Ethical Hacking?

  • Prevent data from malicious attackers
  • Discover vulnerabilities from a hackers point of view
  • Vulnerabilities can be fixed
  • Employ a secure system to prevent a security breach
  • Protect data from terrorists to defend national security
  • Gain the trust of customers and investors

Types of Ethical Hacking

  • Web App hacking
  • System hacking
  • Web server hacking
  • Wireless network hacking
  • Social engineering

Now you know the answers to what and why of ethical hacking, let us look at the list of Best Ethical Hacking Books for Beginners and Professionals.


BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing

Author: Vivek Ramachandran

This book is a beginner’s guide. Therefore, it is ideal for beginners who want to learn hacking and wireless security from the basics. The book has nine chapters. Each of them covers topics like WLAN encryption flaws, wireless lab setup, WLAN penetration testing methodology, and bypassing WLAN authentication.

It helps to learn about malicious attacks in the most practical manner. The attacks are described as lab exercises with step by step illustrations. You can learn more from this book if you have a general knowledge of wireless networks.


Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide to Computer Hacking

Author: John Slavio

This is one of the most basic books on hacking where anyone can learn from scratch. This book gives basic training to become an ethical hacker. The topics in this book include the history of hacking, types of hackers, types of malicious attacks and threats, essential hacking tools, and penetration testing.

The author also teaches the types of security measures to undertake. The fun part is that you can use the tricks given to prank your friends. However, it is a very good book to learn ethical hacking.

The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing

Author: Patrick Engebretson

This book teaches penetration testing by using modern tools. These tools include Backtrack Linux, Metasploit, Netbus, Google reconnaissance, Nmap, MetaGooFil, Nessus, dig, Hacker Defender rootkit, Fast Track Autopwn, Netcat, and more.

The book has seven chapters. Each chapter covers core concepts such as scanning, penetration testing, malware, exploitation, and others. This book uses Backtrack Linux distribution which helps to learn ethical hacking in a modern framework.


The Hacker Playbook Series

Author: Peter thiel

There are three books in this series all of which are very good to learn ethical hacking especially penetrating testing. The first book in the series guides you into penetration testing like a game. It teaches different types of attacks, penetration through security control, and antivirus systems.

The second book offers more tools and tactics in detail. The third book in the series teaches you about the Red Team. This book provides insights into how a system becomes vulnerable to security breaches even after strong preventive measures. Further, this book teaches how to deal with these issues.


The Hacker’s Underground Handbook

Author: James Pendleton

If you are thorough with your basics in ethical hacking and want to become a master of it, this book is for you. This book helps you to think like a hacker so that you can protect yourself from other hackers. From cracking through the passwords to protecting web app passwords, this book has it all.

Furthermore, this book includes footprinting, port scanning, wireless network hacking, banner grabbing, compromising windows systems, web network hacking, and other exciting concepts. With this book, you can become a master hacker and pursue your career as an ethical hacker.


Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide

Authors: David Kennedy, Jim O’Gorman, Devon Kearns, Mati Aharoni

This one is definitely for ethical hackers to learn more about the Metasploit tool. The framework of this tool helps to discover, exploit, and share vulnerabilities quickly. There are conventions of the Metasploit framework, modules, and interfaces while launching a simulated attack in this book.

The author also discusses the modern penetration testing techniques, writing Meterpreter post-exploitation modules and scripts, performing network reconnaissance, and integrating with Nmap and Nessus. This book will take you beyond what you have already learned.


Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Author: Jon Erickson

This book is a comprehensive book for beginners to learn ethical hacking. The author teaches different techniques like FMS attack, hijacking TCP connections, and exploiting cryptographic vulnerabilities. Concepts like stack-based overflows, heap-based overflows, cryptographic attacks, string exploits, and shellcode are also discussed.

More basic concepts such as machine architecture, fundamentals of C programming language, Linux environment, hijacking network communications, and debugging code are also explained. However, a treat to the buyer is a live CD that comes along the book. This CD has information about Linux programming, C programming, shell script, and assembly language.


Ghost in the Wires

Authors: Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak

If you are into hacking, you must know the most wanted hacker in the world, Kevin Mitnick. This book is the first comprehensive first-person account of his journey. While other hackers were struggling with password possibilities, Kevin was penetrating the systems of big companies such as Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Motorola, Digital Equipment Corporation, Pacific Bell, and others. Overall, this book is a humorous account of all the things Kevin has done.


Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking

Author: Christopher Hadnagy

The famous Kevin Mitnick promoted the term “Social Engineering”.Social engineering can be defined as the science of influencing the target to reveal the information. Moreover, it is a tactic that makes the target reveal their passwords. It is much easier than the effort to hack into the system. This book explains the aspect of social engineering.



So now you have the list of best ethical hacking books for beginners and professionals. You can now choose among them to learn more about ethical hacking. Happy Hacking!

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