Best Hacking Books
What books or are there any recommended books that you would have for getting started in cybersecurity? So let’s start with that. Do you have like a top three, top five books that you would recommend someone look at getting if they wanna get started in cybersecurity? Absolutely. And actually I went to my bookshelf and actually pulled some books together so I could do like a little show and tell.
The first book is called “The Pentester Blueprint” which is starting a career as an ethical hacker by Phillip Wylie. That would be like book number one. He does a project called Pwn School with the university in Texas where he actually teaches ethical hacking to universities for free and brings that free ethical hacking training. So he took all of that knowledge on starting a careers in ethical hacking, and brought it into a book called, “The Pentester Blueprint.” So that’s book number one, that I would 100% recommend everybody get on board with as well. It’s hard ’cause I’ve got a bookshelf full of books and you read a whole lot of them and there’s a lot of good knowledge that’s out there.
When I looked across kinda my series of books one of the first ones that I would definitely recommend, is this one right here, “Social Engineering” by Christopher Hadnagy. This guy is a literal genius when it comes to social engineering. And I think that this is an awesome book. When you look at just how prevalent social engineering is as an attack tactic, it is literally used in 90% of the attacks that are out there. When you talk about fishing, whether you’re talking about vishing with a voice call, whether you’re talking about trying to social engineer your way into a building when it comes to physical penetration testing, and so this book covers a lot of the psychological mental and kinda the tactics that kinda come with doing social engineering and so 10 of 10 would definitely recommend the “Social Engineering” book by Chris Hadnagy. It’s called the “Art of Human Hacking.”
what’s your third book? – So the third book that I have here, and since we talk a lot about OSCP and things like this, is this one right here, right? “Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux,” right? And so this was done by Daniel Dieterle and this one really just kind of walks you through… This is almost a primer for how to use Kali Linux for doing day-to-day penetration testing. So it walks through Metasploit, it walks through open source intelligence gathering, it’s got recon-ng in here. And so this is almost like they took everything that was available inside of Kali Linux and they put it inside of a, “Here’s how to pick up Kali Linux and basically start doing penetration testing.” Which is cert based, you getting searched for credentials and getting past the gatekeepers versus actually getting knowledge. And so I look at books like this and the reason that I highly recommend books like this is because you can pick this book up and you’d be like, “I wanna learn how to use recon-ng inside of Kali Linux.” And you can go to the recon-ng section and you could figure out how to use recon-ng and you could start using recon-ng today. That’s gaining knowledge in this space that’s gonna help you actually know the tools and be more useful for the tools which is why I’m a huge fan of books. – Yeah, so I bet that’s teaching you a whole bunch of tools in Kali? – Yeah. This one’s really focused on the tool kit that you have available in Kali and so when you think about, when you’re getting into this career space you’re familiar with Kali because of OSCP, because of just the place that Kali has with most people in their testing toolkit. And so you have to have a manual just like you have for your car or just like you have for almost anything else, that tells you all the features and capabilities and tools that are inside of Kali. Obviously use with caution, as we’ve seen Kali change pretty extensively over the years but some of the fundamental tools that are listed in here like recon-ng and whatnot and how to use them, are still very much relevant in this book. – That’s great.
So what’s your fourth book? – So the fourth book along that exact same line, is one that kinda dives a little deeper and is the “Metasploit Penetration Testing Cookbook,” right? So we’ve talked about Kali from a broad sense, but one of the biggest toolkits that you’re gonna use inside of Kali especially if you look at like kinda your Swiss Army Knife if you will of penetration testing tools inside of Kali, is gonna come to be Metasploit. And one of the things I like to talk about this is Metasploit, it’s one of those tools that you don’t have to run in Kali, you can fire up an Ubuntu VM, you can download Metasploit from the get rate repo and you can stand it up from scratch. And this type of book is still very useful as well and so it goes through the ins and outs of how Metasploit is built as a framework, the different components of part of it, the auxiliary modules, it talks about how to set it up as a proxy, how to set it up to do SSH tunneling, all of the scripts that you can do, how to do payloads that avoid antivirus and how to deal with things for post exploitation perspective. And so when we talk about, what happens when you get onto a box or where do you find these big, huge repositories of exploits that you can use during a penetration test, this is probably gonna be your first stop inside of Metasploit, and so that’s why I like this one is because you start broad with the Kali book but then you can find truth your way down to something like this and focus in on Metasploit. And that right there between those two books, you’ve probably covered 70% of the knowledge that you need in the penetration testing industry to get started. – That’s great. I mean, the problem with training courses sometimes is the costs. We spoke previously about SerDEs and you used to train for SerDes. I mean, it’s really expensive but for a lot of people, they can get a book. I really like O’Reilly because O’Reilly has the subscription pack do the same. Have the subscription service where you can get access to a whole bunch of books. So just knowledge is much more freely available today than it used to be. But before I go off on a high horse again ’cause you and I are very good at that, what’s your last book? –
So the last book that I have, is actually called “The Hacker Playbook.” It’s a practical guide to penetration testing. So again, I’m a huge fan of having tools in a toolbox and for you to understand the tools that you have available to you. But I like also teaching mentalities and teaching concepts and teaching, how should you think as an ethical hacker? And so this book right here walks you through how to think about chaining exploits together, how to think about chaining attacks. When we talk about chaining exploits or chaining attacks, you asked me about social engineering, that’s all well and good but what do I do once I’ve social engineer my way into that building or what do I do with that username and password? And that may seem like a simple example, but that type of like, “Okay, I have a step one that I have to do, now I have step two. Now I have step three. Now step four. Now step five.” Where you combine social engineering with maybe, you’ve packaged up some piece of malware that gets you in an initial foothold and then you may have to do some post exploitation activity on that and some lateral movement, that all represents a chain. We’ve oftentimes referred to it as the kill chain, right? Or a chain of attacks. And so this book very much helps you get into that hacker mindset that says, “How do you take an initial access foothold and perpetuate your access across the entire environment and gets you into thinking about that like an attacker perspective?” So when you look at all five of these books, it encompasses Phillip Wylie’s, getting in, here’s what you need to get your foothold in the door as a career, as ethical hacking, now let’s talk about the tools inside of Kali Linux, Social Engineering,