In today’s post, we’re going to be talking about the best penetration testing books available that even beginners can read and gain some knowledge from. The books we’re talking about today will focus on exposing you to the practical aspects of hacking as well as introduce you to the fundamental theories and concepts of ethical hacking which can be built on. 

All of the books we’re going to be speaking about today were written and recommended by people considered to be industry experts when it comes to ethical hacking and we believe you’re going to truly enjoy all of the reads we cover in this article.

The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws

The first book to discuss today is The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook. This fantastic book is a web-app focused on teaching people to ethically hack, and is considered a must-read for anyone starting out with penetration testing, especially web application pen testing.

This book teaches readers step-by-step the methods of how to test the security of web application and it covers it so in-depth you literally learn the processes from start to finish. This is by far one of our favourite books about hacking.

This book teaches the basics of web application pen testing such as what and how HTTP protocols work for users to gain a better insight into how the communication between a web server and its visitor works, this gives readers knowledge of how to attack and how to prevent being attacked.

This book is a no brainer for anyone interested in web application penetration testing. You can find this book on Amazon

Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks

The next book on our list is one that takes users beyond the use of metasploit and deeper than learning to use Kali Linux. This book will provide you with a deeper understanding of advanced penetration testing specifically for networks that require high-security.

This specific book may not be the first one that beginners should consider reading with how advanced some of the material actually is, however it puts everything you read about pen-testing into the right perspective. 

The author covers complex situations found in an attack simulation and mentions APT (advanced persistent threat) modelling which covers techniques that are far more advanced than simple tools available on hacking frameworks

You can find subjects such as high-security networks, malware, adopting C2 servers and C&C structures, social engineering and more advanced techniques. So if you’re looking to take your skills to an entirely new level, look no further than Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks. Get this book on GoodReads

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Finally, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation is an absolute classic for people within the ethical hacking industry to read, it’s so renowned it even has a more up-to-date edition released! 

This book about hacking covers absolutely everything an ethical hacker needs to know and projects the information in such a way that anyone, even with no prior knowledge, can understand. 

This book is also available with a CD that users can test out their skills with, which has a Linux programming and debugging environment on it that doesn’t mean having to alter your operating system, almost a plug-and-go solution.

This book differs from every other on this list as rather than simply telling you how to perform exploit scanning, it also teaches you exactly how they work and how someone can go about creating their own.

Readers have the ability to put into practice the methods as they read, and follow along with the examples provided in the book from debugging code, to hijacking network communications and inventing brand-new exploits. Buy this book on Amazon

In conclusion

There are plenty of online resources available which you can find at your fingertips, however most don’t know where to begin. We personally believe that these 3 books will brush up your knowledge and skills enough to be a competent pen tester and have real-world benefits to them.