Books about ethical hacking - The Top 6 of our IT Security Consultants


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The Top 6 Books on Ethical Hacking | Allgeier secion

When people talk about hacking, they immediately think of a cybercriminal in a hooded sweatshirt who penetrates other people's networks from a dark back room, grabs data or paralyzes computers. Much less commonly, the term is associated with "good hackers." Ethical hacking or "white hat hacking" allows IT security experts to penetrate security systems with the knowledge of the network owner. Ethical hacking or white hat hacking puts security concepts to the test and identifies security vulnerabilities in networks and systems in a predefined time. This can be done in the context of a network penetration pentest or - extended by the concrete attack simulation - as a so-called "red teaming scenario". The White Hat Hacker reduces security risks and forms an important basis for the security of networks by identifying and eliminating as many vulnerabilities as possible. A human pentester is much more flexible than an automated test system.

The big difference between white hat hacking and black hat hacking: Ethical hackers are explicitly commissioned for their work - whereas black hat hackers are out for criminal success - without legitimization by their victims, of course. If you are interested in the extremely exciting tasks of white hat hackers, are thinking of pursuing a career in the field, or simply want to learn more about the methods and techniques of ethical hackers, we recommend the top 6 reading tips from our IT security consultants.

The top 6 book recommendations of the Allgeier secion IT Security Consultants

Top 1: Hacking - A Beginners' Guide to Computer Hacking, Basic Security and Penetration Testing, John Slavio

The Beginners' Guide by author John Slavio is primarily aimed at beginners in the field of white hat hacking. The 92-page book offers a compact overview of the theoretical basics of ethical hacking. In addition to an outline of the history of hacking and insights into basic hacking tools, the book offers an overview of the most common attacks and threats, is dedicated to the area of smartphone and e-mail hacking, and provides tangible tips on how to hide one's own IP address. In our opinion, the Beginners' Guide to Computer Hacking should not be missing in any reading collection.

Top 2: The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws, Marcus Pinto, Dafydd Stuttard

With 912 pages, "The Web Application Hacker's Handbook" by Marcus Pinto and Dafydd Stuttard is considerably more comprehensive. The two authors show current attack methods on web applications and provide valuable tips on how to protect web apps against cyber attacks. The revised second edition focuses on new remoting frameworks, hybrid file attacks and HTTP parameter pollutions. Another interesting feature is the website hosted by the authors themselves, where readers can carry out their own attacks and thus put their own skills to the test. Checklists and methodologies for a wide variety of tasks round out this must-have in ethical hacking. If you are interested in the field of web applications and their comprehensive protection, there is no way around this standard work.

Top 3: Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, John Erickson

The author of this book has many years of experience in the field of IT security as a vulnerability expert and computer security specialist. He published the first edition of "Hacking: The Art of Exploitation" back in 2003. The current second edition is aimed at interested readers who are considering a career in ethical hacking. John Erickson details in accessible terms the problems that lurk for white hat hackers, especially at the beginning of their careers, and gives solid tips on how ethical hackers should do their jobs thoroughly, reliably, and in a goal-oriented manner. As an add-on, the book includes a live CD that provides a complete Linus programming and debugging environment. Without modifying your own operating system, you can try out methods and techniques. Hide open ports, hijack TCP connections or execute arbitrary code: The book encourages you to immediately put what you have learned into practice. As a decision-making aid for or against a career as a white hat hacker, "The Art of Exploitation" is indispensable in our eyes.

Top 4: The Hacker's Underground Handbook, James Pendleton

James Pendleton's "Hacker's Underground Handbook" provides a strategic overview of current hacking methods and concepts such as footprinting, port scanning, and banner grabbing. The book provides a myriad of ideas on how to develop preventative defenses against cybercriminals and shows how novices can climb the ladder to the top of white hat hacking with purpose. The handbook is aimed primarily at people with basic knowledge who want to learn more about advanced hacking techniques in an entertaining way. The hands-on explanation of each technique and method makes the "Hacker's Underground Handbook" a valuable addition to any cybersecurity library - and one that our consultants also refer to regularly for reference.

Top 5: Black Hat Python, Justin Seitz

The Python programming language is ideal for developing powerful hacking tools - and is accordingly frequently used by both black hats and white hats. Already with the predecessor of "Black Hat Python" - "Grey Hat Python" - Justin Seitz has landed a resounding success. In the latest book, the author describes in detail the use of Python for the development of Trojans, network sniffers or the clandestine exfiltration of data from a network. While the book is very technical, it is never written in a dry way. If you are interested in developing hacking tools using Python, there is simply no way around this book!

Top 6: The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing, Patrick Engebretson

"The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing" is definitely a standard work that can teach the basics of hacking and penetration testing with simple language even to beginners with no prior knowledge. Patrick Engebretson manages to keep readers engaged with countless real-world examples and detailed descriptions of tools. Excitingly, the book brings knowledge to the readers: you can tell that the author knows exactly what he is writing about. No wonder, Patrick Engebretson is a penetration tester himself. In our opinion, "The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing" is one of the best books on the subject of pentesting and gets a clear reading recommendation from us!


White hat hackers use the same methods and techniques as cybercriminals do. However, they do so with the goal of reliably protecting their clients from risks and threats, rather than exploiting them for their own benefit.

With our book tips, we would like to provide guidance especially to those who are toying with the idea of a career as a penetration tester. White hats are among the most sought-after cybersecurity professionals around. Allgeier secion's penetration testers perform more than 100 pen tests per year and are on the job every day to raise the security level of companies across Germany. Together, they look back on more than 50 years of pentesting experience.

The reports, which go beyond the industry standard, provide customers with a comprehensive picture of the status quo of existing security measures, technical information on vulnerabilities and advice on how to sustainably close these security gaps. All findings identified during the pen test are sorted into different vulnerability categories by the "white hat hackers". This allows conclusions to be drawn about the origin of the vulnerabilities. With easy-to-understand recommendations that can be implemented immediately, companies receive a series of packages of measures that significantly increase the overall security level of the company. The goal of the IT security experts is to achieve an optimal transfer of knowledge that will permanently eliminate the occurrence of the same or similar vulnerabilities in the future.

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