Mar 09, 2022

Best ethical hacking books for beginners

Hacking is an interesting area in computer science to study. In this article, I'm going to introduce some great books. With my experience, I can say those are the best ethical hacking books for beginners to study and get some solid knowledge in concepts such as Programming, system architecture, Cryptography, Networking, etc.

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Hacking the art of exploitation

There is no doubt. This is the greatest book I have ever read about Hacking. It is written by Jon Erickson. There are five main parts and those are covering Programming, Exploitation, Shellcoding, Cryptography, and Networking.

In the first chapter, there is a small introduction and some terminologies. The second chapter explains computer architecture and the basics of C and Assembly programming. Also, you can learn how to debug binaries with GDB. Most programs are written in C and the author uses GDB to explain how those programs are built at the Assembly level.


Exploitation and shell coding is essential parts of hacking. Many exploitation techniques like Stack based overflows, heap overflows, format string exploits are greatly explained with live examples. Shellcode is a set of CPU instructions and it is used to gain access to a system. This is an essential part of the exploitation process. In this book, you can learn how to write a shellcode with assembly. There is a CD with Linux distribution included in the book. So you can use it to practice exercises.

As I said there is an entire chapter for Cryptography. It is the art of hiding data. Here you can learn many cryptography techniques and basic concepts of cryptology. In most examples, C language is used to write codes.

There is no hacking without learning about networks. In this book, there is a complete chapter explaining basic networking theories like TCP/IP, OSI model, etc. Also, you may learn how to write socket programs with C. I think It's really valuable to read it. Why not get a printed copy and start your journey? :-).

Gray hat hacking

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ShellCoder's handbook

When you read the title you may realize what kind of a book it is. Not only writing shellcodes. This is a complete book about exploit development.

Penetration testing with Kali

This is the official document that comes with the OSCP course I found on the internet.

CEH Study guide

This book is written to for prepare to CEH exam. Actually, I have not completed CEH, OSCP, or any other hacking exam. But I love to read these books and learn new things. CEH is a beginner focuses security exam. There are separate chapters for networking, Cryptography, Scanning, etc. You can learn many basic things from this book. Read it if you are a beginner at hacking.

Programing from the ground up

I found this book while I learning to exploit writing. I had no knowledge of system architecture or assembly language. So it was very hard to understand the concepts of stack overflow, shell coding, etc. then I found this awesome book. This book covers the basics of system architecture, Assembly language, and some C programming. It explains programming in a specific way. The name also says we are learning programming from the ground up Which means it starts teaching from Assembly and goes to the top level. Most of the time what we do is write programs in C and disassemble those to see how they are built at the Assembly level. This book may be a new experience for you. I can say it is a must to read if you want to learn Assembly.

Web application hacker's handbook

This is a classical book to learn web application hacking and penetration testing It covers various exploitation techniques like SQL injection, Cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, file upload vulnerability, etc. to use for web applications.


Practical malware analysis


This book is written by  Michael Sikorski and Andrew Honig. The following topics are covered in the book.

1) Introduction and lab setup
This section focus on basic malware terminologies. You may learn how to catch malware using a honey pot, how to identify them, the Usage of automated tools to unpack binaries, etc. Also, hear we set up a lab to practice.

2) Static analysis
Hear we disassemble the binary and try to understand what it does at the Assembly level. In this book, they explain how to use IDA Pro to disassemble and analyze. Also, there is an assembly crash course, to begin with.

3) Dynamic analysis
Dynamic analysis is the process of debugging and finding further information. In this book, you may learn how to use a debugger to do that.

4) Malware Functionality
Here we can learn about different malware types like ransomware, worms, rootkits, etc, and their functions.

5) Anti Reverse engineering
This is another interesting topic. We can build a binary with anti-reversing protections. So it's hard to analyze it. Here we can learn some AR techniques and how to bypass them.

If you are planning to learn reverse engineering or malware analyzing this will be a great choice for you.

Stealing the network and how to own the box

This is actually not an educational book. You can find some great fictional stories about hacking in this book. These stories are not actual ones But they are not fake like hacking scenes in Hollywood movies. You may have seen that there are a bunch of hacking tools to hack a system in a minute in films. They type two-three commands and hackers break into the system You can learn nothing by watching those. But this book is filled with actual theories and concepts. I hope you may like it. There are 10 awesome stories like Hiding and sneak, The worm turns, H3x's adventure, etc My favorite one was "The worm turns". It is a story about reverse engineering a worm.

 

 

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Thilan Danushka Dissanayaka

Thilan Dissanayaka

Hi, I'm Thilan from Srilanka. An undergraduate Engineering student of University of Ruhuna. I love to explorer things about CS, Hacking, Reverse engineering etc.

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