Hacking is considered to be a two-way tool the place in a computer system is penetrated both to make it extra secure or to create a mischief. Ethical hacking is defined as making use of programming abilities, in order to penetrate a computer system and decide its vulnerabilities. The ethical hacker is skilled specialists, usually referred to as the “white hats”. As towards non-ethical hacker or “black hats” that penetrate into a computer system and exploit it for their very own private gain or mischief, the “white hats” consider and point out the vulnerabilities of system software, and recommend system changes to make it less penetrate.
The word hacking can sound a bit frighting and trigger some negative responses from people around you. A common misunderstanding is that all hackers are criminals. They use their skills to break in to your computer and steal valuable information. Of course there are people that use their skills for criminal actions but far from all of them.
A lot of hackers work as security-consultants or penetration-testers. They are hired by companies and organizations that wants to investigate what vulnerabilities they have in their systems. That way they can be ahead of the criminals.
You can also work with bug-bounties. Companies and organizations can sign up to organized bug-bounty programs. They allow hackers to try and break their systems such as their website. If the hacker finds a vulnerability he or she then reports back to the company. If you find something you get a reward, usually in the form of money.
BEST HACKING BOOKS
Their are two types of hacking books. If you are new to programming and computer science you should read at least one of each.
The first type gives you a good understanding of how stuff works. If you want to learn how to hack web applications for example you need to have a good understanding of how the web works. You also want to know what the common vulnerabilities are for different systems and how you prevent attacks today.
The second type is for hands on practice. You can read and follow the examples.
BEST HACKING BOOKS FOR GENERAL UNDERSTANDING
I always encourage people to develop a general understanding of the subject that they want to learn. That way you have a good base to build on. In the long run this will save time. In hacking that means reading about security. I have picked out my two favorite books about security for you to look at. Both of them will do just fine.
- Computer and Information Security Handbook Second Edition
- The InfoSec Handbook: An Introduction to Information Security
Number 1 is my choice. If you have the patience to read through a thousand pages of highly technical content this book will make it well worth your time. You will get a great overview of all computer related security and an understanding of why certain parts of the technology is more vulnerable than others.
If you want something on a more basic level I would go with number 2. You will find it easier to read. Be aware that hacking and security are complex topics. You wont come far with just basic knowledge. So be prepared to spend hours on learning.
BEST HACKING BOOKS FOR HANDS ON PRACTICE
The best way to learn is by doing. You will find this to be true whatever the subject might be. When it comes to hacking you might be a bit scared to start out. Luckily for us there are good resources that help you get started in a legal way. The best hacking books to help you with this that I have read is the following:
- The Hacker Playbook 2: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing
- Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters
- Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide
The one that offer the most practical practice is as you might have guessed the first one. It is also a little bit easier to read if you don’t have any prior experience. In any case all of these books are some of the best in the area. If you want more hands on practice you should turn to the internet. There are sites that offer catch the flag exercises which is a great way to develop your skills.
BEST HACKING BOOKS FOR DIFFERENT TARGETS
If you have some technology that you are interested in you might want to find a book related to that. It can be anything from mobile applications to IoT systems. Everything technological have some security issue. You might find it easier to learn security if it relates to a technology that you know.
A great book-series for new hackers with an interest in web technologies is the Hackers Handbook series. It consists of a number of books, all of them with a certain attacking-target. The most popular books in the series are:
- The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook
- The Browser Hacker’s Handbook
- The Mobile Application Hacker’s Handbook
- iOS Hacker’s Handbook
- Android Hacker’s Handbook
Since these technologies are similar to each other reading one of these books will help you with the next one. So you can pick which ever you find the most interesting and then continue from there. They are all well written and contains good examples and explanations. My personal favorite is number one. Mostly because it contains the most information. It is a bit more general than the others.
You don’t need to be a professional programmer to be a hacker, but it will help you. Hacking is a complex topic. You have to spend time on learning. What makes it even more difficult is that security always changes. If you learn a way to attack a web application today that might not work tomorrow. To be a great hacker you need to keep your skills updated at all times.
Learning about security is very important for developers as well. You need to create secure applications. The best way to learn security is to take the attackers perspective. Having knowledge in hacking will make you a better developer.
What ever your reason for learning hacking might be I hope you will use it for good.