15 Best Cyber Security Books and Ethical Hacking Books in 2024

15 Best Cyber Security Books and Ethical Hacking Books in 2024


The cybersecurity industry is rapidly expanding, creating a wealth of new career opportunities. For those keen on exploring this field, there are numerous books that can guide your learning journey.

This article will introduce you to some of the top books in the realm of cybersecurity and ethical hacking, offering fresh insights and answers to your queries about cybersecurity.

Understanding Cybersecurity

Before delving into the recommended reading list, let’s briefly revisit the concept of cybersecurity. It involves safeguarding programs, networks, computer systems, and their components from unauthorized digital intrusions, commonly known as cyberattacks.

Cyberattacks can lead to the compromise and loss of confidential data, financial losses, and damage to an organization’s reputation. Therefore, it’s vital to thwart these attacks by implementing robust cybersecurity measures.

Exploring Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking involves identifying and exploiting a system’s vulnerabilities to enhance its security.

Those who undertake ethical hacking are known as ethical hackers. They conduct such activities with the explicit permission of the relevant authorities, employing a variety of hacking techniques and tools.

Now, let’s explore some of the best books on cybersecurity.

Top Books on Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity

We’ve curated a list of the top 10 books on cybersecurity and ethical hacking that can benefit learners. Here they are:

“Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide to Computer Hacking, Basic Security, And Penetration Testing” by John Slavio

This beginner-friendly book on hacking can guide you in kickstarting your ethical hacking career. It covers a wide range of topics, including the history of hacking, different types of hackers and hacking attacks, key hacking tools and software, and methods to conceal IP addresses.

It also discusses mobile hacking, email hacking, penetration testing, and spoofing attacks.

“Hacking: The Art Of Exploitation” by Jon Erickson

This globally renowned book on hacking, available in two editions (2003 and 2008), focuses on network and computer security. The second edition introduces C programming from a hacker’s viewpoint, teaching you to program computers using C and shell scripts.

It also covers various concepts, including hijacking TCP connections, cracking encrypted wireless traffic, and accelerating brute-force attacks.

“Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide” by David Kennedy, Jim O’Gorman, Devon Kearns, and Mati Aharoni

The Metasploit framework is a crucial tool for hackers to identify and exploit vulnerabilities. However, it can be somewhat challenging for novices.

This book demystifies Metasploit, teaching you about the framework’s interfaces, module system, and advanced penetration testing techniques, such as network reconnaissance, client-side attacks, wireless attacks, and targeted social-engineering attacks.

It also guides you on integrating NeXpose, Nmap, and Nessus with Metasploit for automated discovery. This book is a treasure trove of hacking skills.

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Exploring Penetration Testing: A Practical Guide to Hacking Author: Georgia Weidman

This book on cyber security provides a deep dive into the world of penetration testing. It explores how penetration testers identify security vulnerabilities in operating systems, networks, and applications.

The book emphasizes the essential skills and methodologies needed by a penetration tester. It familiarizes you with the key phases of a real assessment, such as information gathering, vulnerability identification, network access, and more.

Furthermore, it teaches you how to break passwords, evade antivirus software, automate attacks, and utilize the Metasploit framework for initiating exploits and creating your own Metasploit modules, among other lessons.

The Hacker Playbook 3: A Comprehensive Guide to Penetration Testing Author: Peter Kim

This is the third edition of the THP – The Hacker Playbook Series. It introduces new strategies, attacks, exploits, and tips, while also revisiting some techniques from the previous editions.

The Hacker Playbook 3 – Red Team Edition introduces you to the Red Team, which simulates advanced, real-world attacks to test your organization’s defense teams.

By reading this, you can enhance your offensive hacking skills and attack strategies. It also emphasizes real-world attacks, exploitation, custom malware, persistence, and more.

Practical Malware Analysis: A Detailed Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software Authors: Michael Sikorski, Andrew Honig

Malware, or malicious software, is often used by hackers to exploit system vulnerabilities. This book on Practical Malware Analysis educates about the tools and techniques employed by cyber security analysts.

The book guides you on how to analyze, debug, and disassemble malicious software.

Additionally, it teaches you how to establish a secure virtual environment for malware analysis, how to dissect malware, assess the damage it has caused, clean your network, and ensure that the malware does not return.

Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking Author: Christopher Hadnagy

Social engineering relies on human mistakes to gain access to confidential information. While systems can be safeguarded, no code can guarantee data protection when a human is involved.

This book illustrates the most frequently used social engineering methods and their historical usage.

In this book, you will learn to scrutinize common social engineering tactics, understand how social engineers manipulate emotions, implement effective counter-measures to prevent hacking, and more.

Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and C Source Code Authors: Bruce Schneier

This book on cyber security offers an exhaustive overview of contemporary cryptography.

It explains how professionals can employ cryptography to encode and decode messages.

It includes numerous cryptography algorithms and demonstrates how to address security issues.

Black Hat Python: Python Coding for Hackers and Pentesters Author: Justin Seitz

Several exploit frameworks are written in Python; in this book, using GitHub, you will learn to build a trojan command-and-control, detect sandboxing, and automate routine malware tasks.

In this book, you’ll explore the darker aspects of Python’s capabilities, such as infecting virtual machines, writing network sniffers, creating stealthy trojans, and more.

The book also covers some networking basics, web applications, windows privilege escalation tricks, and more.

The Handbook for Web Application Hackers: Uncovering and Leveraging Security Weaknesses Written by: Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto

This book’s second edition delves into the realm of modern web applications, revealing their vulnerabilities to attacks and fraudulent activities. It provides a comprehensive guide to the latest techniques for both attacking and defending a wide array of constantly evolving web applications. It also covers new remoting frameworks, HTML5, UI redress, and hybrid file attacks among others. Other topics include strategies for attacking authentication, application servers, and finding vulnerabilities in source code.

Hacking: Fundamentals of Computer Hacking, Security Testing, Penetration Testing, and Basic Security Written by: John Slavio

Price: $19.99

Hacking poses a significant risk to everyone. The best defense against hacking is to understand how it works. This book offers a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of hacking, along with the complex techniques and methods used in hacking. It is written in a simple technical language that beginners can easily comprehend, without compromising on the complex details necessary for hacking activities.

Guide for Beginners in Computer Hacking Written by: Alan T. Norman

Price: $7.95

This book is an ideal resource for beginners looking to execute their first hack. It encompasses various techniques and tools employed by both criminal and ethical hackers. Readers will gain insights into how information security can be breached and how to detect attacks in any system. The book also covers spoofing techniques, WiFi hacking, email hacking, and provides numerous tips for ethical hacking.

Hackers & Painters: Significant Concepts from the Computer Age Written by: Paul Graham

Price: $10.39

Through engaging prose and historical examples, Graham guides readers through an exploration termed “an intellectual Wild West”, where he elucidates the technological world and the motivations of its inhabitants. The book offers insights into hackers, their motivations, and why their actions matter. It also discusses a plethora of other ideas including the significance of aesthetics in software design, wealth creation, freedom of speech, the open-source movement, internet startups, the resurgence of programming languages, digital design, and much more.

Advanced Penetration Testing: Breaching the World’s Most Secure Networks Written by: Wil Allsopp

Price: $23.10

Authored by renowned security expert Wil Allsopp, who has conducted hacking and penetration testing for Fortune 100 companies globally, this book presents numerous advanced hacking techniques for high-security environments. It includes a complex and highly realistic attack simulation using Kali Linux and Metasploit examples. Readers will also learn how to penetrate deep into operating systems and networks using harvested credentials.

The Hardware Hacker: Journeys in Creating and Dismantling Hardware Written by: Andrew Bunnie Huang

Price: $19.65

“The Hardware Hacker” is an essential guide for all aspiring hackers. It comprises a series of personal essays and interviews on topics such as the legality of reverse engineering, law, intellectual property practices between China and the United States, and much more. It provides in-depth discussions on manufacturing and offers a comprehensive perspective on the challenges associated with open-source hardware.

Final Thoughts

This piece has provided a summary of top-notch cybersecurity books. There’s a wealth of additional resources available to further your understanding in the field of cybersecurity. Consider exploring the Master’s program in Cyber Security offered by Simplilearn, which is designed to equip you with the essential skills needed to excel as a cybersecurity professional.

Do you have any inquiries about ‘Top Cybersecurity Books’? Feel free to leave them in the comments section of this article. Our team of knowledgeable professionals will respond promptly.

Privacy Hints

PrivacyHints is a team built up of computer security experts, tech reporters, lawyers, and strong privacy supporters from all over the world working together.

As digital leaders, we strongly believe in the importance of personal privacy and the huge potential that comes from having a free but safe internet. We’re not just interested in listing risks; we’re also strongly committed to revealing the hidden threats that threaten our right to privacy and freedom online as a whole.

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