Top 10 Ethical Hacking Books for Beginners

Ethical Hacking is one of the most demanding skills across the world. The beauty of this domain is more you know about this field, the more you explore the new depth. This article recommends covers the Top 10 Ethical Hacking Books for Beginners. Most of them I have read and found very useful to enhance my skill in this field.

(1) Google Hacking for Penetration Testers

Google is the most popular search engine all over the world. As a Penetration Tester, you need to search different things on google again and again. This book gives you an idea of how you can find sensitive things by using just google. I highly recommend this book to know the true potential of the Google search engine.

This book starts with the Basics of Google Search, and slowly moves into advanced search methods including the basics of Google hacking, document grinding and database digging, locating existing exploits and identification of the target, how different frameworks use google as a deep source of information, etc.

(2) Penetration Testing - A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking

A perfect book for Beginners. This is the one book I recommend for each beginner who wants to start a career in ethical hacking and cybersecurity. The course content of this book is awesome and the author covers each topic in great detail.

This book starts with how you set up a virtual lab on your system, the introduction of Kali Linux operating system, the introduction of programming languages used in hacking and covers basics of bash scripting, and python, Metasploit framework, phases of penetration testing such as information gathering, identification of vulnerabilities, capturing traffic using Wireshark, different possible attacks, basics of exploit development, smartphone pentest framework and much more.

(3) Web Application Hacker Handbook

This book is the bible if you want to understand web application security assessment methodology. If you read this book religiously, you are able to understand different vulnerabilities found in web applications.

This book starts with the basics of web application security, defense mechanisms, different technologies used by web applications, mapping of applications, bypassing client-side controls, and attacking security features such as authentication, session management, access control, data stores, back-end stores, application logic, etc.

(4) The Tangled Web

This book helps you to understand the security basics of web applications in great detail. I recommend this book to people who want to understand the state of security in the current scenario. This book also gives you an insight into future security features that play a critical role in securing web applications.

It starts with a brief history of the web, then threat evolution, how you can understand URL, HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Browser-Side scripts, Browser security features such as content isolation logic, origin inheritance, same-origin rules, etc.

(5) Real-World Bug Hunting

In this book, the author talks about real-world different vulnerabilities that have been found by Bug Bounty Hunters and security auditors in public forums.

The book starts with the basics required for bug bounty hunters, then explains each vulnerability with two or three examples. Issues discussed in detail mentioned below:

  • Open Redirect
  • HTTP Parameter Pollution
  • Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSF)
  • HTML Injection and Content spoofing
  • Cross-Site Scripting
  • Template Injection
  • SQL Injection
  • Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF)
  • XML External Entity
  • much more

(6) IT Auditing

This book is good for beginners who just start a career in the field of InfoSec and are responsible for auditing the cybersecurity of big organizations. Book covering almost every device checklist that may be useful while performing a manual audit of target system.

The content of this book reveals different security checklists that are extremely important for the auditing target system.

(7) Serious Cryptography

Good book if you are not interested in learning mathematical formula but wants to learn cryptography. Easy language guide to understanding different topics in great detail.

This book covers the following topics:

  • basics of encryption
  • Randomness security of cryptographic mechanisms
  • Block and Stream ciphers
  • Hash function
  • Keyed hashing
  • Authenticated Encryption
  • RSA algorithm
  • SHA algorithm

(8) Gray Hat Hacking

One of the best books to understand the concept of hacking as a whole. The author recommends learning C Programming language, the basics of python, Fuzzing methods, Dynamic analysis using automated tools, and many more topics available in this book.

The book also covers Internet of Things (IoT) assessment, PowerShell exploitation, Data Execution Prevention (DEP), and Address Space Layout Randomization.

(9) Mobile Application Hacker's Handbook

Mobile application security stresses on the importance of security of mobile applications installed mainly on Android and iOS devices. This book provides you kickstart in the field of mobile application security.

The book is covering different techniques for securing mobile applications and also how to attack them. This book starts with iOS application topics including Jailbreak, iOS keychain, touch id, how to approach iOS applications from point of view of hackers, how to secure iOS applications, etc. In the later part, the book starts with Android applications, attack vectors, methodology of attack, and how to identify security issues related to logging, storage, data leaks, etc.

In the end, the book covers Windows and Blackberry applications based on mobile devices. The book is quite helpful for noobs to understand mobile security.

(10) Python for Offensive Pentest

Python is a must for the InfoSec field. This book gives you a brief idea of how you can use python in penetration testing.

The content of this book broadly covers different types of reverse shells, the concept of password hacking and how python gives you an edge while attacking the target, how you can bypass firewalls, privilege escalation techniques in Windows and Linux, etc.


This article gives you the Top 10 books that you can refer to kickstart a career in ethical hacking. I recommend starting with Penetration Testing - A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking if you are new to this field. InfoSec provides an awesome and promising career and these books definitely give you a better understanding of this field.

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Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Individual is solely responsible for any illegal act.

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