Hacking Books

Top 10 Best Hacking Books for Ethical Hackers in 2020

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If you’ve ever found yourself searching for the “best hacking books for ethical hackers,” then you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we take a look at the best hacking books that you can read in 2020.

Top 10 Ethical Hacking Books

The Hacker Playbook 2: Practical Guide to Penetration Testing

hacking books for ethical hackers

The Hacker Playbook 2 is the perfect book for anyone keen on learning about penetration testing. Peter Kim, the author of the book, offers readers a hacking game plan. Kim has worked in the security industry for several years and is also the CEO of Secure Planet, LLC. In his book, he offers readers a detailed guide to what he calls the “game” of hacking. Kim’s style of writing combines hands-on examples with helpful advice. He uses different football-style plays to describe some of the barriers people doing penetration testing face.

These barriers include various types of network attacks, bypassing antivirus software, maneuvering through security controls and privilege escalation.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.3

The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware

The Hacker Hardware

The Hardware Hacker was published by Andrew “bunnie” Huang. Huang is one of the most revered hackers globally. Additionally, Huang also published Hacking the Xbox, a book that focuses on reverse engineering and hacking techniques. He is well-known for his contributions to the hardware and hacking fields and has also mentored some developers and hardware startups.

In this book, Huang looks back at his career and shares his experience in open hardware and manufacturing. He shares his experiences in the form of personal interviews and essays on the legitimacy of reverse engineering. This book is perfect for anyone who is curious about hardware hacking.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.3

RTFM: Red Team Field Manual


Red Team Field Manual authored by Ben Clark is a must-have for those keen on reading hacking books. This book is a thorough reference guide with no fluff for any serious Red Team members who occasionally find themselves with little or no time to scan through a main page or Google stuff. RTFM also details the basic syntax for frequently used Windows and Linux command line tools. In addition, it also summarizes unique use cases for powerful tools like Windows PowerShell and Python.

If you are looking to learn more about new red team techniques, this is the perfect book for you.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.2

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Art of Exploitation

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation was authored by Jon Erickson and is viewed as one of the best hacking books for beginners. The book focuses on different areas that pose a challenge for many beginners in their early ethical hacking career. In addition, it covers various topics such as hacking techniques, network communication, programming, and machine architecture. Moreover, the book details how black hat hacking techniques operate.

Erickson introduces readers to C programming from the viewpoint of a hacker. Moreover, the book comes with a CD that gives readers an entire Linux programming and debugging environment without the need to change the operating system. The software can help any beginner debug code, overflow buffers, and develop their own exploits.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.1

Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook

gray hat hacking

Grey Hat Hacking is a book that gives readers proven strategies that have been tried and tested by security experts. This book was authored by Allen Harper, Branko Spasojevic, Chris Eagle, Daniel Regalado, Jonathan Ness, Ryan Linn, Shon Harris, and Stephen Sims. The techniques shared in this book can help readers secure their network and prevent hacking. Moreover, the authors explain in detail the different weapons, skills, and tactics used by hackers. Additionally, they provide case studies, field-tested remedies, and ready-to-deploy testing labs.

This book allows readers to understand how hackers gain access to secure networks, overtake them, and inject malicious code. Furthermore, the book elaborates on reverse engineering techniques, cyber law, and android exploits.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.1

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

World's Most Wanted Hacker

Ghost in the Wires was authored by Kevin Mitnick. He became famous between the years of 1979 and 1995 as a computer hacker. Mitnick hacked his first computer system at the age of 16 years. During that period, he was able to access networks and computers from some of the world’s biggest companies. This book tells the real story of Mitnick’s hacking journey on cellular networks, computer systems, and phone switches. Additionally, Mitnick does a great job of explaining how the mind of a hacker works.

Ghost in Wires tells a thrilling true story of suspense, intrigue and unbelievable escapes of a hacker who forced organizations to rethink how they protect their most sensitive information.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.0

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

Science of Human Hacking

Social Engineering by Christopher Hadnagy reveals why hackers opt to hack into systems instead of asking for access. Hadnagy explains the techniques that hackers use to gain access to sensitive spaces.

As humans, we make decisions that affect everything from our emotions to our security. Likewise, hackers have learned how to exploit the decision-making process and make you take an action that’s not in your best interest.

If you want to learn more about hacking, you can read our guide on how to become a hacker.

Ivy is an experienced freelance contributor to the Dark Web Journal who focuses on technology and current affairs. Ivy Harper is a pseudonym.

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