Best Ethical Hacking Tools - Invensis Learning

A recent study discovered that from all the organizations that faced cyber attacks by hackers, 66% were unsure if they could recover their business. It is extremely easy for hackers to penetrate a company that is not entirely secure. There are marketplaces online which engage in criminal activity. A recent McAfee article stated that there were over 6,000 such marketplaces where anyone could sell or purchase various ransomware and malware online. Such easy accessibility to damaging products can lead to losses to businesses. This is why enterprises need to be educated on ethical hacking.

The enterprises should work with ethical hackers to protect their organization against harmful attacks. There are many books available for readers to get a better understanding of ethical hacking, what it is, and how it works. Reading them can benefit both the companies as well as the white hat hackers because they will gain a better understanding of the subject.

Below is a list of some of the most popular books on ethical hacking to broaden your knowledge base.

The Best Ethical Hacking Books 

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by Jon Erickson

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation discusses all the fundamental concepts of C programming that a hacker can manipulate to his advantage. This book is perfectly suited for beginner level hackers because it is easy to understand. There are a lot of concepts discussed in the book, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Overflowing buffers
  • How hijacking network communications work
  • How to bypass protections
  • How to exploit cybersecurity measures
  • A total picture of programming
  • An understanding of network communications

BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner’s Guide by Vivek Ramachandran

‘BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing is also considered to be the perfect book for anyone who wants to start learning about ethical hacking. The book covers information about wireless security and gives readers a guide on how to start hacking from the very beginning. Some of the concepts discussed in the book are listed below:

  • Wireless setup
  • How to bypass WLAN authentication
  • Laws of WLAN encryption
  • Methodologies of WLAN penetration testing
  • Flaws in wireless networks
  • Wireless client security

There are examples and quizzes throughout the book as well to check how much knowledge the readers have acquired. 

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The Hackers Playbook 2 by Peter Kim

This is another book that comes highly recommended for beginners who want to learn about ethical hacking and penetration testing. Readers gain knowledge about the ways in which they can set up a lab and also the many tools used by professionals to perform ethical hacking. It is a guide for all ethical hackers. It focuses on the Kali Linux methodology. Readers and prospective penetration testers learn about many aspects of the subject such as:

  • How to scan for vulnerabilities
  • How to learn passwords
  • Exploiting the network system
  • Passive Discovery (OSINT) 
  • What active directory is
  • How the web application security systems work
  • How to crack passwords
  • Social engineering in ethical hacking
  • Ways in which hackers manouever through networks

The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws by Dafydd Stuttard

The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook gives readers and future ethical hackers knowledge about the upcoming technologies that are used in different web applications. It also discusses different techniques used by advanced hackers from a client’s perspective. It covers many other aspects of the hacking industry such as:

  • How HTML 5 works,
  • Different techniques for integration across domains
  • Remote frameworks
  • What frame busting is
  • Information about UI redress
  • What hybrid file attacks are
  • How hackers discover security flaws
  • Ways in which hackers can exploit the flaws in a web application’s security
  • How ethical hacckers can prevent these security flaws from getting exploited

Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide to Computer Hacking, Basic Security, Ethical Hacking, and Penetration Testing by John Slavio

Hacking: A Beginners Guide is another highly recommended piece of literature for beginners who want to learn more about ethical hacking. The book has all the basics of penetration testing and comes with an abundant amount of resources and theory that readers can utilize to start their journey to become ethical hackers. There are many parts of computer hacking and basic web security covered in this book which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The history of hacking
  • Different types of hack attacks that web applications and network security systems can face
  • Different types of hackers today
  • The fundamental tools of hacking
  • The most popular types of cyber attacks prevalent today
  • How to hide IP addresses
  • How to hack into smartphones
  • How to hack emails
  • What spoofiing attacks are
  • What penetration testing is
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Real-World Bug Hunting by Peter Yaworski

This book is a slighltly more advanced level when it comes to learning about ethical hacking, but beginners can use it to expand their knowledge base as well. This newly released book gives any layman more knowledge into the world of ethical hacking and hacking in general. It has discusses what bug hunting and web application security is at great length and talks about the most popular vulnerabilities in web applications, such as:

  • What HTTP parameter pollution is
  • What Open Redirect is
  • What is HTML injection
  • How hackers accomplish cross-site request forgery
  • What is SQL injection
  • IDORs
  • XEEs
  • RCEs
  • SSRFs
  • What cross-site scripting is

These vulnerabilties are discussed in-depth using real reports, including how and where organizations found the bug and how much the Hackerone Bug Bounty Program got paid to fix them. 

There is also a part of the book that discusses how to do comprehensive recon on application testing and ways in which organizations or ethical hackers can automate their web application testing, and how to write accurate reports.

Final Thoughts

Reading books on ethical hackers can help them stay updated on the newest trends in technology and vulnerabilities, but just studying literature is not enough. To pursue ethical hacking professionally, working professionals need thorough knowledge of IT security and governance as well. There are many professional courses available in IT security and governance as well as ethical hacking that will give them an advantage over their peers.

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Ingrid Horvath is an IT Security professional with more than five years of experience in risk management, compliance and privacy, crisis management, threats, and vendor vulnerability assessments. She possesses a solid technical knowledge and is gaining expertise in the IT Security and Governance domain. Ingrid focuses on emerging technological problems and privacy concerns at the enterprise level. Ultimately, she provides the best solutions by combining various aspects of IT security, risk management, and compliance privacy. Being a prolific writer, she has a passion for guiding people on security and privacy through her articles.


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