20+ Best Ethical Hacking Books For Beginners

There has always been a question around the blog about my recommendation on hacking books, ethical hacking, and penetration testing. All the books I am recommending to you guys below, Enjoy all of them as in hacking audiobook.

There are a few books available on Amazon, Flipkart, and other online sites that are suitable for both beginners and intermediates. Today, I’ve compiled a list of the best ethical hacking books for beginners that may be useful for those who are new to the subject and wish to get on the trend.

Ethical hacking services provide a key to protecting business and government webs from such attacks and provide high data security. We can prevent data from being stolen or misapplied through ethical hacking, identify vulnerabilities or weak points, implement secure networks, and protect the data. There are five main types of ethical hacking, and most of us know most of them:

  1. Web application hacking
  2. Web server hacking
  3. System hacking
  4. Wireless network hacking
  5. Social engineering

Each type of hacking requires certain skills, tools, and techniques, and ethical hackers need to think just how an actual malicious hacker would for a specific test. They should identify loopholes, learn about penetration testing, use the proper tools to carry out the hack and be ready. Even if there is an actual attack, the loss is minimal.

Related: Ethical Hacking Roadmap – A Beginners Guide

What Is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is also guided as penetration testing is a practice wherein someone tries to bypass the network or system security to identify the fault or threat. It is done with permission and in a planned or more legal method to test any system or network defenses. In recent years, because of the increased cyber-attacks have led to a significant rise in the demand for skilled ethical hackers & cybersecurity experts by all types of organizations.

What Motivates To Become An Ethical Hacker?

  • Ever-growing possibilities
  • High salaries
  • Job satisfaction
  • Threats are never going to go away
  • Opportunity to switch from black hat to white
  • Hacking without breaking the law

What Are The Interesting Facts About Ethical Hacking?

  • The term hacking fascinates 90% of people.
  • 90% of ethical hackers are younger than 35.
  • 23%– India leads the world in terms of producing ethical hackers.
  • 20%– The USA is in the 2nd spot.
  • 58% of ethical hackers call themselves “self-taught.”

What Ethical Hackers Do?

  • Penetration testing
  • Scanning ports & exploiting vulnerabilities
  • Creating a system’s defenses
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Social engineering
  • Evading IDS, IPS, honeypots, and firewalls
  • Simulating attacks on systems & applications
  • Sniffing networks & much more

Types of Hackers

Hacking is an exciting topic, and so are the hackers. That’s why there are different types of them based on their intentions:

  • White Hat Hacker: Well, these are the good guys or ethical hackers. They exploit the security systems to look for loopholes so that the ‘bad guys’ don’t do that. They have permission from their respective companies to do so for the sole purpose of identifying potential security threats. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, that store sensitive data hire white-hat hackers.
  • Grey Hat Hacker: Grey-hat hackers are one step forward from white-hat hackers and exploit the networks left and right to identify exposures and also fix them to get money from the organization. They do not have malicious intentions and inform the authorities and intelligence agencies about security loopholes that can be dangerous.
  • Black Hat HackerThis type of hacker tries to gain unauthorized entry to a network to compromise security systems, shut down systems, and alter website functions. These hackers try to get access to personal data, financial data, and passwords.

These hacking books will be for every person, i.e., from beginners to professionals and I made this list to cover the books for every aspect that will play a role in your hacking skills, interest, and career.

#1. Penetration Testing: A hands-on introduction to hacking

This book is perfect for taking your first steps into the world of ethical hacking and penetration testing. Georgia Weidman’s book Penetration Testing is a wonderful book for someone who is just getting started with hacking or is a newbie. The book covers a wide range of topics, including mobile hacking, penetration testing, and much more. The author’s detailed explanations of each method are exact and provide insight into his own field experience, making this a wonderful start to a long trip.

#2. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting security flaws 2nd Edition

This book will serve its purpose as its large name if you are interested in Web application penetration testing. It uses basic but powerful language to explain everything you need to know about the subject. The author is the founder of the business that created Burp Suite, a well-known security testing and scanning program. This book explains the methods required for web application penetration in great depth. The author demonstrates various web technologies, how to exploit them, and even how to prevent them from being exploited. You can listen to the hacking audiobook while traveling or doing household tasks.

#3. Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks

If you’ve finished the previous books, now is the time to step up your game and get Will Allsopp’s Advanced Penetration Testing Book. This book goes beyond Kali Linux and Metasploit to cover more advanced hacking techniques for secure networks. The techniques in the book are not included in any online certification classes, and they focus on the target’s vulnerabilities, exploitation, and compromise. The author also discusses the industry’s assets, how they are safeguarded, and who is responsible for safeguarding them. The author’s on-the-ground experience is mirrored in the examples and explanations provided in the book. RECOMMENDED STRONGLY.

#4. Applied Network Security Monitoring

Chris Sanders and Jason Smith wrote the book Applied Network Monitoring. This book takes a practical approach to Network Security Monitoring, which sets it apart from the competition. This book is the finest resource for learning how to become a Network Security Monitoring Analyst. You can listen to the hacking audiobook while traveling or doing household tasks. It also teaches the topic’s important concepts and relevant information. When it comes to discussing any idea linked to NSM, the authors, Chris and Jason, are superb lecturers. They keep the audience’s attention and use plain language to ensure that everyone understands everything. They almost convince us that the NSM is as easy as nothing.

#5. The Shellcoder’s Handbook: Discovering & Exploiting Security holes 2nd Edition

This book was written by a group of professionals who are among the best in the field when it comes to explaining security bugs in operating systems and their applications. You’ll begin by working with the fundamental components of an operating system, including as the stack, queue, heap, and assembler. This book will serve you well if you are interested in operating systems on a fundamental level and have a decent understanding of programming languages.

#6. Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like The Enemy

Micah Zenko, a US security expert, wrote the book Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like The Enemy. This book will provide you with all of the information you need to know about the Red teams, including how they function, their methods, and rules, among other things. This book will teach you how to think like an adversary in order to manipulate the system and acquire power, and you will be impressed by the author’s tactics and explanations. You can listen to the hacking audiobook while traveling or doing household tasks. The author also discussed the Red team’s useful and ineffective approaches, as well as how they affect the entire process or working environment.

#7. Web Hacking 101

Peter Yaworski is the author of Web Hacking 101. The book uses publicly published vulnerability reports from bug bounty programs to explain typical online application flaws. The book includes reports on cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), Remote Code Execution (RCE), and a variety of other vulnerabilities. The author analyzes each report, which includes information regarding the vulnerability, a detailed description, and the prize that was awarded. You won’t just learn about the vulnerabilities and how they were exploited using this book; you’ll also learn about their context, impact, and how to spot them on your bug bounty hunts. Finally, the book also provides an overview of bug bounty platforms, tools, blogs, and some cheat sheets to get started with bug bounty hunting right away.

#8. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation 2nd Edition

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation is written by Jon Erickson, comprises all the hacking contents from the basics of hacking concepts to the encryption bypass and other advanced tricks. This book will teach you how to use C, assembly language, and shell scripts to program computers. Using buffer overflows and format strings, corrupt system memory to run arbitrary code. To get a true knowledge of what’s going on, use a debugger to inspect processor registers and system memory. Violate typical security precautions such as nonexecutable stacks and intrusion detection systems. Use port-binding or connect-back shellcode to get access to a remote server, then change the server’s logging behavior to mask your presence. Redirect traffic on the network The FMS attack is used to crack encrypted wireless traffic, and a password probability matrix is used to speed up brute-force attacks.

#9. Kali Linux – An Ethical Hacker’s Cookbook

Kali Linux

The Kali Linux- An Ethical Hacker’s Cookbook is a hacking book written by Himanshu Sharma in 2017. This guide will quickly get you up and running with Kali Linux (version 2016.2) by customizing it to your specific needs before moving on to basic features. This book will walk you through installing and configuring Kali Linux so you can run your tests. You’ll learn how to use tools to design attack methods and carry out web application exploitation. You’ll also learn how to use Metasploit, Sparta, and Wireshark to accomplish network exploitation. You’ll learn how to do advanced penetration testing and a variety of other hacking techniques by the end of this book. This book will teach you how to perform penetration testing using Kali Linux using some of the most cutting-edge practices and techniques.

#10. Hacking for Beginners

The Hacking for Beginners book by Cooper Alvin is all about computer hacking, Ethical hacking, Black Hat, Penetration testing, and more. This book will act as a guide to help you master the fundamentals of the subject and gradually build up a foundation of knowledge. You’ll learn about numerous areas of hacking, and you’ll find the information intriguing. As a result, put on your curious glasses and join us as we dig into the realm of hacking. From the fundamentals of ethical hacking to all you need to know about WiFi password breaking, we’ll cover it all. It’s important to remember that in order to grasp the concept of ethical hacking, you must first comprehend black hat hacking and how it works. Only then is it imperative to understand what steps you could take to stop it?

#11. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, 3rd Edition

The by Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, 3rd Edition Allen Harper, Shon Harris, Jonathan Ness, Chris Eagle, Gideon Lenkey, Terron Williams is exactly what you need to know latest strategies for uncovering today’s most devastating attacks. Third Edition details the most recent vulnerabilities and remedies along with legal disclosure methods. Learn from the experts how hackers target systems, defeat production schemes, write malicious code and exploit flaws in Windows and Linux systems. Malware analysis, penetration testing, SCADA, VoIP, and Web security are also covered in this comprehensive resource.

#12. Hands-on Ethical Hacking and Network Defense

Rating: 4.7

This is an excellent foundational book for beginners and the best book to learn ethical hacking, especially for those who are new to networking, security, and hacking. The author employs straightforward language and provides comprehensive explanations of the main themes. It is primarily a theory book with little focus on implementation or approaches. It’s a good book for a high-level review of hacking principles including security testing, various tools, penetration testing approaches, mobile security, and network security.

#13. Hackers

This new version of Steven Levy’s famous book follows the adventures of the computer revolution’s earliest hackers, those brilliant and eccentric nerds who took chances, bent the rules, and pushed the world in a radical new direction from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. You can listen to the hacking audiobook while traveling or doing household tasks. With updated material from worldwide known tech talents and also hackers such as Bill GatesMark ZuckerbergRichard Stallman, and Steve Wozniak, Hacker is a fascinating story that begins in early computer research labs and leads to the first home computers.

#14. You can Hack: The Art of Exploitation

You can hack the book, which includes screenshots of step-by-step hacking tutorials. This book is written in a simple manner that everybody can understand. This book is suitable for novices who want to start a hacking profession. You can hack written in a variety of ways. In many books, you will find a lot of theories and concepts, and after reading many pages, you will understand a single step of hacking. However, this is not the case here. If you can hack all of the hacking tutorials that are created with realistic example screenshots and explain to you how to hack the fastest. If you are looking for a beginner’s guide to hacking, this is the book for you. Pankaj Patidar is a 17-year-old young hacker and school-going student pursuing the 12th class in New Look School.

#15. Software Hacking

Ankit Fadia and Nishant Das Patnaik, two computer security experts in major MNCs, have written one of the best hacking books of all time, Software Hacking. In today’s technology-driven society, intellectual property rights protection is critical. This book is for those who want to battle ‘crackers,’ or people who try to breach encryption and copy protection systems. It helps software developers to strengthen further their programs against being broken into by exposing them to various tools and techniques that ill-intentioned people use to tear even a highly protected program into bits. It provides insight into the off-the-shelf programs available in the market and assists them to select the best. While maintaining that it does not make practical sense to ‘hide’ such books from the lay reader, the authors nevertheless advise all their readers not to misuse the knowledge gained from the book.

#16. Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters

Rating: 4.6

This book is excellent for those who have some programming expertise (not necessarily Python) but none in hacking. Python is a simple language to learn, so you may learn it alongside this book. You can occasionally consult internet materials for extra information. The book is written in Python 2 and focuses on writing successful hacking tools with Python. The book goes over all of the techniques in detail and puts you to the test on several levels. It can be used as both a reference and a starting point for learning.

#17. The Unrevealed Secrets of Hacking and Cracking – Hack Before You Get Cracked

This book provides a comprehensive guide to information security, including topics such as IT security, data security, network security, internet security, penetration testing, cryptography, and industry rules. The book discusses what an ethical hacker is and what function he plays in protecting business and government data from cyber threats, as well as the tools and penetration testing procedures used by ethical hackers. It also teaches you how to protect your data and computer networks properly. Finally, it presents the subject in a simplified manner so that even a beginner dealing in a security environment understands and implements information security at personal and corporate levels.

#18. Mastering Hacking (The Art of Information Gathering & Scanning)

Mastering hacking is a book authored by Harsh Bothra. By using this book, you would be able to learn about the modern Penetration Testing Framework.

It also teaches techniques, discovering all types of vulnerabilities, patching, and better. This book aims to deliver the best techniques and methodology in a simplified process. It would help both the technical and non-technical readers.

#19. Hash Crack: Password Cracking Manual

The Hash Crack: Password Cracking Manual is written by Joshua Picolet. It is an expanded reference book for password recovery (cracking) methods, tools, and analysis techniques.

A compilation of basic and advanced methods for penetration testers and network security professionals. It helps you to evaluate the network security of their organization. The Hash Crack manual book contains syntax and examples.

#20. The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing

‘The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing is a book which is authored by Patrick Engebretson and published by Syngress. This ethical hacking book teaches us to perform penetration testing using modern hacking tools, such as Backtrack Linux, Metasploit, Netcat, Netbus, and more.

It includes 7 chapters that explain the core concepts, like penetration testing, scanning, exploitation, malware, and more. The book utilizes the Backtrack Linux distribution system which allows learning ethical hacking in a modern context.

So these were the best Ethical Hacking books for beginners, hacking audiobooks,s and Black hat hacking books that we recommend to all audiences irrespective of your current knowledge, from beginners to advance hackers. The books we recommend here are the ones that provide you with the knowledge from the basics of hacking to the advanced hacks like penetration, data security, cryptography, also protection against various types of cyberattacks.


Now, this should give you a pretty good idea of which Hacking Books you should read, and which ones you should read first. Learning from books is still very valuable nowadays in my opinion. I think it even is my preferred way because I can work through the material in a certain structured fashion and I really like that.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite Ethical Hacking Books are and I might check them out and add them to the list. Add this article to your bookmarks and make sure to check back regularly as I will update this list as time passes by.

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