Is hacking your passion? Are you fascinated with the thought of becoming a system security expert? Do you dream to hack the hacker? Or do you want to learn ethical hacking? If yes, then here’s the list of the best ethical hacking books for all skill levels with which you can start anytime & anywhere.

But before starting with the books to learn ethical hacking, let’s first answer some of the important questions revolving around ethical hacking.

What Is Ethical Hacking?

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

What Motivates To Become An Ethical Hacker?

  • Ever-growing opportunities
  • 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 the people.
  • 90% of ethical hackers are younger than 35.
  • 23%– India leads the world in terms of producing ethical hackers.
  • 20%– The USA is at 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

Why Ethical Hacking Is Important?

Today, ethical hacking & cybersecurity has assumed tremendous importance since there is a major possibility of confidential information getting stolen from data servers or cloud storage. Hacking is considered a breach of security and an attack on a system’s integrity.
Malicious hackers sneak into a person’s private data or a company’s information system and gain unethical access to data or systems. It can also prove to be dangerous if a malicious hacker gets control of a system and manipulates its data or operations.
An ethical hacker detects vulnerabilities in an information system by using modern hacking tools and penetration testing methodologies. Ethical hackers perform security tests to make sure that the security of information systems or wireless networks is safeguarded.

What Are The Best Ethical Hacking Books?

Now, let us talk about, what are the best ethical hacking books to read?

BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner’s Guide

‘BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing’ is an ideal ethical hacking book for beginners who want to learn wireless security and hacking from scratch. The book is authored by Vivek Ramachandran, an expert in Wi-Fi security, and it is published by Packt Publishing.
It has 9 chapters that cover useful concepts, such as wireless lab setup, WLAN encryption flaws, bypassing WLAN authentication, and WLAN penetration testing methodology.
The book allows learning through practical examples and quizzes. It discusses in detail about design flaws in wireless networks, penetration testing of WLAN infrastructure, wireless client security, and more.

Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide to Computer Hacking

It is one of the best ethical hacking books for everyone who is new to hacking and wants to learn all the basic terminologies associated with white hat hacking. This book by John Slavio is known for beginning your hacking training with apt theoretical knowledge with hundreds of resources.
It covers the hacking history, different types of hackers, various hack attacks, essential hacking tools, common types of attacks or threats, hiding IP address, smartphone hacking, email hacking, penetration testing, spoofing attacks & others.

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.

The Hacker Playbook 2

‘The Hacker Playbook 2: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing’ is authored by Peter Kim and published by Secure Planet LLC. This ethical hacking book draws references from a football game and teaches a step-by-step approach towards dealing with various core concepts of penetration testing.
These concepts are social engineering, intelligence gathering, evading antivirus software, detecting and exploiting vulnerabilities, and more. The book is suitable for I.T. security professionals and penetration testers.

The Hacker’s Underground Handbook

If hacking is something that fascinates you & you are seeking to become an expert ethical hacker, then this book is created for you. It will be a great addition to your ethical hacking book collection if you are looking to attain different aspects of hacking. It literally helps you to think like a hacker.
This book by James Pendleton unfolds with the basic introduction about hacking & hackers then tells you the ways to become an advanced white hat hacker. From the right ways to crack passwords to protecting the password for web applications, it covers all.
Other concepts like port scanning, footprinting, banner grabbing, wireless network hacking, web network hacking, compromising windows systems & other cool concepts are all explained in this book.

Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide

Metasploit is one of the most widely used frameworks by penetration testers for detecting and exploiting vulnerabilities. ‘Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide’ is a suitable book for beginners which allows them to understand the framework’s conventions and module system.
You will also learn to launch simulated attacks, such as client-side, wireless and social engineering attacks.
The book also covers modern penetration testing techniques, performing network reconnaissance, writing Meterpreter post-exploitation modules and scripts, and integrating with Nmap and Nessus.

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

This book is written by legendary hacker Kevin Mitnick. It is suited for everyone who wants to experience the world of hacking. Though it is different than any other book in this list, but definitely helps you understand hacking through the real story of Kevin Mitnick who was at his prime during 1979 & 1995.
This book does a great job when it comes to explaining how a hacker thinks & what makes people hack. This book includes the majority of his stories which I feel is legit & possible because all of them were confirmed by his friends or enemies or the feds.
If you are a wannabe hacker, then this book will be a perfect fit for you as it not only focuses on learning but covers the fun side as well.

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

As the name suggests, it is an advanced ethical hacking book written by Will Allsopp that satisfy everyone who wants to try their hands in ethical hacking and penetration testing. In the last few years, it gained immense popularity & teaches you advanced penetration testing with real-world techniques.
Going beyond the basic Kali Linux tools, it will give you insights into the working of various advanced tools & you will also learn how to write your own customized tools from scratch. Upon completing this book, you will have an extra edge over everyone who is familiar with just the basic tools.
Apart from pen testing, you will even be introduced to social engineering. But before starting with this book, don’t forget that it is an advanced book & is highly recommended for pro ethical hackers only.

CEH Certified Ethical Hacker

‘All-In-One CEH Certified Ethical Hacker’ is an exam guide for students who are preparing for the certification exam for Certified Ethical Hacker. The book is authored by Matt Walker and is published by McGraw Hill.

It is a comprehensive guide to studying several relevant topics, such as reconnaissance, enumeration, web-based or wireless hacking, penetration testing, cryptography, and social engineering. It also provides practical exercises, question sets, and lab-based examples through electronic content.