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After you have setup your infrastructure and applications are happily running on top of it, there is one more step you should consider doing before the applications are published to the outside world with some level of confidence. This crucial step involves checking how secure whatever you are exposing to the public is. The first step in achieving a secure environment is by employing the best security policies and practices while setting up the infrastructure and programming your applications. To crown it all, a serious organization should consider employing ethical hackers so that they can give their best to uncover all vulnerabilities that were previously missed during development. What will be done by the employed security professionals is what is known as penetration testing. It is simply a simulated cyber attack against your systems and applications to unearth any exploitable vulnerabilities such as unsanitized inputs that are susceptible to code injection attacks.

It is through Penetration testing that more information can be gathered about the security footprint of your systems and the insights found can be used to fine-tune your security practices, policies and patch all detected vulnerabilities. What is more interesting is that the demand for security professionals continues to soar considering the numbers of organizations and businesses that continue to adopt technology in their day to day operation of their businesses.

In conjunction to that, there is a surging interest around the globe in hacking and the security profession. To serve this interest, there are a number of books that professionals in the field have written in order to help the beginners as well as serve as a helpful reference for those ethically hacking their way into business systems. Below are some of the best you can consider to buy to deepen your skills and your proficiency.

1. The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing

With a combination of new strategies, attacks, exploits, tips and tricks, you will be able to put yourself in the center of the action toward victory. Written by Peter Kim, a longtime security professional and CEO of Secure Planet, LLC, this step-by-step guide to the “game” of penetration hacking features hands-on examples and helpful advice from the top of the field. The author focuses on real-world campaigns and attacks, exposing you to different initial entry points, exploitation, custom malware, persistence, and lateral movement–all without getting caught! This heavily lab-based book will include multiple Virtual Machines, testing environments, and custom The Hacker Playbook tools.

The main purpose of this book is to answer questions as to why things are still broken. For instance, with all the different security products, secure code reviews, defense in depth, and penetration testing requirements, how are we still seeing massive security breaches happening to major corporations and governments? The real question we need to ask ourselves is, are all the safeguards we are putting in place working? This is what The Hacker Playbook 3 – Red Team Edition is all about.

Once you are ready, wipe off the dust, buckle up and steer into the deeper world of Penetration Testing. Board your ticket by clicking on the link below:

The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing

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2. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking

In Penetration Testing, security expert, researcher, and trainer Georgia Weidman introduces you to the core skills and techniques that every pentester needs. Using a virtual machine–based lab that includes Kali Linux and vulnerable operating systems, you’ll run through a series of practical lessons with tools like Wireshark, and Burp Suite. As you follow along with the labs and launch attacks, you’ll experience the key stages of an actual assessment—including information gathering, finding exploitable vulnerabilities, gaining access to systems, post exploitation, and more

What you will take away

  • Cracking of passwords and wireless network keys with brute-forcing and word-lists
  • Testing web applications for vulnerabilities
  • Using the Metasploit Framework to launch exploits and write your own Metasploit modules
  • Automating social-engineering attacks
  • Bypassing antivirus software
  • Turning access to one machine into total control of the enterprise in the post exploitation phase

If you are an aspiring ethical hacker, a modest consumption and practice of what this resource shares will create a strong foundation as you forge forward in your career. Your copy awaits on the link below:

Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking

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3. Red Team Field Manual

The Red Team Field Manual is a no fluff, but thorough reference guide for serious Red Team members who routinely find themselves on a mission without Google or the time to scan through a man page. The RTFM contains the basic syntax for commonly used Linux and Windows command line tools, but it also encapsulates unique use cases for powerful tools such as Python and Windows PowerShell. The RTFM will repeatedly save you time looking up the hard to remember Windows nuances such as Windows wmic and dsquery command line tools, key registry values, scheduled tasks syntax, startup locations and Windows scripting. More importantly, it should teach you some new red team techniques.

FYI: The difference between Blue team and Red team members is that once a red team imitates an attacker and attacks with some tactics and techniques, a blue team is there to find ways to shield, defend, change and re-group defense mechanisms to make incident response much stronger.

Rtfm: Red Team Field Manual

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4. Linux Basics for Hackers: Getting Started with Networking, Scripting, and Security in Kali

There is no way you will be a good penetration tester or ethical hacker without knowing how stuff in the field work. For the beginner, sound knowledge and skills in Linux is key in this interesting journey and career. Therefore, using Kali Linux in this book, an advanced penetration testing distribution of Linux, you’ll learn the basics of using the Linux operating system and acquire the tools and techniques you’ll need to take control of a Linux environment.

Get to learn how to install Kali on a virtual machine and get an introduction to basic Linux concepts which is a fundamental component in the whole security picture. After that, you will tackle broader Linux topics like manipulating text, controlling file and directory permissions, and managing user environment variables. Once you are good with that, you will proceed to foundational hacking concepts like security and anonymity and learn scripting skills with bash and Python. Practical tutorials and exercises throughout will reinforce and test your skills as you learn how to:

  • Cover your tracks by changing your network information and manipulating the rsyslog logging utility
  • Write a tool to scan for network connections, and connect and listen to wireless networks
  • Keep your internet activity stealthy using Tor, proxy servers, VPNs, and encrypted email
  • Write a bash script to scan open ports for potential targets
  • Use and abuse services like MySQL, Apache web server, and OpenSSH
  • Build your own hacking tools, such as a remote video spy camera and a password cracker

To cover your basics and lay a good foundation in your challenging career, make this resource your friend. Click below to get it:

Linux Basics for Hackers: Getting Started with Networking, Scripting, and Security in Kali

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5. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition

If you intend to make a deep dive into hacking, the plunge that will make you top of the tier, then you should be ready to horn your programming skills. Hacking can be more than just using ready-made tools and actually using your own custom programs to get the job done with excellence and deeper understanding. Rather than merely showing how to run existing exploits, author Jon Erickson explains how arcane hacking techniques actually work. To share the art and science of hacking in a way that is accessible to everyone, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition introduces the fundamentals of C programming from a hacker’s perspective.

While immersed in this book, you will definitely get your hands dirty debugging code, overflowing buffers, hijacking network communications, bypassing protections, exploiting cryptographic weaknesses, and perhaps even inventing new exploits. And that will make you the creme de la creme in this game! This book will teach you how to:

  • Program computers using C, assembly language, and shell scripts
  • Corrupt system memory to run arbitrary code using buffer overflows and format strings
  • Inspect processor registers and system memory with a debugger to gain a real understanding of what is happening
  • Outsmart common security measures like non-executable stacks and intrusion detection systems
  • Gain access to a remote server using port-binding or connect-back shell code, and alter a server’s logging behavior to hide your presence
  • Redirect network traffic, conceal open ports, and hijack TCP connections
  • Crack encrypted wireless traffic using the FMS attack, and speed up brute-force attacks using a password probability matrix

Even if you don’t already know how to program, this awesome resource will give you a complete picture of programming, machine architecture, network communications, and existing hacking techniques. There are no boundaries when your creativity coupled with good skills come together. Make it all happen by purchasing this book from Amazon by clicking on the link below:

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition

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

Written by, Wil Allsopp, a top security expert who has performed hacking and penetration testing for Fortune 100 companies worldwide, this resource is a no non-sense hacking of hacking. The author goes out of his way to explain how tools work and how to write your own custom ones from the ground up.

Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks takes hacking far beyond Kali Linux and Metasploit to provide a more complex attack simulation. Featuring techniques not taught in any certification prep or covered by common defensive scanners, this book integrates social engineering, programming, and vulnerability exploits into a multidisciplinary approach for targeting and compromising high security environments. From discovering and creating attack vectors, and moving unseen through a target enterprise, to establishing command and ex-filtrating data―even from organizations without a direct Internet connection―this guide contains the crucial techniques that provide a more accurate picture of your system’s defense. Custom coding examples use VBA, Windows Scripting Host, C, Java, JavaScript, Flash, and more, with coverage of standard library applications and the use of scanning tools to bypass common defensive measures.

The professional hackers and nation states on the forefront of today’s threats operate at a much more complex level―and this book shows you how to defend your high security network. You get to understand how to:

  • Discover and create attack vectors
  • Move unseen through a target enterprise and reconnoiter networks, operating systems, and test structures
  • Employ social engineering strategies to create an initial compromise
  • Establish a beachhead and leave a robust command-and-control structure in place
  • Use advanced data ex-filtration techniques—even against targets without direct Internet connections
  • Utilize advanced methods for escalating privilege
  • Infiltrate deep into networks and operating systems using harvested credentials
  • Create custom code using VBA, Windows® Scripting Host, C, Java®, JavaScript®, Flash, and more

If you would wish your mind to be opened and get a good view of how hackers and defenders view each other, this is the best resource for you. Get ready and set your attitude right because you can be the next developer of security programs. Check it out and purchase the book from Amazon by clicking on the link below:

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

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7. The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy

They said that every journey begins with that first bold and determined step and they were not wrong at all. Once you have the interest and the drive to be what you would like to be, the next step is to take that first action to actualize your dreams. Whatever will come in between your success and your beginning is all the fun and all the stories to be proud of.

Patrick Engebretson understands the value of getting the basics right and offers this book to cover the basics thoroughly. It serves as an introduction to the steps required to complete a penetration test or perform an ethical hack from beginning to end. No prior hacking experience is needed. You will learn how to properly utilize and interpret the results of modern day hacking tools, which are required to complete a penetration test. Tool coverage includes Backtrack and Kali Linux, Google reconnaissance, MetaGooFil, DNS interrogation, Nmap, Nessus, Metasploit, the Social Engineer Toolkit (SET) , w3af, Netcat, post exploitation tactics, the Hacker Defender rootkit, and more.

The book walks through each of the steps and tools in a structured, orderly manner, allowing readers to understand how the output from each tool can be fully utilized in the subsequent phases of the penetration test. This process allows readers to clearly see how the tools and phases function and relate.

It is from a humble beginning that great things are built. Start yours today by hitting the link below to get this copy from Amazon:

The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy

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8. CEH v10 Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide 1st Edition

Borrowing some knowledge from Ethical Hacker certification books is a good idea to broaden your scope of knowledge and to sharpen your security acumen. You know that it takes effort, grit, determination and time to have the qualities and skills that will set you apart from the crowd. The CEH v10 Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide by Ric Messier offers a comprehensive overview of the CEH certification requirements using concise and easy-to-follow instruction. Chapters are organized by exam objective, with a handy section that maps each objective to its corresponding chapter, so you can keep track of your progress.

The text provides thorough coverage of all topics, along with challenging chapter review questions and Exam Essentials, a key feature that identifies critical study areas. Subjects include intrusion detection, DDoS attacks, buffer overflows, virus creation, and more. Armed with practical hands-on exercises, this resource makes sure vital skills are reinforced and examples of real-world scenarios that put what you’ve learned into the context of actual job roles.
This guide is an excellent resource for anyone who needs to understand the hacking process or anyone who wants to demonstrate their skills as a Certified Ethical Hacker.

The study guide will teach you how to:

  • Access the Sybex online learning center, with chapter review questions, full-length practice exams, hundreds of electronic flashcards, and a glossary of key terms
  • Gain a unique certification that allows you to understand the mind of a hacker
  • Expand your career opportunities with an IT certificate that satisfies the Department of Defense’s 8570 Directive for Information Assurance positions
  • Be fully updated for the 2018 CEH v10 exam, including the latest developments in IT security

Visit Amazon to check the price and have get your copy below:

CEH v10 Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide

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9: Hacking the Hacker: Learn From the Experts Who Take Down Hackers

Roger A. Grimes, CPA, CISSP, CEH, MCSE, CISA, CISM, CNE, is the author of 10 books and over 1000 national magazine articles on computer security, specializing in host security and preventing hacker and malware attacks. He takes a different approach in this edition to teach you how hacking takes place and you will definitely borrow a leaf or two from it.

He takes you inside the world of cyber-security to show you what goes on behind the scenes, and introduces you to the men and women on the front lines of this technological arms race. Twenty-six of the world’s top white hat hackers, security researchers, writers, and leaders, describe what they do and why, with each profile preceded by a no-experience-necessary explanation of the relevant technology.

Light on jargon and heavy on intrigue, this book is designed to be an introduction to the field; final chapters include a guide for parents of young hackers, as well as the Code of Ethical Hacking to help you start your own journey to the top. This book drives to the heart of the field, introducing the people and practices that help keep our world secure. You will have the chance to:

  • Go deep into the world of white hat hacking to grasp just how critical cybersecurity is
  • Read the stories of some of the world’s most renowned computer security experts
  • Learn how hackers do what they do—no technical expertise necessary
  • Delve into social engineering, cryptography, penetration testing, network attacks, and more

Why not get all the intrigue and have a solid understanding of security as you take the plunge in the field? Click on the link below and have your copy from Amazon:

Hacking the Hacker: Learn From the Experts Who Take Down Hackers

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10. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

Kevin Mitnick quips that in the fortress of defense we build around our data, the human element is always the weakest link. Hackers—both good and bad—employ a specific set of tricks to gain access to sensitive information, using “human hacking” techniques to convince people to hand over passwords, transfer sensitive files, wire large sums of money, and willingly commit other acts that are not in their own best interests.

Christopher Hadnagy, the author, is the founder and CEO of Social-Engineer, LLC and has sixteen years in the industry. In this book, he explains the most commonly-used techniques that fool even the most robust security personnel, and shows you how these techniques have been used in the past. The way that we make decisions as humans affects everything from our emotions to our security. Hackers, since the beginning of time, have figured out ways to exploit that decision making process and get you to take an action not in your best interest. This new Second Edition has been updated with the most current methods used by sharing stories, examples, and scientific study behind how those decisions are exploited.

Human nature and emotion is the secret weapon of the malicious social engineering, and this book shows you how to recognize, predict, and prevent this type of manipulation by taking you inside the social engineer’s bag of tricks.

Valuable Take aways

  • Examine the most common social engineering tricks used to gain access
  • Discover which popular techniques generally don’t work in the real world
  • Examine how our understanding of the science behind emotions and decisions can be used by social engineers
  • Learn how social engineering factors into some of the biggest recent headlines
  • Learn how to use these skills as a professional social engineer and secure your company
  • Adopt effective counter-measures to keep hackers at bay

Gain a stronger understanding of Social Engineering and learn how to prevent future disasters. Follow the link below to have your copy delivered:

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

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Final Thoughts

With the ever changing technology and the active involvement of brilliant hackers scattered all over the world, ethical hackers and penetration testers more that ever need to constantly find new tools and techniques to better handle company security. The benefits of knowing how to develop your own tools are is very important and knowing that from the beginning will drive you to better yourself and challenge your limits. The books above are diverse in their approach and we hope they will be invaluable in your search for knowledge and your journey to be the best. Check them out and we hope some will provide what you are seeking.

We continue to appreciate your support and for staying till the end. The best is yet to unfold.

Other guides you might enjoy:

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