Recomended book for Pen Tester

This topic contains 50 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  skorpinok 6 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #6402
     Anonymous 
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I have a lot of spare time on my hands at the moment why I am trying to break into the industry. I want to know if there are any books that are worth reading ?

    I really looking for something that will be very hands on so subject get explained then you go test it on your lab.

    Any recommendation please ?

  • #39760
     UNIX 
    Participant

    General pentesting or any specific area you are interested in?

  • #39761
     cd1zz 
    Participant

    From the web side, the Web Application Hackers Handbook is very specific and technical. If you’re interested in exploit development, take a look at the Shellcoders Handbook….very technical.

  • #39762
     Anonymous 
    Participant

    I am interested in anything that going to improve my skills to be a pen tester.

    I have just got shell code book and does look very technical I am not sure I am ready to develop exploits yet.

    Is there one topic a pen tester should know like the back of his hand ?
    I was thinking about SQL Injections ..

  • #39763
     cd1zz 
    Participant

    There is no single book to do that. You need about 30 books and tons of exp 🙂

    If you want to look at SQL injection hit the book I recommended. There are also numerous SQL injection tutorials/walk throughs on the intertubes.

  • #39764
     Anonymous 
    Participant

    Not just SQL just any books that will build on my skill I currently at the level of using exploits I know how to scan and find out information and find vulnerabilities I now want learn the next steps. How to attack the system

  • #39765
     S3curityM0nkey 
    Participant

    I have been reading Grey Hat Hacking… it’s a good read and full of info. Easy to follow even if you are new to the game.

  • #39766
     cd1zz 
    Participant

    +1 for grey hat – good book.

  • #39767
     Anonymous 
    Participant

    cool I go for that then thanks

  • #39768
     cd1zz 
    Participant

    One more a little less technical but a very very good book is Counter Hack Reloaded. I remember reading that in the beginning and it “opened my eyes.”

  • #39769
     S3curityM0nkey 
    Participant

    Counter Hack Reloaded is a great book as well

  • #39770
     rattis 
    Participant

    I was going to suggest Counter Hack Reloaded too. Trying to slowly move my way through it (think I mentioned haven’t read much lately).

    Books I’m trying to read:
    Hacking Work (Horrible book, about breaking policies you don’t understand and putting your job at risk. Like forwarding your work email to your GMAIL account. Using Google Docs for collaboration, company tools suck, etc.)

    Counter Hack Reloaded

    Professional Penetration Testing

    Hacking Exposed
    Hacking Exposed Wireless
    Hacking Exposed web apps

  • #39771
     kriscamaro68 
    Participant
  • #39772
     Anonymous 
    Participant
  • #39773
     rattis 
    Participant

    @Jamie.R wrote:

    @kriscamaro68 wrote:

    Check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/BackTrack-Assuring-Security-Penetration-Testing/dp/1849513945/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305651497&sr=8-1

    I have already read this book thanks

    How does it compare to the other books that publisher put out? I tried reading their Xen book, but the pages all fell out, and it looked like there was no technical editor for it. I kept sending in errata, for non-working commands, with what they should have been, but never saw the page updated.

  • #39774
     jasohansen 
    Participant

    I enjoyed the first half of Professional Penetration Testing for its insight into the team/business aspect or pentesting. The second half was good as well.

    Hacking Exposed was good. I’m thinking of picking up the wireless book. Its an easy read because its broken down into the different steps of a pen test, and then broken down further into tools/vectors. For someone like me who fits reading in here and there and not in big chunks, I could break it down easily and not have to stop mid thought.

    Hacking: Art of Exploitation

    Currently reading Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering.

  • #39775
     Darktaurus 
    Participant

    Ninja Hacking: Unconventional Penetration Testing Tactics and Techniques

    I have not had the chance to read it yet but it has been recommended on this site many times.  It seems like a very good read especially if you want to use “uncommon” techniques for pentesting.  I am currently reading Dissecting the Hack and the Web Application Hackers Handbook.  Hopefully I can get to Ninja Hacking before Ghost in the Wires comes out. 

  • #39776
     Anonymous 
    Participant

    It is a good book I have read it already

  • #39777
     BillV 
    Participant

    @chrisj wrote:

    How does it compare to the other books that publisher put out? I tried reading their Xen book, but the pages all fell out, and it looked like there was no technical editor for it. I kept sending in errata, for non-working commands, with what they should have been, but never saw the page updated.

    Probably on the same level. I picked up a copy when I saw it mentioned in the forums here. I’ve only read the first 2 chapters so far but the lack of editing (spelling/grammar) is quite apparent. I was hesitant to purchase because I didn’t recognize the author names and had a feeling it may turn out this way. I’ll provide more feedback on it as I make my way through.

  • #39778
     jason 
    Participant

    @Agoonie wrote:

    Ninja Hacking: Unconventional Penetration Testing Tactics and Techniques

    I have not had the chance to read it yet but it has been recommended on this site many times.  It seems like a very good read especially if you want to use “uncommon” techniques for pentesting. 

    Glad you’re liking it  8)

  • #39779
     Anonymous 
    Participant

    @BillV wrote:

    @chrisj wrote:

    How does it compare to the other books that publisher put out? I tried reading their Xen book, but the pages all fell out, and it looked like there was no technical editor for it. I kept sending in errata, for non-working commands, with what they should have been, but never saw the page updated.

    Probably on the same level. I picked up a copy when I saw it mentioned in the forums here. I’ve only read the first 2 chapters so far but the lack of editing (spelling/grammar) is quite apparent. I was hesitant to purchase because I didn’t recognize the author names and had a feeling it may turn out this way. I’ll provide more feedback on it as I make my way through.

    If you were new to pen tester never used BT before then it maybe a good buy. I personally found it very basic lacking any real detail and depth. It covers I would say 65% of the tools in BT4 but just the basic of them so what they are used for and one line command to run them. And it does not even mention wireless tools from what I can remember.

    I would say it didn’t really teach me anything I could not find out in the man pages or help page of a tool.

  • #39780
     BillV 
    Participant

    Yeah, I’d agree with that. I’m only a little further now but the first tool they present has the wrong syntax :-

  • #39781
     rabray 
    Participant

    Not finished reading ed skoudis counter hack reloaded yet but I would recommend this. A number of core principles discussed in easy to understand manner. Providing info on the important ethical nature of pen testers. Remediation/mitigation strategy, Hoping to see a new edition.

    Social engineering the art of human hacking is also an interesting read.

    Web app handbook and network security assessment. Both good resources in my view.

  • #39782
     labamba 
    Participant

    I personally recommend Cisco’s Penetration Testing and Network Defense. It’s a very good catch and Counter Hack Reloaded.

  • #39783
     El33tsamurai 
    Participant

    A thing I like to do is go to amazon and type in Pen Testing and every book that comes up I look inside and normally you can read the first chapter, I have found many a book this way.  If you can’t read the first chapter on amazon try Google books.

  • #39784
     n3r 
    Participant

    As i said in other topics i would like to buy a book about coding and writing exploits. I’ve a good level on C language and i’m currently learning Python, i have seen two books : The Art of Exploitation and Coding for Penetration testers.
    which one should i choose ?

  • #39785
     rance 
    Participant

    @n3r wrote:

    As i said in other topics i would like to buy a book about coding and writing exploits. I’ve a good level on C language and i’m currently learning Python, i have seen two books : The Art of Exploitation and Coding for Penetration testers.
    which one should i choose ?

    I’m working through “Coding for Penetration Testers” right now.  Only got it last week, so I haven’t read the book in depth yet, however:

    Pros: Touches many languages, gives a lot of examples of coding, well, pen test tools, so it gets in to a lot of the socket stuff, remote calls, etc.

    Cons: It only *briefly* touches on all the languages.  If you want an in-depth programming guide for a particular language, this isn’t it.  If you want to learn the language, I’d probably suggest an O’Reilly book, such as this one: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596158118.do

  • #39786
     n3r 
    Participant

    thanks !
    So it’s better to learn for example Python from a book like Dive into Python before going to Syngress’ one.
    And what about Art of exploitation ? As i’ve learnt C language maybe it’s a better option to go for this one.

  • #39787
     Forgotten 
    Participant

    As some others have said, there are tons of books that will be helpful.  I really liked The Art of Exploitation and Metasploit: A Penetration Tester’s Guide.

  • #39788
     MaXe 
    Participant

    The Penetration Tester’s Open Source Toolkit Third Edition, I think it’ll be interesting to read, as I already read version 2 / second edition, so I can’t wait to read version 3 that’s on its way to me  🙂

  • #39789
     Capotao 
    Participant

    I’d recommend this book: The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing, by Syngress.

    It’s start from the basics, explaning the process of a pentest, goes through linux usage and the most used tools to scan and exploit systems.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Basics-Hacking-Penetration-Testing/dp/1597496553/ref=pd_sim_b_1

    Its a very good book to begginers, but if you are already familiar with the basics concepts, I’d recommend: Advanced Penetration Testing for Highly-Secured Environments, Packt Publishing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Penetration-Testing-Highly-Secured-Environments/dp/1849517746/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344467380&sr=1-1&keywords=advanced+penetration

    What is great in this book are the  advanced techniques and the labs setups. It teachs you to build up labs with layers of firewalls and systems to make your exploitation harder.

  • #39790
     cyber.spirit 
    Participant

    wooohooo!! I already bought those books but the first one is awsome

  • #39791
     Jamie.R 
    Participant

    Not read the second one has anyone read it ? is it any good ?

  • #39792
     cyber.spirit 
    Participant

    @Jamie.R wrote:

    Not read the second one has anyone read it ? is it any good ?

    i havent read the second one but i think the first one is better

  • #39793
     Jamie.R 
    Participant

    I read the first one and felt was ok a great read for a beginner.

  • #39794
     S3curityM0nkey 
    Participant

    Advanced Penetration Testing for Highly-Secured Environments is a great read… +1

  • #39795
     cyber.spirit 
    Participant

    im not saying that the second one is bad ofcourse is great too but the first one is awsome

  • #39796
     shadowzero 
    Participant

    I’ve flipped through Advanced Penetration Testing for Highly-Secured Environments. I have some mixed feelings about it. Some things in the book aren’t what I’d consider “advanced” (starting an ftp server, basic nmap scans, snmp scans, selecting a text editor (???)). Yet there are some gems in there, like setting up your own virtual lab, and bypassing IDSs and firewalls. Other things it barely touches upon (buffer overflow refresher – but never really goes into detail). There’s a section on fuzzing, but only covers basic fuzzing.

    Maybe it’s just me, but when I see “Advanced” I expect something like this: http://www.inguardians.com/research/docs/Skoudis_pentestsecrets.pdf

  • #39797
     Jamie.R 
    Participant

    hmm I find most books follow the same sort of thing and cover the same topics.

  • #39798
     Catalyst256 
    Participant

    I’ve only been focusing on learning more about security since the beginning of the year and I have a bit of a different view on books.

    I own a few different security books, grey hat hacking, hacking exposed and they are pretty much similar in content (which you would expect), but it depends on your skill level and the way you learn.

    In all honestly I only use books as a reference point rather than reading through the whole thing, and forgetting most of it. The book depends on what you want/need to learn, for the myself I wrote a training plan over a year covering different tools and methods and then find the books (and don’t forget Google) to learn those particular areas. I throw in a healthy dose of lab work (built various VM’s) to push home what I’ve read and learnt.

    Pen Testing usually follows a set pattern in terms of what you need to do:

    scan, enumerated, exploit etc etc

    From that you can work out the areas you need to learn about and then find books/pdf’s/google material to progress. Otherwise you might end up reading books about subjects you don’t need or only just cover a subject that is really important.

    But then that’s the just the way I learn best, like I said everyone is different and there are a lot of good books available.

    I’ve just created a new wish list of Security books. Check it out here.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/1INPZOXT8TJY3

    Adam

  • #39799
     Jamie.R 
    Participant

    Cool there are some good books on that list anyone else have good recommendation

  • #39800
     LT72884 
    Participant

    @capotao wrote:

    http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Penetration-Testing-Highly-Secured-Environments/dp/1849517746/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344467380&sr=1-1&keywords=advanced+penetration

    What is great in this book are the  advanced techniques and the labs setups. It teachs you to build up labs with layers of firewalls and systems to make your exploitation harder.

    Question about VB and VMplayer. Chapter 8 of the advanced pen test book is avialable for free to the public. They use VB and the auther mentions that backtrack is on vlan1 and ubuntu is on vlan2. Now is the terminology of vlan in virtual box the same as it is in cisco? or is that they way virtualbox lables virtual network adapters? If it is an actual vlan, then is there a way to do that in vmplayer?

    thanks guys

  • #39801
     Capotao 
    Participant

    @lt72884 wrote:

    @capotao wrote:

    http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Penetration-Testing-Highly-Secured-Environments/dp/1849517746/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344467380&sr=1-1&keywords=advanced+penetration

    What is great in this book are the  advanced techniques and the labs setups. It teachs you to build up labs with layers of firewalls and systems to make your exploitation harder.

    Question about VB and VMplayer. Chapter 8 of the advanced pen test book is avialable for free to the public. They use VB and the auther mentions that backtrack is on vlan1 and ubuntu is on vlan2. Now is the terminology of vlan in virtual box the same as it is in cisco? or is that they way virtualbox lables virtual network adapters? If it is an actual vlan, then is there a way to do that in vmplayer?

    thanks guys

    Actually, VLAN is a terminology used not only by Cisco. I reckon that is used by the networking area in general. The idea would be exactly what you have in mind when thinking about Cisco’s configurations to setup VLANs (one switch divided into 2 LANs).

    I’m not sure about it if you can do it in VMPlayer, since I use Workstation.

  • #39802
     LT72884 
    Participant

    o cool. yeah vlan is used in hp switches, juniper and basically any managed switch. haha. i did a little bit more digging and in the book, he just calls it vlan1 and vlan2 as the name of the network in VB because pfsense firewall apparently uses vlans as the way to seperate networks. sorta like how other firewalls had color coded names. red(public)green(private lan)orange(dmz)blue(wifi) pfsense just uses vlans. pretty much same thing.

    so in vb the name is just vlan1 and vlan2 in the settings. its not actually creating vlans. haha. in vmplayer, its different. im actually learning tons right now. my lab is lookin awesome. i have a firewall between bt5 and de-ice lvl 1. this way i cn see how a fw is working. gonna install snort on it next.

    took me like 4 hours to figure out what the book was trying to do. haha. since i dont use vb i had to make sure it was not actual vlans, but rather just names of the network cards. he later changes them to wlan1 and wlan2 or wan1 and wan2. haha.

    thanks guys.

    here is the link to the free chapter in case you want to read i.its 40$ from the same site if you want to buy it

    http://packtlib.packtpub.com/library/9781849517744

    http://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/9781849517744-Chapter-8.pdf?utm_source=packtpub&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=pdf

  • #39803
     Jamie.R 
    Participant

    Thanks will find it useful need to have a  read of it

  • #39804
     LT72884 
    Participant

    @Jamie.R wrote:

    Thanks will find it useful need to have a  read of it

    no problem man, just trying to help out. haha. thanks for the info on vlans. I keep forgetting that there are OTHER companies besides cisco. haha.

  • #39805
     skorpinok 
    Participant

    Hello,
              I have two books in my mind ‘ Counter Hack Reloaded & Hacking Exposed, but im quite not sure which one is the Best & what exactly each one of them do ? If anyone of you have gone through these books, please share with me, i highly appreciate your suggestions.

    Regards
    Skorpinok

  • #39806
     S3curityM0nkey 
    Participant

    Counter Hack Reloaded is a great book. Read it and when you can follow along with that Ed is doing….. it will give you a great all round intro into hacking and each chapter builds on the next so starts out with a great into of networking, so if you have no networking skills this is a great start.

  • #39807
     Izhar 
    Participant

    Here is another book “Penetration Testing Guide Book” that i would like to recommend https://www.mile2.com/mile2-online-estore/courseware-kits/penetration-testing-protecting-networks-and-systems-shop.html

  • #39808
     cyber.spirit 
    Participant

    i dont know if someone posted it or not but these books are great:

    Metasploit pentest:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/159327288X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

    Pro Penetration test creating and operating a formal hacking lab:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1597494259/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

    Hacking ninja:
    ww.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1597495883/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

  • #39809
     skorpinok 
    Participant

    @cyber.spirit wrote:

    i dont know if someone posted it or not but these books are great:

    Metasploit pentest:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/159327288X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

    Pro Penetration test creating and operating a formal hacking lab:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1597494259/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

    Hacking ninja:
    ww.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1597495883/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

    Thanks cyber spirit., Metasploit Pentest by dave kennedy is absolute beast.. its flawless, i have gone through it. while penetration test creating & operating hacking lab is quite over theoretical & little on lab. but Advanced Penetration Testing for Highly-Secured Environments: The Ultimate Security Guide is good many say.. i shall look for this..

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