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Best 21 Books on Computer Hacking

The AI Optify data team writes about topics that we think experts in computer security will love. AI Optify has affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Best Hacking Books - For this post, we have scraped various signals (e.g. online ratings/reviews, topics covered, author influence in the field, year of publication, social media mentions, etc.) for more than 100's Computer Security books from web. We have fed all above signals to a Machine Learning algorithm to compute a score and rank the top books.

The readers will love our list because it is Data-Driven & Objective. Enjoy the list:

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

Score: 100/100

Hacking is the art of creative problem solving, whether that means finding an unconventional solution to a difficult problem or exploiting holes in sloppy programming. Many people call themselves hackers, but few have the strong technical foundation needed to really push the envelope. 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.

2. The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing, Second Edition: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy

Score: 90/100

The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing, 2nd Ed. 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

3. Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking

Score: 90/100

The first book to reveal and dissect the technical aspect of many social engineering maneuvers From elicitation, pretexting, influence and manipulation all aspects of social engineering are picked apart, discussed and explained by using real world examples, personal experience and the science behind them to unraveled the mystery in social engineering. Kevin Mitnick—one of the most famous social engineers in the world—popularized the term “social engineering.” He explained that it is much easier to trick someone into revealing a password for a system than to exert the effort of hacking into the system.

4. Hacked Again

Score: 90/100

Hacked Again details the ins and outs of cybersecurity expert and CEO of a top wireless security tech firm, Scott Schober, as he struggles to understand the motives and mayhem behind his being hacked. As a small business owner, family man, and tech pundit, Scott finds himself leading a compromised life. By day, he runs a successful security company and reports on the latest cyber breaches in the hopes of offering solace and security tips to millions of viewers. But, when a mysterious hacker begins to steal thousands from his bank account, go through his trash, and take over his social media identity, Scott stands to lose everything he has worked so hard for.

5. The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers

Score: 80/100

Kevin Mitnick, the world's most celebrated hacker, now devotes his life to helping businesses and governments combat data thieves, cybervandals, and other malicious computer intruders. In his bestselling The Art of Deception, Mitnick presented fictionalized case studies that illustrated how savvy computer crackers use "social engineering" to compromise even the most technically secure computer systems. Now, in his new book, Mitnick goes one step further, offering hair-raising stories of real-life computer break-ins-and showing how the victims could have prevented them.

6. Violent Python: A Cookbook for Hackers, Forensic Analysts, Penetration Testers and Security Engineers

Score: 80/100

Violent Python shows you how to move from a theoretical understanding of offensive computing concepts to a practical implementation. Instead of relying on another attacker’s tools, this book will teach you to forge your own weapons using the Python programming language. This book demonstrates how to write Python scripts to automate large-scale network attacks, extract metadata, and investigate forensic artifacts. It also shows how to write code to intercept and analyze network traffic using Python, craft and spoof wireless frames to attack wireless and Bluetooth devices, and how to data-mine popular social media websites and evade modern anti-virus.

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

Score: 80/100

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, Nmap, 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.

8. Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters

Score: 70/100

When it comes to creating powerful and effective hacking tools, Python is the language of choice for most security analysts. But just how does the magic happen? In Black Hat Python, the latest from Justin Seitz (author of the best-selling Gray Hat Python), you'll explore the darker side of Python's capabilities—writing network sniffers, manipulating packets, infecting virtual machines, creating stealthy trojans, and more.

9. Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering

Score: 70/100

Beginning with a basic primer on reverse engineering-including computer internals, operating systems, and assembly language-and then discussing the various applications of reverse engineering, this book provides readers with practical, in-depth techniques for software reverse engineering. The book is broken into two parts, the first deals with security-related reverse engineering and the second explores the more practical aspects of reverse engineering. In addition, the author explains how to reverse engineer a third-party software library to improve interfacing and how to reverse engineer a competitor's software to build a better product.

10. Counter Hack Reloaded: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Attacks and Effective Defenses (2nd Edition)

Score: 70/100

For years, Counter Hack has been the primary resource for every network/system administrator and security professional who needs a deep, hands-on understanding of hacker attacks and countermeasures. Now, leading network security expert Ed Skoudis, with Tom Liston, has thoroughly updated this best-selling guide, showing how to defeat today’s newest, most sophisticated, and most destructive attacks.

11. Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets and Solutions, Sixth Edition

Score: 60/100

Meet the formidable demands of security in today's hyperconnected world with expert guidance from the world-renowned Hacking Exposed team. Following the time-tested "attack-countermeasure" philosophy, this 10th anniversary edition has been fully overhauled to cover the latest insidious weapons in the hacker's extensive arsenal.

12. Practical Reverse Engineering: x86, x64, ARM, Windows Kernel, Reversing Tools, and Obfuscation

Score: 60/100

Reverse engineering is the process of analyzing hardware or software and understanding it, without having access to the source code or design documents. Hackers are able to reverse engineer systems and exploit what they find with scary results. Now the good guys can use the same tools to thwart these threats. Practical Reverse Engineering goes under the hood of reverse engineering for security analysts, security engineers, and system programmers, so they can learn how to use these same processes to stop hackers in their tracks.

13. Wi-Foo: The Secrets of Wireless Hacking

Score: 60/100

A guide to penetrating and defending wireless networks, and to hacking wireless networks. It helps you master the attacker's arsenal of hardware and software tools: knowledge for crackers and auditors. It also helps you learn systematic counter measures for building hardened wireless 'citadels' including cryptography-based techniques.

14. Gray Hat Hacking The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, Fourth Edition

Score: 60/100

Fortify your network and avert digital catastrophe with proven strategies from a team of security experts. Completely updated and featuring 12 new chapters, Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, Fourth Edition explains the enemy’s current weapons, skills, and tactics and offers field-tested remedies, case studies, and ready-to-deploy testing labs. Find out how hackers gain access, overtake network devices, script and inject malicious code, and plunder Web applications and browsers. Android-based exploits, reverse engineering techniques, and cyber law are thoroughly covered in this state-of-the-art resource.

15. Hacking Exposed 5th Edition: Network Security Secrets And Solutions

Score: 50/100

Here is the latest edition of international best-seller, Hacking Exposed. Using real-world case studies, renowned security experts Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, and George Kurtz show IT professionals how to protect computers and networks against the most recent security vulnerabilities. You'll find detailed examples of the latest devious break-ins and will learn how to think like a hacker in order to thwart attacks.

16. Google Hacking for Penetration Testers, Volume 1

Score: 50/100

Google, the most popular search engine worldwide, provides web surfers with an easy-to-use guide to the Internet, with web and image searches, language translation, and a range of features that make web navigation simple enough for even the novice user. What many users don't realize is that the deceptively simple components that make Google so easy to use are the same features that generously unlock security flaws for the malicious hacker. Vulnerabilities in website security can be discovered through Google hacking, techniques applied to the search engine by computer criminals, identity thieves, and even terrorists to uncover secure information.

17. Android Hacker's Handbook

Score: 50/100

As the Android operating system continues to increase its share of the smartphone market, smartphone hacking remains a growing threat. Written by experts who rank among the world's foremost Android security researchers, this book presents vulnerability discovery, analysis, and exploitation tools for the good guys. Following a detailed explanation of how the Android OS works and its overall security architecture, the authors examine how vulnerabilities can be discovered and exploits developed for various system components, preparing you to defend against them.

18. The Browser Hacker's Handbook

Score: 50/100

The Browser Hacker's Handbook gives a practical understanding of hacking the everyday web browser and using it as a beachhead to launch further attacks deep into corporate networks. Written by a team of highly experienced computer security experts, the handbook provides hands-on tutorials exploring a range of current attack methods.

19. Hacking Exposed: Malware & Rootkits Secrets & Solutions

Score: 40/100

Defend against the ongoing wave of malware and rootkit assaults the failsafe Hacking Exposed way. Real-world case studies and examples reveal how today's hackers use readily available tools to infiltrate and hijack systems. Step-by-step countermeasures provide proven prevention techniques. Find out how to detect and eliminate malicious embedded code, block pop-ups and websites, prevent keylogging, and terminate rootkits. The latest intrusion detection, firewall, honeynet, antivirus, anti-rootkit, and anti-spyware technologies are covered in detail.

20. Malware, Rootkits & Botnets A Beginner's Guide

Score: 40/100

Learn how to improve the security posture of your organization and defend against some of the most pervasive network attacks. Malware, Rootkits & Botnets: A Beginner's Guide explains the nature, sophistication, and danger of these risks and offers best practices for thwarting them. After reviewing the current threat landscape, the book describes the entire threat lifecycle, explaining how cybercriminals create, deploy, and manage the malware, rootkits, and botnets under their control. You'll learn proven techniques for identifying and mitigating these malicious attacks.

21. The Hacker’s Handbook: The Strategy behind Breaking into and Defending Networks

Score: 30/100

The Hacker’s Handbook: The Strategy Behind Breaking Into and Defending Networks, moves ahead of the pack of books about digital security by revealing the technical aspects of hacking that are least understood by network administrators. This is accomplished by analyzing subjects through a hacking/security dichotomy that details hacking maneuvers and defenses in the same context.