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Best Books on Penetration Testing

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 Penetration Testing 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. Nmap Network Scanning: The Official Nmap Project Guide to Network Discovery and Security Scanning

Score: 100/100

Nmap Network Scanning is the official guide to the Nmap Security Scanner, a free and open source utility used by millions of people for network discovery, administration, and security auditing. From explaining port scanning basics for novices to detailing low-level packet crafting methods used by advanced hackers, this book by Nmap's original author suits all levels of security and networking professionals. The reference guide documents every Nmap feature and option, while the remainder demonstrates how to apply them to quickly solve real-world tasks.

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

Score: 100/100

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.

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

Score: 100/100

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.

4. Nmap 6 Cookbook: The Fat Free Guide to Network Security Scanning

Score: 88/100

The Nmap 6 Cookbook provides simplified coverage of network scanning features available in the Nmap suite of utilities. Every Nmap feature is covered with visual examples to help you quickly understand and identify proper usage for practical results. Topics covered include: * Installation on Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix/Linux platforms * Basic and advanced scanning techniques * Network inventory and auditing * Firewall evasion techniques * Zenmap - A graphical front-end for Nmap * NSE - The Nmap Scripting Engine * Ndiff - The Nmap scan comparison utility * Ncat - A flexible networking utility * Nping - Ping on steroids

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

Score: 88/100

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.

6. BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner's Guide

Score: 88/100

Written in Packt's Beginner's Guide format, you can easily grasp the concepts and understand the techniques to perform wireless attacks in your lab. Every new attack is described in the form of a lab exercise with rich illustrations of all the steps associated. You will practically implement various attacks as you go along. If you are an IT security professional or a security consultant who wants to get started with wireless testing with Backtrack, or just plain inquisitive about wireless security and hacking, then this book is for you. The book assumes that you have familiarity with Backtrack and basic wireless concepts.

7. Google Hacking for Penetration Testers, Volume 1

Score: 63/100

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.

8. Professional Pen Testing for Web Applications

Score: 50/100

There is no such thing as "perfect security" when it comes to keeping all systems intact and functioning properly. Good penetration (pen) testing creates a balance that allows a system to be secure while simultaneously being fully functional. With this book, you'll learn how to become an effective penetrator (i.e., a white hat or ethical hacker) in order to circumvent the security features of a Web application so that those features can be accurately evaluated and adequate security precautions can be put in place.