Kayla Matthews

@KaylaEMatthews

7 Interesting Books About Hacking to Read This Year

Are you looking for new hacking-themed books to read this year? Of course you are. There are tons of great options out there, whether you want to learn a new skill, advance your cybersecurity career or just read a gripping hacking tale.

This list has a little bit of everything. Here are seven hacking books to read this year.

1. “Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” by Jon Erickson

We’ll start this list with a must-read for beginners. This book covers everything you need to know and explains it in a way anybody can understand. It also comes with a LiveCD that you can use to try out your newfound hacking skills.

“Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” covers everything from programming to network communications to machine architecture to hacking techniques. Rather than just telling you how to run exploits, it also teaches you how they work and shows you how to make your own.

The included LiveCD provides you with a Linux programming and debugging environment without modifying your operating system. This allows you to follow along with the examples in the book to debug code, exploit cryptographic weaknesses, hijack network communications and invent new exploits.

2. “Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker” by Kevin Mitnick With William L. Simon

“Ghost in the Wires” is the story of Kevin Mitnick, one of the most famous and elusive hackers of all time. Mitnick accessed networks and computers at some of the world’s biggest companies and eluded authorities for years. This book covers his life from the time he started hacking up until his arrest shortly thereafter.

This book, written by Mitnick with author William L. Simon, is engaging and suspenseful. While it doesn’t provide practical hacking tips, it does offer some insight into the mind of a highly influential hacker, social engineer and escape artist. Through his exploits, he changed the way companies protect their information. He continues to do so today as a cybersecurity consultant.

3. “Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy” by Micah Zenko

If you want to learn more about red teaming, this is the book for you. Written by national security expert Micah Zenko, this book teaches what red teaming is, its history, how red teams operate, how they are used, best practices, common mistakes and more.

This book offers plenty of examples based on the author’s experience working with various organizations. It doesn’t teach you technical hacking skills, but it will show you how to create and empower effective red teams. This makes it useful reading for any business leader. It’s also great if you just want to learn about red teaming to improve your understanding of the hacking and cybersecurity world in general. It demonstrates how thinking like the enemy can be beneficial in nearly any endeavor.

4. “The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age” by Adam Segal

In “The Hacked World Order,” cybersecurity expert Adam Segal explains how cyberspace is changing geopolitics — and how it may continue doing so in the future. Cybersecurity is now a matter of national security and is something that impacts nearly everybody. This book is an eye-opening, informative and at times terrifying look at this important subject.

Segal shows the reader how nations can use the internet to attack, spy on, manipulate, damage and control other nations or groups. He discusses some of the most influential cyber national security events in history, details how countries are using the internet for their own ends today and explores the impact state-backed hacking initiatives could have in the future.

5. “Tribe of Hackers: Cybersecurity Advice From the Best Hackers in the World” by Marcus J. Carey and Jennifer Jin

The need for cybersecurity professionals is growing rapidly, as instances of cybercrime increase. According to the authors of “Tribe of Hackers,” although there is already a cybersecurity workforce of hundreds of thousands of professionals, there’s expected to be a shortage of hundreds of thousands more in the coming years. The goal of this book is to change that.

To write this book, the authors, Marcus J. Carey and Jennifer Jin, asked 70 cybersecurity leaders for career, industry and personal advice. “Tribe of Hackers” includes tips for those looking to get into the cybersecurity industry, as well as professionals who want to start their own firms. This book answer questions these people may have and gives advice on getting started.

As a bonus, all proceeds from the book go to various charities, including Bunker Labs, Start-Up! Kid’s Club, Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and Rainforest Partnership.

6. “Hash Crack: Password Cracking Manual” by Joshua Picolet

“Hash Crack” is an excellent introduction to password cracking. It discusses techniques that penetration testers and network security pros can use to evaluate their organization’s security posture.

This book includes both basic and advanced techniques. It covers all the most popular password cracking analysis tools and methodologies, as well as tables, command and online resources. “Hash Cracks” is easy to read and gets straight to the point with practical tips you can use to boost your password security.

7. “Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers” by Andy Greenberg

In 2014, the world began to experience a series of attacks that targeted governments, utilities, electric grids and private companies around the world. These attacks included the first ever blackout caused by hackers. They culminated in 2017 with NotPetya, which paralyzed some of the world’s biggest companies and caused $10 billion in damage.

The hackers behind those attacks are known as Sandworm. They’re backed by the Russian military intelligence agency and are gaining a reputation as perhaps the most dangerous team of hackers in history.

This book, by WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg, covers what’s known about this group, the impacts of its attacks, and the hunt to identify and track the team’s members. It also comments on what this blurring of digital and physical conflict says about the world today.

Our world is certainly changing, and hacking and cybersecurity are big drivers of many of these changes. It’s tough to keep up with everything going on in the cybersecurity world, but reading any of these books will help. These seven page-turners will inform, inspire and entertain anyone with an interest in hacking.

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