5 Best Books for Hacking 2021: From Beginner to Expert and How to Pick Them?

If you have developed some interest in hacking and have decided to go all-in and find a hacking book that is simple and right to the point, waste no more time googling for one as, here, we have researched for you.

Here are the Top Best Books for Hacking that will take you from a complete beginner to a badass hacker in weeks. These books are simple to learn and are rich in illustrations, media, and have a simple step by step guides.

Hacking is quite a common word, but doing the hacking can be really tricky. The actual job requires a real understanding of the security networking systems.

While the internet can provide this set of information, finding the best books for hacking can take you from amateur to a pro hacker. People in love with reading books and are interested in hacking or pen-testing, then there is much hacking book you can take a look at.

People with some knowledge about hacking usually only need to polish their skills. However, beginners will need a soft start before transitioning to the real thing. The most frequently asked question is what book is best for hacking. Sincerely speaking, these books come with different approaches to hacking.

If you are a rocky, the advice is to look for the best hacking book for beginners. Nevertheless, this might limit your creativity when you are past that stage. There are many books related to hacking that caters for all categories of individuals – beginners, intermediates, and professionals. Finding such books can save you from frustrations.

The thought of becoming a system security expert is always fascinating.  But you need to get the right set of books. Understanding codes is not easy. It takes patience and dedication to master various penetrating testing methodologies.

Currently, cybersecurity is of great importance. The primary reason for this is to prevent confidential information from reaching unintended hands.  Hackers usually look for such information.

While ethical hackers aim at detecting vulnerabilities in a system, unethical hackers/malicious hackers penetrate/sneak into a person’s private data or system, gaining unethical access to data.

The Top 5 Best Books for Hacking for 2021:

If you’ve decided to be a hacker, you need the right source of information. That is why we have a list of the best books for hacking. The 5 books below can be used by persons of any levels of hacking.

1. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook

Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, Fifth Edition

Undoubtedly, this stands out as one of the best books for hacking, considering its extensive subject matter covered. Written by 9 security experts, including Dr Allen Harper, CISSP, PCI QSA, who is the executive director of the Centre for Cyber Excellence at Liberty University and Daniel Regalado Principal Security Researcher Zingbox, the book outlines the details of a security system without missing the mark.

The 640 pages offer cutting edge techniques to locate as well as fix security flaws within a system.

The 9 members who are security experts propose viable and practical means to fortify your system to prevent catastrophes that usually occur in the digital world. The best part is that the current version of the books is updated to meet the current security system requirements.

Primarily, the 13 chapters of the Gray Hat Hacking, The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook 5th edition, elaborates:

  • Current hacking skills and tactics
  • It offers tested field remedies, read to try testing labs and case studies for people who need to protect their systems.
  • The book also covers in details reverse engineering techniques, cyber laws as well as android based exploits, which covers everything a hacker virtually needs to understand

Do you want to know how hackers gain access, script and inject malicious code, overtake network devices, and plunder all web applications and browsers? This fifth by Dr Allen Harper and colleagues is the best hacker’s companion.

What readers say

The good

The bad

  • Information in chapter 5 is a little confusing

2. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook


The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition

Count this as one of the most successful books for many hackers. As one of the best hacking books on the shelf, it is updated to fit the latest techniques for attacking and defending the ever-evolving web applications.

For a fact, web applications are key to the success of any organization, and attackers are usually looking for loopholes to disclose information, compromise users, or execute fraudulent transactions.  The book addresses:

  • Revised stepwise latest techniques for attacking as well as defending systems
  • Explore new technologies used in web applications
  • Reviews new attacks techniques that have been recently developed
  • Reveals the means of overcoming new technologies/techniques used to defend web applications against attacks
  • Addresses new remoting framework cross-domain integration techniques, frame busting, HTML5, HTTP parameter pollution, etc.

Still, this book offers a companion website hosted by the authors, which allows the readers to try out the hacker’s attacks described within the books. There are a few questions at the end of each chapter are questions you can try to answer.

Additionally, the book comprehensively addresses web application security that is currently being used. Typically, the critical topics addressed include discovering, exploiting, and preventing web application security flaws.

What readers say

The good

  • It contains a lot of real-world best-practises
  • You don’t need to have a Burp Suite or do any labs
  • The book is full of insightful knowledge to the extent that it can replace a whole reference library. Besides showing you “how-to,” it helps you reason differently – better – methodical.

The bad

  • Every reader can’t afford 7$ per hour for the labs
  • There isn’t a ‘pause your session’ option for the lab sessions

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


Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking 1st Edition

A clear understanding of security is what the best books for hacking should offer. Typically, penetration testers simulate cyber-attacks to locate security weaknesses within networks, applications, and operating systems. To evaluate enterprise defences, experts use penetration techniques.

The author, Georgia Weidman, outlines core skills and techniques that all pen-testers need to exploit systems.

The book offers practical lessons with top-of-the-line tools like Wireshark, Nmap, and Burp Suite.

When you finish reading the book, you’ll have known key stages of areal assessment such a gathering, finding exploitable vulnerabilities, gaining access to systems, post-exploitation, etc.

Normally, the book outlines:

  • How to use the virtual machine-based lab, which includes Kali Linux and vulnerable operating systems
  • Cracking passwords and wireless network keys with brute-forcing and wordlists
  • Testing web applications for vulnerabilities
  • Using the Metasploit Framework to launch exploits as well as write your own Metasploit modules
  • Automating social-engineering attacks
  • Bypassing antivirus software

What users say

The good

  • The book is excellent at introducing users to set up lab environments
  • The book teaches using tools like Metasploit, Nessus, Maltego, aircraft, etc.
  • Offers a hands-on approach to learning penetration testing
  • Easy to understand and follow

The bad

  • The book relies on the environment in which you can’t be set up to follow the examples.
  • You can’t implement details of the book without Linux knowledge
  • Some parts of the book aren’t up to date


4. Hacking: How to Hack, Penetration testing Hacking Book


Hacking: Hacking: How to Hack, Penetration testing Hacking Book, Step-by-Step implementation and demonstration guide

This is a hacking bundle written by an expert in Network & Security Engineering. The author is an ethical hacker who gives firsthand information on hacking practices.  Each of the manuscripts outlines what you need to know to be the best hacker.

  • The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Hacking: this chapter introduces the reader to basic hacking techniques and lists hacking possibilities. Additionally, you get the necessary technology used in hacking.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Hacking using the most dangerous tools: the manuscript will focus on the most lethal tools you can use for hacking regardless of whether you are a White Hat and Black Hat hacker. It covers networking, technologies, studying techniques, and introducing some of the best free software for hacking.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Wireless Hacking using the best tools: exposes you to hacking any wireless networks using laptops. Similarly, it exposes your wireless access point and teaches you how to manipulate the wireless network.
  • Book 4: This book outlines the 17 most dangerous hacking attacks. These tactics are the most recent in the world of hacking; among the things it teaches are rogue wireless access points, miss-association attacks, de-authentication attacks, social engineering, replay attacks, collision attacks, phishing, vishing, spoofing and spamming, among others.

What readers say

The good

  • The author gives essential information, and anyone trying to get into this field would benefit
  • The book is incredibly helpful in laying out information to help keep them safeguarded
  • Excellent book for software exploitation
  • The book addresses specific regions to help you create discipline and after each section. Typically, the book surveys the primary take-sways

The bad

  • No readers have complained

5. Applied Network Security Monitoring: Collection, Detection, and Analysis


Applied Network Security Monitoring: Collection, Detection, and Analysis 1st Edition

Written by Chris Sanders, an information security consultant, the book outlines the critical steps in monitoring a secure network system. Currently, there are numerous threats, no matter how much you try to evade them.

The book outlines the threats as well as a means of preventing them.

With this book, you learn about the collection, detection, and analysis of data. As you read through each section, seasoned NSM professionals introduce you to relevant, practical scenarios.

What readers say

The good

  • The author defines technical terms before
  • Stepwise explanation of the concept
  • Detailed information

The bad

  • It May be difficult for beginners

How to Pick the Best Books for Hacking for 2021

Not every book related to hacking in 2021 can make you a pro. Some books are specific for all levels, while others are just for specifics. In this review, we look at selecting the best books for hacking for all levels of experience to help you have some theoretical knowledge about the topic.

Here’s what we considered:

The author’s background

Many people claim to experts in a particular field. What we looked at is specialists in the field of security systems. Cybersecurity is of tremendous importance.

People with the least information about how information security system works are better positioned to teach others how to use those or penetrate those systems.

Still, ethical hackers are in a better position of writing excellent books for hacking. They have real knowledge about the vulnerabilities of a system.

They then can propose the right hacking tools as well as penetration methodologies that aspiring hackers can use.

Comprehension level

All the books in this list cover from beginners to advanced levels of hackers. However, what’s unique about these books is how easy they are to read and put into practice the contents therein. Mostly, these books are written in an easy to understand language, which makes it friendly for people of all levels.

An easy to read book doesn’t mean it does not come without challenges. At some points, you’ll need help because of some technical terms. However, these technical terms give you a reasonable challenge for understanding.

Content/subject matter coverage

Content is the root of hacking. If you have the right content, explained in a step by step manner, it will be easy to get the concept of hacking computers and security systems.

Our best books for hacking typically are stepwise guides to understand the details of the security systems and possible loopholes.

Still, books with the latest content and information make the best choice. Keep in mind that security systems are ever-changing. Company owners are investing in more sophisticated systems to prevent unethical hackers from accessing their details.

The latest hacking books explain these details, which puts a step ahead.

Typically, a book must address all ethical hacking concepts, including password cracking, scanning networks, enumeration, system hacking, DOS Attack, sniffing, and so on.

At the end of each chapter, you get some questions to review what you just read. As a show, how committed the writers are, some of the best books for hacking come with a dedicated website for practising.

Content arrangement

The best book for the hacking 2021 market should offer must have the information arranged in a step by step manner. This allows readers to follow each step with clarity and precision.

Besides a stepwise arrangement, when content is written in an easy to underrated language, many readers grasp the content easily. Most hacking books have a definition of technical terms to make things easier.

Reviews and public mentions

Successful hackers will always attribute their success to a particular source of knowledge. Still, other people who have used these books always mention them positively. These are the kinds of books we look at in detail and recommend them for use.


You can’t be a successful hacker by just knowing how to operate a computer. Highly specialized knowledge is essential for successful hacking. These books give you a pretty good idea of the best books for hacking the 2021 market offers to aspiring and accomplished hackers.

Learning hacking methodologies and strategies takes time. With a good book, you can find it a bit easier to understand the whole process. Put in mind that these aren’t the only publications in the market, but these hacking books will help you get the deeper meaning of the peculiarity of hacking.

Do not forget to practice regularly. The practice is what familiarises you with the security systems and how to circumvent them.


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