Top Ethical Hacking Books

Today, cyber security is of utmost importance.  Even the Department of Homeland Security has recently issued a warning of a potentially imminent cyberattack which could rival 9/11 in its devastation.  And one of the surest ways to deal with a potential cyber attack is to think like a hacker.  Cyber security experts must know how to hack computers so that they can learn where the potential holes in a network’s security are to be found.  But how does a security specialist learn the tricks of hackers?  Fortunately, there are several books available which provide guidance on how to be a “white hat hacker” so as to secure your own computer network.

  • Secrets and Lies:  Digital Security in a Network World (Bruce Schneier)—Bruce Schneier is a computer security expert who has written a practical guide to securing computer networks.  One of the best things that this book provides is a way of disproving many of the misconceptions of computer security, particularly when it comes to cryptography.
  • Cyber War:  The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (Richard A. Clarke and Robert Knake)—What better reference about the potential for cyberthreats on a global scale than a book written by a former national security advisor?  Richard Clarke has worked with Presidents Clinton and Bush and in this book he discusses the how attacks to computer networks can cripple governments as has already been seen in the covert computer wars that have gone on for the past half decade in the Middle East.
  • Inside Network Security Assessment:  Guarding Your IT Infrastructure (Michael Gregg and David Kim)—This book, written by two experts in the IT field with

    connections to the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, is a step-by-step practical guide on how to secure your network with utilities and templates that are very practical.

  • Security Engineering:  A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems (Ross J. Anderson)—This hefty tome (over 1000 pages) covers everything from security basics such as cryptography to types of attacks such as card fraud and hacking among others.  It is an invaluable guide for anyone interested in the topic of ethical hacking.

These four books are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world of ethical hacking.  But those who are interested in the topic would do well to check these out first before branching out to others in the field.

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