A career in cyber security requires advanced knowledge in sophisticated technologies as well as real-time exposure to computer networks and data management. On top of formal cyber security training, it is important to understand the history of the art of hacking through professional case studies and written accounts.

Fortunately, for the novice reader or continuing professional hacker, there are a handful of excellent computer security books that offer eye opening insight into the domain.

By absorbing the information presented in these books, one can gain an understanding of how cyber security came about and how the field works today. These books can help to better equip IT Security professionals to advance their careers in cyber security. The books provide various eye-opening accounts of the threats and methodologies that are out there in the world, thereby helping them devise tools to effectively counter these cyber threats.

Ten Cyber Security Books Professional Hackers Must Read

  1. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

Often known as the ‘hardest to catch hacker of all time’, Kevin Mitnick tells the intricate tale of how he dodged the authorities for years upon years using every hacking and evasion trick in ‘his’ book- and how he eventually got caught.

  1. Metaspoilt: The Penetration Testers’ Guide

Metaspoilt is one of the most efficient pieces of software created for penetration testing and is the top tool based on Penetration Testing Execution Standard. This book teaches you in great detail how to use the Metasploit framework- as well as interact with the vibrant community of Metasploit developers.

  1. The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications

Written by Michael Zalewski, this book is a must read for web security enthusiasts as well as web designers. What really add unique value to the book is its brief history of the web browser security model, web application security, as well as a section called the Security Engineering Cheat Sheet.

  1. Wireless Penetration Testing Using Backtrack

This book written by Vivek Ramachandran and is for the sole audience of security analysts and consultants interested in wireless cracking, auditing and wireless security. The detailed descriptions paired with lab exercises and rich illustrations will make you feel as if you are executing the attack yourself- and learning how to do so along the way.

  1. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws

This is a simple and practical guide for finding vulnerabilities in web applications, making it a must-have book for web application security analysts, testers and bug bounty hunters. It is written by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto. Stuttard is the creator of the famous Burp Suite.

  1. The Browser Hacker’s Handbook

This book covers topics like controlling browsers using ARP spoofing, social engineering and phishing, Same Origin Policy and Cross-origin attacks. If you want to know all there is to know about the controlling someone’s browser, this book is for you.

  1. The Android Hacker’s Handbook

Mobile security is a hugely important area of computer security as more and more attacks are targeted toward mobile devices. Hackers are beginning to favor targeting iOS and Android users specifically, since there is less suspicion of an attack. This book is a good starting point for learning about application security and protecting your smartphone and could be a nice lead-in to a career in mobile security.

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

Written by Justin Seitz, this book is great for anyone wanting to extend the Burp proxy with python, web fuzzers or scrapers, keyloggers as well as other python projects.

  1. Cryptography Engineering

The first edition of this book, Practical Cryptography focused simply on designing a cryptographic protocol, but the second edition adds valuable details as to how to set up an entire secure system.

  1. RTFM: Red Team Field Manual

This book serves as a handy reference book for penetration testers as it contains a cheat sheet and reference for Windows, Nmap, sqlmap and Linux commands.


These are just 10 of the books professional hackers must read while pursuing a career in cyber security. Working in this field is not easy, so anything that helps add perspective or teach useful tips and tricks is worth looking into.

Do you have a favorite cyber security book that is not on this list? Let us know what it is and why you find it useful.

If you are seeking more in-depth cyber security training, please reach out to the experts at SecureNinja. They offer over 100 unique certification and proprietary courses to help you build your skill and develop your career in cyber security.