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on 15 May 2014
I'd been looking for a book to a) learn more about Penetration Testing and b) have something as a reference guide for future use. I bought this whilst researching the subject for work, so I'm not a professional PenTester.

I think Patrick has done a great job on gearing this book up for the general spectrum of people reading it. It starts pretty much from the real basics (setting up Kali, "starting the engine" of your attack machine etc) and takes you right through to post exploitation, maintaining access etc.

The book covers the 4 main areas you'd expect - recon, scanning, exploit and post. I was reading away, making notes and practicing things, then all of a sudden I was taking over my target machine and executing real exploits, totally from this book. Every day I would start my computer up, get my book out etc, but I also found myself reading this book in my garden and it making perfect sense. You don't have to be in front of a machine doing things step by step - Patrick has done really well in teaching the concepts of "hacking" and the mindset required to get you thinking like a "hacker", not just a droid punching commands in to software.

Patrick guides you through all the processes, explaining everything as you go. It would be unreasonable to expect Patrick to explain every switch in every tool in Kali, but he gives clear references to where you can find out more about the tools you're using, their uses etc. Rather than glossing over things (like some other books); Patrick explains things thoroughly enough, but also says things like "take time to learn about XX", so you end up with some great pointers on where to go next to help yourself achieve in the most productive way.

I read The Basics of Hacking & Penetration Testing first, then "Metasploit: The Penetration Testers Guide", then "Violent Python". All 3 books give you a great understanding of some of the most powerful pieces of kit out there.

Perfect book for anyone interested in PenTesting, at any level - great read.
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on 5 December 2014
I've been in the IT security game for many years and this is a well written introduction to a topic vital to every organisation, and indeed individual, in today's cyber world.

The author does a great job of summarising, and indeed clarifying, terms and topics I've heard many, many people use/talk to incorrectly. I especially like the fact that to be a successful security testing professional, Patrick reiterates the need for sound ethics and a high moral standing, and that to be a great penetration tester you simply cannot afford to omit any of the stages (the report writing being the most common!).

Whether you're looking for a place to start in becoming an IT security (penetration tester) professional or simply wanting to understand a little more about the art of cyber attack and defence, I'd recommend this book as a great stating point and/or refresher.
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on 16 July 2014
Only a few chapters in and already I've learned loads!
I wouldn't recommend if you've never used Linux. - But you wouldn't be here otherwise!

This books covers the basics and makes you understand that this is the surface to a much bigger picture. Well written and easy to understand it shows tools that Kali Linux has, and provides other disto's with instructions to download the tools.
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on 2 April 2014
I have a 20+ year career in IT behind me and wanted to get into information security and penetration testing so I bought this book about 3-4 months ago. It's a brilliant introduction to a very wide subject and steps you through the tools needed and the basics of how to use them. All of the tools it describes are free to download from various sites so you can get a long way with little expense. Since buying the book I have also read widely on the subject and attended webinars etc. and everything has confirmed exactly what the author says in the book - the tools, the methods, the things to look out for etc.

If you want to get into vulnerability assessment and penetration testing this book is a great place to start.
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on 13 August 2014
Having looked at a few different books I am incredibly glad I choose this one. Packed full of tips and clear and simple to follow guides, if you are just getting started in the Ethical Hacking world then this book is for you!
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on 9 March 2014
This book is a classic example of the dilemma facing ethical hackers. It's extremely good, with comprehensive, clear explanations of how to use the tools, and detailed explanations of the techniques. A wannabe badass hacker could learn a lot.

But it's also essential reading for anyone wanting to learn the trade of penetration testing, and for anyone looking to protect their on-line assets against hackers. Sun Tzu had a thing or two to say about the importance of knowing one's enemy, and he knew what he was talking about.

The book leads its reader systematically through the steps needed to penetrate an on-line system. Reconnaissance, scanning, exploitation, and the post exploitation techniques for maintaining access, such as backdoors and rootkits, are all explained. Along the way it also covers social engineering and web-based exploitation.

One thing I haven't seen it other books of this ilk is the way it takes you through the the use of the tools of the trade. How to install them, how to set them up, and of course, how use them effectively.

Definitely a must have if you plan to do a little work on the side for the NSA!
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on 18 December 2015
My copy of this book is USELESS because it has been constructed incorrectly. I cannot make comment as to the content.
As I hope you can see in the attached photo, the cover of the book is upside-down in relation to the rest of the book. Much worse though, is that the printed pages have been cut so that the bottom quarter of each page is missing. The top quarter is therefore blank. I say no more than BE WARNED!
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on 2 September 2014
I really enjoyed reading this book as it is well written and not overly complex, this is coming from someone that barely reads books.

Will definitely consider purchasing any more books he releases.
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on 6 December 2013
I've investigated a number of training options classroom and online. I wanted to learn whether IT security is a career option for me non really offered an affordable way to answer that question. This book did. A fabulous way to understand whether you cut the mental. Classroom and online training is magnificent way to learn and I will investigate again now I know I have the ability and more importantly I enjoy ETHICAL hacking.
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on 5 August 2015
This is a great book. I have been studying for my CeH and this has been a great read while studying. Some good ezamples. Some things skirted over quickly but to be expected based on the page count
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