on 18 March 2013
This book is absolutely fantastic for beginners. The first parts you read the author gives you a little introduction as to what hacking is and the ethics of hacking and sums up 'White Hats' and 'Black Hats' quite nicely. Surprisingly this book isn't too technical and is VERY easy to follow and understand.
There is a lot of times during the book that the author says 'But this is out of the scope of the book'. Don't knock that though, this is a beginners guide after all. Will you be an expert after reading this book? Hell no! But will you know some of the basics? YES! I personally think that this book will give you a 'feel' for pentesting, making you decide whether you would like to take it further. It is highly advised that you research some of the stuff that is mentioned in this book. Plus, practising how to research efficiently will help you out in your career as a Ethical Hacker.
After reading this book I have now gone on to read more advanced books, and will be studying for the OSCP cert this summer. This book is a must have for anybody wanting to know the basics of hacking.
on 12 May 2013
First off, this is a very good quality and well written book, especially for a beginner. It does a excellent job at hammering home the importance of recon and a logical methodology. It covers a good selection of tools and their usage, although it glosses over some of them a little too much.
There are a few things stopping a five star rating for me: the section on setting up a testing lab is very small and does not go into detail, when this will be an important first step for many people.
There are several occurrences of 'this is out of the scope of this book'. Many are justified, but some felt like a little bit of explanation would not go awry.
Another very big problem: the author fails to mention that you can choose the GNOME or KDE version of Backtrack. This is very important, as the layout is quite different and would confuse a beginner to linux. Backtrack Release 3 also has some more slight differences in layout and the locations of several tools has changed. This is not a problem though, as the book is as up to date as the release at the time was.
Overall I'd recommend this book for the absolute beginner and could be useful for someone lacking a structured methodology as a lot of time is given over to explaining the information gathering step. For anyone with a bit more experience, you might want to choose something a bit more substantial as this tries to cover a lot of tools and stages of a pentest in a small book.
on 10 January 2013
I've really only just entered the world of security, and for me this was the perfect entry.
This gives a great introduction to some of the methods used by hackers/pen testers. The author gives lots of detail on how to practice your technique and where to go next and so I think this would be a greater start for anyone interested in the field.
It's not a large book so isn't daunting, I think that can really turn people off when scratching the surface of a topic like this. The layout and style of writing is nice so it makes for an easy read.
At times I found the explanations a bit repetitive but that'll hopefully help me remember them!
on 30 August 2013
I've been playing around with the tools described in this book for years, but now that I'm getting serious about going further in security, Patrick's book has given me a good methodology to do so.
Probably too basic for those with any professional experience in pentesting, those new to the field will find it a good adjunct to their study guides adn generally a good way to get organized.
on 2 May 2013
I've always been good with computer, enjoyed tinkering with them. Roughly two years ago I became a first line support technician, but was becoming more and more curious with potential threats. Needless to say after reading some articles online I was drawn into the subject & purchased this book. It is a great introduction to some of the basics of hacking & would recommend it to anyone. There's even TV/movie references to help you understand certain items.