Penetration Testing
A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: May 2014
Pages: 528

Penetration testers simulate cyber attacks to find security weaknesses in networks, operating systems, and applications. Information security experts worldwide use penetration techniques to evaluate enterprise defenses.

In Penetration Testing, security expert, researcher, and trainer Georgia Weidman introduces you to the core skills and techniques that every pentester needs. Using a virtual machine-based lab that includes Kali Linux and vulnerable operating systems, you'll run through a series of practical lessons with tools like Wireshark, Nmap, and Burp Suite. As you follow along with the labs and launch attacks, you'll experience the key stages of an actual assessment - including information gathering, finding exploitable vulnerabilities, gaining access to systems, post exploitation, and more.

Learn how to:

  • Crack passwords and wireless network keys with brute-forcing and wordlists
  • Test web applications for vulnerabilities
  • Use the Metasploit Framework to launch exploits and write your own Metasploit modules
  • Automate social-engineering attacks
  • Bypass antivirus software
  • Turn access to one machine into total control of the enterprise in the post exploitation phase

You'll even explore writing your own exploits. Then it's on to mobile hacking - Weidman's particular area of research - with her tool, the Smartphone Pentest Framework.

With its collection of hands-on lessons that cover key tools and strategies, Penetration Testing is the introduction that every aspiring hacker needs.
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  • Easy to understand
  • Good Instructions


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  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Penetration Testing:

Takes an interesting approach to teaching penetration testing. The book instructs the user to create vulnerable virtual machines using mostly free versions of software as targets. The problem is that some of the versions are old Windows versions (XP, etc.) and nowadays it appears that you cannot even run a virtual XP instance w/o an authentication service set up by Microsoft. In the past, this was done for up to 30 days for a trial, but the service no longer exists at Microsoft and therefore you cannot set up the target. This in turn limits the usefulness of the book and it was only published in May '14.

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