Five Books Every Cybersecurity Buff Must Read

It’s a universal thrill that an audience feels when they are on the edge of their seat watching an on screen hacker risking everything to evade the law. You know that feeling you get, eight episodes into a show like Mr. Robot, where you’re holding your breath in anticipation as the main character is nearly caught but outsmarts the police and escapes with their life. While cybercrime is not something to admire, the intelligence required to be an expert hacker is astonishing.

Television, movies, and books have the power to entertain and inspire some of the greatest cybersecurity minds of the future. In tribute to National Read a Book Day, we have compiled the five most popular novels circulating the cybersecurity industry. These books offer unique perspectives on social engineering, ethical hacking, and modern cyber threats by some of the most intelligent individuals in technology.

Five Must Read Books for Cyber Enthusiasts

1. A Bug Hunter’s Diary | Tobias Klein

A Bug Hunter’s Diary offers readers a one-of-a-kind account of how a ‘bug hunter’ patches bugs —or fails to respond. Klein’s journey will provide you with in-depth knowledge and insight into hackers’ minds dealing with real-world problems. While this book was published nearly a decade ago, the art of bug hunting detailed in it remains accurate to the methods used in the exploitation and testing of bugs today. Klein’s novel is structured for individuals with minimal knowledge of the field who strive to learn about user management and programming from someone who made a career in Blue Team cybersecurity.

2. The Art of Deception | Kevin D. Mitnick

In The Art of Deception, Kevin Mitnick shares exhilarating accounts of numerous, successful cyberattacks on governments and businesses. Mitnick expertly narrates these events from the victim and the attacker’s point of view to offer his readers a look inside the mind of a true con artist. In addition to caution tales, the book also includes recommendations for how to guard against both common and uncommon cyberattacks. If you have any interest in expanding your knowledge on protecting your personal or professional information, this book is for you.

3. We Are Anonymous | Parmy Olson

Parmy Olson offers an extraordinary full account of how a handful of hackers worldwide joined forces to commit cybercrime and create chaos across the globe. The novel, We Are Anonymous is based on Parmy Olson’s experience meeting with some of the most notorious hackers in history. It includes exclusive interviews with all six members of LulzSec. Olson offers readers a history lesson and an entirely new perspective on how they perceive their digital privacy. If you enjoy reading about high profile criminal activity through the lens of an investigative journalist, We Are Anonymous is for you.

4. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking | Christopher Hadnagy

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking illustrates a hacker’s logic and reasoning as they rely on human error to pave the way for their crimes. With an emphasis on methodology, Christopher Hadnagy details the most commonly used social engineering techniques and their applications in today’s digital world. Readers will find themselves questioning exactly how susceptible they are to hackers seeking to exploit human fallibility. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking subtly offers a beginner’s guide to evading the thieves hidden in plain sight.

5. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation | Jon Erickson

Jon Erickson demonstrates the balance between the art and science of hacking in Hacking: The Art of Exploitation. If you are interested in learning the fundamentals of programming, this book offers a unique introduction from a hacker’s point of view. With hands-on exercises, readers can explore hacking techniques, including debugging code, bypassing protections, exploiting network vulnerabilities, and more. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation uses real-world examples to explain how hacking and software exploits work and how readers could develop and implement their own.

Dive Into A Career in Cybersecurity

There’s an abundance of opportunities to help you create a life as exciting as the ones found in a book or seen on screen. Cybercrime fighters aren’t fictional characters, they are people just like you who decided to dedicate themselves to learning cybersecurity. Reading books and watching documentaries about the cybersecurity industry can provide you with a broad understanding of the skills and tools required to work in the field.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, California State University Long Beach offers an accelerated cybersecurity program designed to give you the fundamental knowledge and in-depth experience you need to enter the workforce. In less than a year, you could be working alongside some of the brightest minds in information security.

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