The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing book cover

The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing

Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy

The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing serves as an introduction to the steps required to complete a penetration test or perform an ethical hack. You learn how to properly utilize and interpret the results of modern day hacking tools; which are required to complete a penetration test. Tool coverage will include, Backtrack Linux, Google, Whois, Nmap, Nessus, Metasploit, Netcat, Netbus, and more. A simple and clean explanation of how to utilize these tools will allow you  to gain a solid understanding of each of the four phases and prepare them to take on more in-depth texts and topics. This book includes the use of a single example (pen test target) all the way through the book which allows you to clearly see how the tools and phases relate.


Security Consultants, beginning InfoSec professionals, Students


Published: July 2011

Imprint: Syngress

ISBN: 978-1-59749-655-1


  • "Although this book is ideal for beginners, most security professionals will have been involved with penetration testing during some point in their career. This book is thus an excellent refresher for those of us who fondly recall Nmap, Nessus and Netcat as being the tools of choice for both whitehat and blackhat hackers, but have long-since forgotten the full command-line syntax and would benefit from a refresh. Patrick Engebretson gets the reader involved in the art of hacking from page one and makes this book a fascinating and productive read."--Best Hacking and Pen Testing Books in InfoSecReviews Book Awards

    "Have you heard of penetration testing but have no idea what it entails? This is the perfect book to get you started, easy to read, does not assume prior knowledge, and is up-to-date. I strongly recommend Pat’s latest work."--Jared DeMott, Principle Security Researcher, Crucial Security, Inc.

    "If you are searching for a book to get you started with penetration testing, ‘The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing’ is the right one. It assumes little and gives a lot, and doesn't require huge amounts of technical knowledge in order to be read or understood. As complex the subject may sound to novices, the author does a great job explaining it. He eschews techno-babble and when he repeatedly returns to some issues, it's because he has more to say about them, not because he can't think about what to right next."--Help Net Security

    "This book offers a broad overview of basic concepts of hacking and penetration testing for readers with no previous background. It outlines a four-phase model of conducting a penetration test, or an 'ethical hack,' and shows how to use such hacking tools as Backtrack Linux, Hacker Defender, and MetGooFil. A sequential example throughout the book demonstrates how the tools and phases work together. The book includes chapter introductions and summaries, b&w screenshots, examples and exercises, and recommended resources."--SciTech Book News

    "If you are an information security beginner with some experience in computer technology, especially networking, I would recommend this book. If you are an intermediate level pen tester or an advanced tester, you might not find this book as useful. That being said, it never hurts to browse through the book and see if any new tools or technology are mentioned here that warrant a closer look. As mentioned earlier, penetration testing is an ever growing field and it is quite possible that as an expert, you might have missed something new. This book introduces you to just enough tools and technology to get your feet wet. If this kind of testing gives you a thrill, then you might want to look into more advanced topics and resources. If this is the only resource you used to escalate your interest in pen testing, then you have no one else but the author to thank for it."--PenTest Extra Magazine Vol. 2, No. 3, June


  • Chapter 1: What is Penetration Testing?
    Introduction to Backtrack Linux: Tools. Lots of Tools
    Working with Backtrack: Starting the Engine
    The Use and Creation of a Hacking Lab
    Phases of a Penetration Test
    Chapter Review

    Chapter 2: Reconnaissance
    HTTrack: Website Copier
    Google Directives - Practicing your Google-Fu
    The Harvester: Discovering and Leveraging Email Addresses
    Extracting Information From DNS
    Extracting Information from Email Servers
    Social Engineering
    Sifting through the Intel to Finding Attackable Targets
    How Do I Practice This Step?
    Where Do I Go From Here?

    Chapter 3: Scanning
    Pings and Ping Sweeps
    Port Scanning
    Vulnerability Scanning
    How Do I Practice This Step?
    Where Do I Go From Here?

    Chapter 4: Exploitation
    Gaining Access to Remote Services with Medusa
    Metasploit: Hacking, Hugh Jackman Style!
    John the Ripper: King of the Password Crackers
    Password Resetting: Kind of Like Driving a Bulldozer through the Side a Building
    Sniffing Network Traffic
    Macof: Making Chicken Salad Out of Chicken Sh*t
    Fast-Track Autopwn: Breaking Out the M-60
    How Do I Practice This Step?
    Where Do I Go From Here?

    Chapter 5: Web Based Exploitation
    Interrogating Web Servers: Nikto
    Websecurify: Automated Web Vulnerability Scanning
    Spidering: Crawling Your Target’s Website
    Intercepting Requests with Web Scarab
    Code Injection Attacks
    Cross Site Scripting: Browsers that Trust Sites
    How Do I Practice this Step?
    Where Do I Go From Here?

    Chapter 6: Maintaining Access with Backdoors and Rootkits
    Netcat: The Swiss Army Knife
    Netcat’s Cryptic Cousin: Cryptcat
    Detecting and Defending Against Rootkits
    How Do I Practice This Step?
    Where Do I Go From Here?

    Chapter 7: Wrapping Up the Penetration Test
    Writing the Penetration Testing Report
    You Don’t Have to Go Home but You Can’t Stay Here
    Where Do I Go From Here?
    Wrap up
    The Circle of Life








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