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Book Review: Hacking for Dummies

​Hacking for Dummies

By Kevin Beaver. Wiley;​; 416 pages; $29.99.

Although more than 50 years have passed since the 1968 edition of Cassell's New Latin English Dictionary was published, its translations of Latin words into English remain useful. In the dynamic world of computer security, things change almost daily, and a reference that’s two years old can be outdated.

Now in the sixth edition since its initial publication in 2004, Kevin Beaver’s Hacking for Dummies carries on the book’s tradition of giving readers in the trenches a guide they can use to ensure that their organization’s systems and networks are secure. Like previous editions, it is a practical guide that can teach the reader real-world hacking and penetration testing skills. 

This edition has the same basic motif as the original book, but is updated to include Windows 10, Linux, macOS, and more; and it includes an updated list of currently available hacking tools. 

The final section of the book, “The Part of Tens,” includes information on getting security buy-in, why hacking is an essential method for vulnerability and penetration testing, and 10 mistakes to avoid. The appendix offers a wealth of online resources for more information on many computer security topics, from “Advanced Malware” to “Websites and Applications.”

While the reader is not expected to have a deep technical background, the book does go into some detail to provide a hands-on approach. Those looking for a guide to hands-on hacking and penetration testing strategies will find this book to be a great resource.

Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), PCI QSA (Qualified Security Assessor), is a senior security consultant with the Nettitude Group.