A few days ago I managed to obtain a review copy of a recently released book on cyber security. It is called Hack Yourself First by Stephen Haywood. I have a read a fair number of books on the topic during the past decade and I can tell you: less is more. Plenty of tomes explain the details of a particular hack vector only to forget readers must be able to apply them. I myself even ventured to write a book about hacking as well. It is called The Linux Command Line, Programming and Hacking. It is currently available at Amazon.
Why I reviewed Hack Yourself First
But today I am reviewing Hack Yourself First. At less than a 100 pages it is a short book, but surprisingly descriptive. Perhaps it could have made more use of illustrations and some of the styling does betray its self-published origins. But I don’t think that should stop someone from reading a book, and this case I was thoroughly engrossed with it for over a week. For experienced cyber security workers the materials would all be familiar. But even they might find it useful as a potential checklist.
Now lets be clear – Hack Yourself First – is an introductory book. It details a wide array of possible ways to gain entry to a computer system. This includes physical entry, network device hacking and web application hacking to just name a few. The topic of hacking can become extremely difficult to understand as there is a continuous arms race to create hacks to beat sophisticated defenses. That said, there are plenty of easy hacks that are still viable. This book details those in sections called testing labs.
Here the reader is expected to get his hands dirty and follow the examples. They are easy to understand and if the reader uses Kali Linux there is a minimal amount of setup required. If you are unsure about whether you can tackle cyber security, but you have a long time interest then I consider this book for you. All you will need is a computer, knowledge of using VMware and a college graduate attitude towards learning (this time you can sleep in).