Summer Reading List for Cybersecurity
With just one month left of summer, there is no time like the present to start on your cybersecurity summer reading list. But where should you begin? These books are both educational and entertaining, ideal for reading on vacation or on your lunch break.
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1. A Bug Hunter's Diary: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Software Security
by Tobias Klein
Security expert Tobias Klein shares his journey as he finds and exploits bugs in popular software including web browsers and Apple's iOs. A Bug Hunter's Diary uses real-life examples to illustrate the author's techniques and strategies, helping build the reader's skill set. If you want a new perspective on the challenges of bug hunting, add this book to your list.
2. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
by Kevin D. Mitnick & William L. Simon
One of the best ways to improve your understanding of hackers is to get inside their heads. Ghost in the Wires helps you do just that. In this memoir, Kevin Mitnick recalls his hacks of big names including Motorola, Pacific Bell and Sun Microsystems. With as much suspense and intrigue as a typical "beach read," this title is a must for every cybersecurity summer reading list.
3. Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President - What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know
by Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Cyberwar confronts one of today's most widely-debated issues, how Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election, head-on. Winner of the 2019 PROSE Award in Government, Policy, and Politics, this book explores the ways that Russian trolls used social media to target and manipulate American voters on social media platforms. The author analyzes the most up-to-date data to share her theories about technology's role in this controversial event.
4. The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws
by Dafydd Stuttard & Marcus Pinto
Maybe you're looking for a little professional enrichment this summer. The Web Application Hacker's Handbook isn't casual reading, but it's ideal for developing your cybersecurity skills during your free time. Vadym Lysenko, Head of the MacKeeper Anti-Malware Lab, describes this book by saying, "The authors provide extensive information about all the components of web applications, including client, server, and back-end aspects. This way, a security expert may learn how to conduct all-around security testing to ensure a high level of protection for data accessible through web applications."
5. Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
by Kim Zetter
The idea of digital warfare is both terrifying and fascinating for cybersecurity professionals. Countdown to Zero Day goes back to 2010 when the first real threat on this front, Stuxnet, was created. The author discusses the ways that an attack by a sophisticated digital weapon could affect our infrastructure and life as we know it.
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6. We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency
by Parmy Olson
"Hacktivism" has become one of today's hottest cybersecurity topics. Go beyond the headlines and into the minds of major players in the global cyber insurgency movement in We Are Anonymous. Using interviews and analysis, the author explores the fascinating true stories of Anonymous and LulzSec and discusses what their existence could mean to the future of cybersecurity.
7. Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software
by Michael Sikorski & Andrew Honig
In 2019, Practical Malware Analysis was inducted into the Cybersecurity Canon Project Hall of Fame. It's one of the most widely-read resources for tech professionals, making it a must for your cybersecurity summer reading list. This book teaches you tools and techniques used by professional analysts. By the end, you'll be able to analyze, debug and disassemble almost any malware you come across.
8. The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
by Kevin D. Mitnick & William L. Simon
Before he shared his memoirs as a hacker in Ghost in the Wires, Kevin Mitnick shared his hacking methods in The Art of Deception. In this book, Mitnick focuses on the human element of digital security, using real-life stories of his successful cyber attacks to illustrate hackers' strategies. The best way to understand a criminal is to get inside their head, and this book lets you do just that.
9. Thinking Security: Stopping Next Year's Hackers
by Steven M. Bellovin
Many professionals feel stuck in a rut by the middle of the year. Add Thinking Security to your cybersecurity summer reading list to get a new perspective. This book helps you manage risk by thinking about what you're doing and why you're doing it in a different way. The author focuses on embracing change as well as understanding digital security as both a systems and a human problem.
10. Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime—from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
by Brian Krebs
Whether you've been working in the cybersecurity field for decades or you simply have a personal interest in the subject, Spam Nation will keep your interest from beginning to end. Winner of the 2015 PROSE Award in Media and Cultural Studies, this book warns readers about the dangers we put ourselves in online every day. Krebs discusses how spammers not only steal and sell our information, but also put people's lives in danger through scams such as shady online pharmacies.
Author Brian Krebs, an admired writer and speaker in the cybersecurity community, also runs his own blog, Krebs on Security. It's a great resource for keeping up with the latest security stories in the news.