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9 Best Hacking Courses & Books for 2021 [Learn Ethical Hacking ASAP]

Fun Fact: There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. ⏲️💻

What is hacking?

Hacking is the process of exploiting weaknesses and breaching defenses of computer networks and systems.

Sounds pretty sinister, right? Well it can be.

What is ethical hacking?

Ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing, is the process of legally breaking into computers. Ethical hackers mimic the actions of malicious attackers to identify and rectify vulnerable areas. ☮️

🦸 Ethical hackers are known as “white hats.”

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TLDR: Best Hacking Courses and Books

🔥 Best Hacking Course 🔥
Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021: Zero to Mastery
(Use our promo code FRIENDS10 for 10% off)

💥 Best Hacking Book 💥
Linux Basics for Hackers on No Starch Press

Best Hacking Courses: At a Glance

Interactive or video-based learningLevelDurationSupportCertificateCost
Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021: Zero to MasteryVideoBeginner26 hours$39 per month or $279 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
Web Security & Bug Bounty: Learn Penetration Testing: Zero to MasteryVideoBeginner10.5 hours$39 per month or $279 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
Ethical Hacking Course: Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch: BitDegreeVideoBeginner27.5 hours$26.65 for the course
Ethical Hacking: System Hacking: PluralsightVideoBeginner4 hours$29 per month or $299 per year for all courses
Hacking and Patching: CourseraVideoIntermediate15 hours$49 per month for the course

Best Hacking Courses #1

Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021: Zero to Mastery

Black hats vs white hats in the course Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021 on Zero to Mastery

Like all others on our list of best hacking courses, Zero to Mastery is video-based. But it’s got something the others haven’t got: Andrei Neagoie.

Andrei Neagoie headshot creator of The Complete Web Developer in 2020 Zero to Mastery

Andrei is an instructor renowned for his courses like Complete Web Developer in 2021. In addition, he spent time as a Senior Software Developer in both Toronto and Silicon Valley. With over 450,000 students, we think Andrei’s making a positive impact in the developer world.

In fact, Adil was lost before he found Zero to Mastery:

zero to mastery review

Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021 has a second instructor, Aleksa. He’s a Penetration Tester with over 5 years of XP in cyber security and ethical hacking. 👀

No system is safe…

– Aleksa

Zero to Mastery is one of our favorite platforms. Learn why in our Zero to Mastery review.

Course Layout

Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021 is a bootcamp-style course for beginners where you’ll learn ethical hacking and penetration testing from scratch. You’ll discover actual techniques used by “black hat hackers” and learn how to defend systems against them.

🎩 “Black hat” hackers use their hacking skills for evil. 🙉🙊🙈

With 22 modules, you’ll conquer:

  • bypassing firewalls
  • 5 phases of penetration testing
  • performing vulnerability analysis

And much, much more.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • write your own ethical hacking tools in Python
  • create trojans, viruses and keyloggers
  • gain access to any type of machine

So grab your hacker sunglasses, hacker hoodie and Hackers soundtrack.

We recommend this course for any aspiring cybersecurity professional.

Exploiting vulnerabilities in the course Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021 on Zero to Mastery

💰 Cost: $39 per month or $279 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration:
26 hours
📉 Level:
Beginner
🖥️ Format:
Video
💪 Support:
Yes
🎖️ Certificate:
Yes

Use code 👉 FRIENDS10 👈 at checkout
and SAVE 10%


Best Hacking Courses #2

Web Security & Bug Bounty: Learn Penetration Testing: Zero to Mastery

Course outline for Web Security & Bug Bounty on Zero to Mastery

Web Security & Bug Bounty is another course on Zero to Mastery. But it’s got some key differences.

As opposed to the bootcamp-style of The Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp, you’ll find a 10.5 hour course that focuses on:

  • hacking websites
  • fixing vulnerabilities
  • improving web security

It’s all done under the scope of becoming a bug bounty hunter.

A bug bounty is a program that websites and organizations use to reward developers for reporting bugs.

Course Layout

In Web Security & Bug Bounty, you’ll learn penetration testing from scratch. With this you’ll learn how to hack and attack vulnerable systems and make money from bug bounty hunting. With 21 modules, you’ll explore:

  • information gathering
  • HTML injection
  • broken authentication
  • bruteforce attacks
  • SQL injection

And beyond.

Bruteforce attacks in the course Web Security & Bug Bounty on Zero to Mastery

💰 Cost: $39 per month or $279 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration:
26 hours
📉 Level:
Beginner
🖥️ Format:
Video
💪 Support:
Yes
🎖️ Certificate:
Yes

Use code FRIENDS10 at checkout and SAVE 10%


Best Hacking Courses #3

Ethical Hacking Course: Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch: BitDegree

BitDegree has a similar layout to Udemy: the courses are video-based, plentiful, and sales are frequent. It’s a good platform for beginners.

Strap in: Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch is a whopping 27.5 hours.

A hacking good time in the course Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch on BitDegree

🏟️ We’ve recently become fans of BitDegree. Read our BitDegree review to learn more.

Course Layout

In Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch, you’ll take an ethical approach to discovering and fixing system vulnerabilities.

With 13 modules, you’ll explore:

  • basic commands
  • footprinting
  • penetration testing
  • WPA2 cracking
  • system hacking

And much, much more.

Philians found that BitDegree puts his brain into gear:

5-star review bitdegree asp.net courses

💰 Cost: $26.65 for the course
⏲️ Duration:
27.5 hours
📉 Level:
Beginner
🖥️ Format:
Video
💪 Support:
Yes
🎖️ Certificate:
Yes


Best Hacking Courses #4

Ethical Hacking: System Hacking: Pluralsight

Pluralsight is another video-based platform. And at 4 hours, Ethical Hacking: System Hacking is a great course for students with a short attention span.

About the Instructor

For over 15 years, Dale Meredith has been a Certified Ethical Hacker and EC-Council instructor.

🤑 Is Pluralsight worth the cash? Check out our Pluralsight review.

Course Layout

Ethical Hacking: System Hacking takes a more nefarious approach to teaching hacking such as:

  • finding your target
  • taking control of a system
  • grabbing intellectual property

But in actuality, you’ll be learning how to hack ethically. 😉

There are 7 modules where you’ll learn how to pwn your targets:

💰 Cost: $29 per month or $299 per year for all courses
⏲️ Duration:
4 hours
📉 Level:
Beginner
🖥️ Format:
Video
💪 Support:
No
🎖️ Certificate:
Yes


Best Hacking Courses #5

Hacking and Patching: Coursera

8 steps of hacker methodology in the course Hacking and Patching on Coursera

Coursera is a platform that uses a blend of videos and accompanying articles to teach concepts. This is the only platform on our list of best hacking courses that is intermediate.

⛏️ Is Coursera worth your time? Read our findings in our Coursera review.

Layout

In Hacking and Patching, you’ll learn how to hack web apps with vulnerabilities. With 4, week-long modules, you’ll explore how to:

  • deposit and hide Trojans
  • patch web apps
  • use security design patterns
  • hack web apps

And learn general hacking methodology.

Penetration testing in the course Hacking and Patching on Coursera

💰 Cost: $49 per month for the course
⏲️ Duration:
15 hours
📉 Level:
Intermediate
🖥️ Format:
Video
💪 Support:
Yes
🎖️ Certificate:
Yes


Best Hacking Books

6. Linux Basics for Hackers

↘️ Ideal for: white hats, hacking newbies
↘️
Topics covered: networking, scripting, security

best linux books Linux basics for hackers cover with penguin wearing hoodie

Get ready for awesome, because Linux Basics for Hackers is arguably one of the best hacking books out there. This book will take you on a tutorial-style journey where you’ll discover:

  • Linux command line basics
  • BASH basics
  • package management
  • logging
  • the Linux kernel

And much more all within the scope of Kali.

Kali Linux is designed for penetration testing and digital forensics.

Sounds a little dry, right? WRONG.

It’s with these skills that you’ll learn how to:

  • cover your tracks
  • use Tors and proxy servers
  • scan open ports for targets
  • listen to wireless networks

And even build your own hacking tools.

terminal text and environment variables
Viewing and modifying environment variables in Linux Basics for Hackers

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

Linux Basics for Hackers is definitely the coolest on our list of best hacker books. It’s no wonder, considering it’s a No Starch Press release. ❤️

You’ll get the foundation you need to enter and manipulate systems. In fact, you’ll gain the power to destroy 😱 (not that you should use it).

Some Guy recommends Linux Basics for Hackers to the white hats of the hacker community:


7. The Pentester BluePrint: Starting a Career as an Ethical Hacker

↘️ Ideal for: white hats, entry level security professionals
↘️
Topics covered: role of a penetration tester, pentester skillset, employment

The Pentester BluePrint teaches you how to start your career as an ethical hacker. You’ll learn:

  • the role of a penetration tester
  • how to discover vulnerabilities in systems, networks and applications
  • how to get a job as a pentester

And beyond.


8. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition

↘️ Ideal for: C programmers, hacking newbies
↘️
Topics covered: C programming, security, network traffic

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation teaches readers how to hack systems using C programming. You’ll learn how to:

  • corrupt system memory
  • outsmart common security measures
  • gain access to remote servers
  • redirect network traffic
  • crack encrypted wireless traffic

And much more.

Now while this book is a bit older (2008), hackers say it’s still one of the best hacking books out there:


9. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking

↘️ Ideal for: hacking newbies
↘️
Topics covered: penetration testing, mobile hacking

Penetration Testing is a hands-on guide that uses virtual lessons to teach you how to:

  • crack passwords and wireless network keys
  • test web applications
  • launch exploits
  • bypass antivirus software

And much more.

You’ll also dabble in the art of mobile hacking.


Best Hacking Courses and Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best hacking courses and books including:

🔥 Best Hacking Course 🔥
Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2021: Zero to Mastery

💥 Best Hacking Book 💥
Linux Basics for Hackers

So if you’re a hacking newbie, grab your white hat and get ready to hack with these best hacking courses and books.


Hackers are also reading:


  1. What is hacking?

    Hacking is the process of exploiting weaknesses and breaching defenses of computer networks and systems.

  2. What is ethical hacking?

    Ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing, is the process of legally breaking into computers. Ethical hackers mimic the actions of malicious attackers to identify and rectify vulnerable areas.

  3. What are the best hacking courses?

    While there are a few good hacking courses out there, our favorite is the Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp on the Zero to Mastery platform.

  4. What is the best hacking book?

    Get ready for awesome, because Linux Basics for Hackers is arguably one of the best hacking books out there..