I first reviewed Hacking For Dummies in 2006 when it was in the 2nd edition. With the 4th edition of the book just out, my friend Kevin Beaver has a completely updated and valuable guide.
The current edition has the same basic motif, but is updated for Windows 8, Linux, wireless and other new hacking and penetration testing tools.
The books theme, like that of all books of the same genre, is that the best way to secure your network and web sites is to understand how adversaries will attack.
There is no shortage of introductory guides to hacking and penetration testing. The Hacking Exposedseries is meant for those with more experience. You can consider Hacking For Dummies a kinder, gentler version of Hacking Exposed.
The book is meant for a reader who is comfortable with basic computer and network security concepts, but goes not expect them to be an advanced user.
The book is organized into seven parts. For those that don’t have an interest in a particular topic, they can skill that section.
The book covers all of the core areas around securing an IT infrastructure; from physical security and operating systems; to wireless, mobile applications, applications and more.
While the reader is not expected to have a deep technical background, the book does go into some detail, as it must to provide a hands-on approach.
For those looking for a high-level theoretical approach to network defense, look elsewhere. This is an in the trenches guide to use to ensure that your organization's systems and network are secure.
If you are looking for a practical guide that can teach you real-world hacking and penetration testing skill, Hacking For Dummies is an excellent resource.