The Hackers Playbook 2
Level: Beginner Friendly!
If I could only choose one book, this would be it.
I started out with this book and it helped me tremendously. It has just the right pace when you just start out. You learn how to set up a lab and you go through all the well-known tools that professional Penetration Tester uses.
This book could be referred to as a “Penetration Tester Guide”, whereas the Hacker’s Playbook 3 could be referred to as a “Red Team Guide”. I get to the difference between those two a little bit later. I would definitely recommend reading the second edition before the third edition. Both are excellent books, but the second edition is a little bit easier to get started.
In this book, next to learning how to set up a lab and Kali Linux, you learn about:
Passive Discovery (OSINT)
Web Application Security
How to move through a network
And many more things. The great thing is that Peter really treats you as a beginner, meaning he doesn’t skip steps that he assumes you know. I love that kind of authors. All of this being said, you can probably see that I personally really like this book and can’t recommend it enough. If you had to choose one book to get started, it’s this!