Review: The Hackers Playbook 2

Your time is precious, so I only want to write about things that are worth reading about. I plan on writing a to-the-point review of the infosec books that I have bought myself. That will include both positive and negative reviews, and all of them will be a true reflection of my findings – I am not affiliated with any of the authors or publishers.


The Hackers Playbook 2 by Peter Kim has a special place on my bookshelf. It literally and physically does. You see the thing about this book is that you will reference it often that you’ll have to keep it permanently in arms reach of your desk. I’ll definitely be on the pre-order list for when it’s released.

It’s the most incredible collection of tools and strategies to along with them for penetration testing a corporate network. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t buy a physical copy of the book however – I would opt for the ebook. I could make three arguments for this. 1) There are A LOT of URL’s in the book and the ebook gives you the obvious benefit of just clicking on them. 2) Due to the nature of what is being written about, I would estimate that the book would only have a shelf life of about 5 years. 3) You would probably want to take this book with you on pen testing engagements and having it digitally gives you the convenience factor.

This was also one of the books that I bought in my preparation for the OSCP. The irony is that although I love this book, it didn’t help me with the exam that much. It’s not that the information isn’t valuable, it’s just that a great deal of it isn’t applicable to that context. For starters, the tools your allowed to use in the exam are restricted, which disqualifies some of the most potent ideas in the book. Also keep in mind that the OSCP exam is not a full network with printers etc. I say etc because I don’t want to give too much away, so you’re going to have to take my word for it J

Two negative comments that I have heard about the book involves the sports metaphor and formatting. A guy I recommended the book to said that he found the sport references intimidating. I don’t know the first thing about NFL, so I thought I would have to read between the lines too. Fear not, the author explains the analogy in the first few pages and it’s really not anything to be concerned about. The formatting of the text isn’t great, but don’t let that contaminate your view. The quality of the content more than makes up for that. This book is a MUST have.




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