Best CEH Exam Prep Books to Read in 2024

The world of ethical hacking, often unlocked through the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, offers a thrilling adventure in cybersecurity. It is a passport to a realm teeming with opportunities for those who dare to venture into its depths. However, to embark on this journey and reach your destination successfully, thorough preparation is essential. One of the most effective ways to prepare for the CEH exam is by diving into the world of CEH exam prep books.

In this guide, we will not only unravel the significance of ethical hacking but also emphasize the critical importance of preparing adequately for the CEH exam. Furthermore, we will present you with a carefully curated list of the best CEH exam prep books to accompany you on this educational voyage throughout 2024. So, let us embark on this intellectual adventure, where the goal is not just to conquer the CEH exam but to gain a profound understanding of the art of ethical hacking.

What is Ethical Hacking?


Think of ethical hacking as the “good cop” of the cybersecurity world, often referred to as “white-hat hacking.” It’s like a cybersecurity superhero who takes on a mission to inspect computer systems, networks, or web applications intentionally and rightfully, always with the owner’s green light.

The grand mission? To be a detective and discover any weak spots or openings in a system’s defences. It is like finding hidden doors in a castle’s walls before any sneaky intruders (we call them malicious hackers) can. The endgame? By exposing these vulnerabilities, it empowers organizations to reinforce their digital fortresses, making them impervious to cyber threats.

In simple terms, ethical hacking is a bit like having your own digital guardian angel. It’s all about being one step ahead of the “bad guys” by discovering and fixing security gaps in a completely legal and ethical manner. Certified ethical hacker training equips individuals with the skills to be these digital guardian angels, helping safeguard digital assets from malicious threats.

Importance of Proper Preparation for the CEH Exam

The CEH exam is like a challenging obstacle course for your ethical hacking skills. It is not your run-of-the-mill test; it dives deep into diverse topics, from hacking techniques to the legal side of things. To conquer this exam and make your knowledge useful in the real world, you need to prepare comprehensively. Think of it as getting ready for an epic adventure that will equip you with the skills to tackle cybersecurity challenges like a pro.

Best Ethical Hacking Books: From Beginners to Experienced


Let us dive into the list of the best CEH exam prep books to help you prepare for this challenging yet rewarding certification.

  1. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation – by Jon Erickson

This classic book is a must-read for anyone looking to explore the world of hacking. It delves deep into the art of exploitation, offering valuable insights into hacking techniques and strategies.

  1. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking – by Georgia Weidman

Georgia Weidman’s book is an excellent resource for those who prefer hands-on learning. It provides a practical introduction to penetration testing and ethical hacking.

  1. Hands-On Ethical Hacking & Network Defence – By James Corley, Kent Backman, & Michael Simpson

This comprehensive guide is perfect for those new to ethical hacking. It covers the fundamentals of network defence, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

  1. The Basics of Hacking & Penetration Testing – Patrick Engebretson

Patrick Engebretson’s book is a solid starting point for aspiring ethical hackers. It offers a clear and concise introduction to hacking and penetration testing.

  1. Exploiting Software: How to Break Code by Greg Hoglund and Gary R. McGraw

For those interested in the practical details of software exploitation, this book is a goldmine of information. It explores the intricacies of code breaking and vulnerability discovery.

  1. The Tangled Web by Michal Zalewski

Web security is a critical area of ethical hacking. Michal Zalewski’s book provides insights into the complexities of web application security, making it essential for aspiring web hackers.

  1. Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters – by Justin Seitz

This book is tailored for hackers who want to leverage the power of Python for their ethical hacking endeavours. It teaches you how to write Python scripts for various hacking purposes.

  1. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, Fifth Edition – by Allen Harper, Daniel Regalado, & Ryan Linn

An updated edition of a classic, this book covers a wide array of hacking techniques and methods. It is suitable for those seeking an in-depth understanding of ethical hacking.

  1. Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks – by Will Allsopp

If you aspire to become a penetration testing expert, this book is a valuable resource. It explores advanced techniques for hacking even the most secure networks.

  1. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws – by Dafydd Stuttard, Marcus Pinto

This book focuses on web application security, providing comprehensive insights into finding and exploiting security flaws in web applications.

How to Choose the Best Book for Ethical Hacking


Choosing the perfect CEH exam prep book is a bit like finding the right pair of shoes. It all boils down to what you already know, how you like to learn, and what you are aiming for.

If you are just starting out, it is like picking a beginner’s guide to something new. But if you are a seasoned pro, you might be after an advanced deep dive.

And do not forget to think about your interests. You are all about web hacking, or you are more into software tricks, or even safeguarding networks. Your book should match your passion.

Study and Preparation Tips

While books are an essential part of your CEH exam preparation, they are just one piece of the puzzle. To succeed, consider the following tips:

  • Hands-on Practice: Apply what you learn by setting up a lab environment and experimenting with hacking techniques.
  • Online Resources: Utilize online forums, courses, and practice exams to complement your learning.
  • Time Management: Create a study schedule to ensure you cover all the exam objectives.
  • Mock Exams: Take practice exams to assess your knowledge and improve your exam-taking skills.

Courses in Ethical Hacking


Apart from books, you can also consider enrolling in ethical hacking courses. Many institutions and online platforms offer comprehensive CEH training. These courses often include hands-on labs, practice exams, and expert guidance.


Obtaining the CEH certification is like reaching a significant milestone on your ethical hacking journey. It is like unlocking a treasure chest filled with countless opportunities in the cybersecurity realm. But remember, the key to opening this treasure chest is thorough preparation, and these incredible books are your map.

When it comes to picking the right book, think of it like choosing the perfect tool for the job. Are you just starting out? Then, foundational books are your best friends, helping you build a strong knowledge foundation. If you are a seasoned hacker, you might want those advanced texts to refine your skills.

But wait, books are just one part of the equation. Do not forget the value of hands-on practice, online resources, structured courses, and, of course, managing your time wisely. Think of setting up a lab like a scientist conducting experiments, participating in online forums as your own hacker hangout, taking practice exams as your dress rehearsals, and crafting a study schedule as your roadmap to success.

For those who want a guided adventure on their CEH journey, ethical hacking courses are like having a trusty guide by your side. They offer interactive labs, expert guidance, and the chance to meet other passionate learners.

In the end, becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker is not about passing an exam. It is about gaining the knowledge and skills to shield digital systems from the bad guys. Embarking on certified ethical hacker training will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to conquer this challenging certification exam and unlock those opportunities in the cybersecurity field. The CEH certification is your badge of honour, signalling your commitment to the world of ethical hacking and your readiness to take on the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. With the right resources, a well-structured study plan, and your unwavering determination, you are well on your way to mastering the art of ethical hacking. So, here is to your CEH exam preparation journey! Good luck!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


1. Can I solely rely on books to prepare for the CEH exam?

While books are an invaluable resource for CEH exam preparation, relying solely on them may not be sufficient. The CEH exam covers a wide range of topics, and it is essential to complement your reading with hands-on practice, online resources, and an ethical hacking course. Practical experience, practice exams, and expert guidance can further enhance your readiness.

2. Are there significant differences between CEH prep books for different years?

Yes, CEH exam objectives and content may change over the years as cybersecurity evolves. It is essential to choose books that align with the most current exam version. Always check for the publication date and ensure that the book covers the topics specified in the latest exam blueprint.

3. Why is the CEH certification important in the cybersecurity field?

The CEH certification is highly regarded in the cybersecurity field because it demonstrates your skills and knowledge as an ethical hacker. It signifies your ability to identify and address security vulnerabilities, assess, and secure networks, and understand the mindset of malicious hackers. The certification is recognized globally, making it an asset for career advancement.

4. Is CEH enough to get a job?

While the CEH certification is a valuable credential, it may not be the sole factor in securing a job in the cybersecurity field. Employers often consider a combination of factors, including education, experience, additional certifications, and practical skills. To increase your job prospects, it is advisable to gain practical experience through internships, hands-on projects, or ethical hacking roles, in addition to holding the CEH certification.

Remember that the cybersecurity field is highly dynamic, and continuous learning is essential to stay relevant and competitive in your career.