Go H*ck Yourself Cover

Go H*ck Yourself

A Simple Introduction to Cyber Attacks and Defense
by Bryson Payne
January 2022, 192 pp.

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Go H*ck Yourself is an eye-opening, hands-on introduction to the world of hacking, from an award-winning cybersecurity coach. As you perform common attacks against yourself, you’ll be shocked by how easy they are to carry out—and realize just how vulnerable most people really are. You’ll be guided through setting up a virtual hacking lab so you can safely try out attacks without putting yourself or others at risk. Then step-by-step instructions will walk you through executing every major type of attack, including physical access hacks, Google hacking and reconnaissance, social engineering and phishing, malware, password cracking, web hacking, and phone hacking. You’ll even hack a virtual car! You’ll experience each hack from the point of view of both the attacker and the target. Most importantly, every hack is grounded in real-life examples and paired with practical cyber defense tips, so you’ll understand how to guard against the hacks you perform. You’ll learn:

  • How to practice hacking within a safe, virtual environment
  • How to use popular hacking tools the way real hackers do, like Kali Linux, Metasploit, and John the Ripper
  • How to infect devices with malware, steal and crack passwords, phish for sensitive information, and more
  • How to use hacking skills for good, such as to access files on an old laptop when you can’t remember the password
  • Valuable strategies for protecting yourself from cyber attacks

You can’t truly understand cyber threats or defend against them until you’ve experienced them firsthand. By hacking yourself before the bad guys do, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Author Bio 

Dr. Bryson Payne is an award-winning cyber coach, professor, author, TEDx speaker, and the founding Director of the Center for Cyber Operations Education at the University of North Georgia. He has taught aspiring coders and cyber professionals at UNG since 1998, including coaching UNG’s #1-in-the-nation NSA Codebreaker Challenge cyber operations team. He served on the coaching staff for the national team representing the US at the 2021 International Cybersecurity Challenge. He enjoys working with K-12 schools worldwide to promote computer science and cybersecurity education, and is the author of Teach Your Kids to Code and Learn Java the Easy Way (both No Starch Press).

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: Security Through Obscurity
Chapter 2: Physical Access Hacks
Chapter 3: Building Your Own Virtual Hacking Lab
Chapter 4: Online Reconnaissance and Self-Defense
Chapter 5: Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
Chapter 6: Remote Hacking with Malware
Chapter 7: Stealing and Cracking Passwords
Chapter 8: Web Hacking
Chapter 9: Hacking Mobile Devices
Chapter 10: Car Hacking and the Internet of Things
Chapter 11: Ten Things You Can Do Right now to Protect Yourself Online
Appendix A: Creating a Windows 10 Installation Disc or USB Flash Drive
Appendix B: Troubleshooting VirtualBox


"An excellent guide for anyone wishing to learn about offensive information security . . . This book is perfect for aspiring penetration testers, security analysts who want more insight into how hackers approach a target, or individuals who want to better protect themselves online. Its practical, hands-on approach provides opportunities for readers to try out real hacking techniques in a safe, legal way. I'll be recommending it to my mentees."
—Matt Burrough, Principal Penetration Testing Team Manager at Microsoft

"Full of detailed, well-explained exercises . . . fascinating and informative . . . Anyone with a basic grasp of tech know-how should pick up this book, read it, apply its lessons in their own life, and share the knowledge they learned."
—Joshua Allen Holm, opensource.com

"This is a great introduction level book for someone looking to get a feel for hacking on various platforms. The information was easy to follow, and the phrasing made clear what to do from the beginning."
—Sam Zeigler, Security Researcher, Tripwire

"A great introduction to cybersecurity that includes both theory and hands-on practice."
—Rex Lam, Senior Consultant, Guardian Forest Security

"Go H*ck Yourself is a great introduction to many angles of offensive security and digital self-defense! It not only gives solid advice as to what someone should do to be safe, but demonstrates why by having them become the hackers themselves—demystifying attack methods to expose that they are also just logical steps, potentially fragile or easily avoided altogether if you know how to reason about their operation."
—Jamie G., Advanced Reviewer

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