I quite fancy the idea of taking some of the Offensive Security certifications, but they are expensive and once paid for time limited to complete! So as a precursor I’m reading up on some of the tools and techniques that you are expected to learn about on the course and playing with the Kali Linux penetration testing distribution.
Basic Security Testing With Kali Linux is a lot of fun. I breezed through the book as I’m familiar with all the concepts already but it is aimed at the beginner so if you have no penetration testing experience you’ll be fine.
The book mostly covers the following topics, getting Kali Linux installed, installing an exploitable platform such as Metasploitable2 or Windows XP/7, then using the tools available in Kali Linux to gather information about the platforms, identify vulnerabilities then finally exploit those vulnerabilities using Metasploit and the various exploits and shells available. There are also several chapters on wireless security, how to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks and how to crack in to wireless networks.
The book is a great for ‘script kiddies’ as it doesn’t really go in to the guts of how things like buffer overflows work and what is actually going on when you use the tools, but it’s a great starting point and introduction to penetration testing.