Breaking into Information Security: Learning the Ropes 101
Breaking into Information Security: Learning the Ropes 101
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Breaking into Information Security: Learning the Ropes 101

Last updated on 2018-10-29

About the Book

This book will cover off all of the basic topics to get you from zero to junior pentester level. It aims to cover off all of the basic topic areas that anyone hoping to break into security should understand & web app testing/hacking

Chapter Descriptions:

Introduction - Outlining who the book is aimed at, why it exists and what to expect in the

other sections.

Core Fundamentals - Explains the basics of how networking and the internet works.

Operating Systems - A sub-section for each operating system and the benefits/tools for each.

Virtualization - Explanation on what it is and why it is useful to know about.

Programming - Some fundamentals on logic and scripting.

Infrastructure - Building on the basic networking, explaining the role of infrastructure in

penetration testing.

Web Application Testing - breaking down web application testing and what is involved, some

methodologies and tips too.

Importance of Reporting - Explaining how to compile your evidence in a professional way,

also expanding on how to write a good report.

People Skills - How to build your connections and get your foot in the door.

Penetration Testing - Explaining what is involved in the job, what to expect and how to keep


Hacking Your Career Path - Some tips on preparing a CV & applying a more creative approach.

Further Reading & Resources - Links and books to checkout to further your learning.

About the Author

Andrew Gill
Andy Gill

My name is Andy aka ZephrFish, I work as a Penetration Tester within the Information Security sector. I have worked in IT for just over a decade and specifically security for just under three years. My interests lie in Penetration Testing, Infrastructure, Web Applications, Hardware research and Bug Bounty Hunting. However, I'm not your conventional geek. I also train martial arts, go outside and actively socialise with the outside world.

About the Contributors


Cover Designer

Reader Testimonials

Chris Young
Chris Young

Definitely worth buying and certainly a book that I would recommend.

The book is an extension of his already well written blog posts, with lots of extra content covering all the basics you need to be familiar with when getting started in the information security industry. In each chapter he breaks down the key components down into nice byte sized chunks, making it a super easy read. For me, the key highlights were chapters that covered Infrastructure, Web Application Testing and importance of reporting your findings to clients.

César Pose (Zhakka)
César Pose (Zhakka)

Very useful, especially for newbies!

LTR101 is a very good introduction for a beginner and for an intermediate too. Very clear concepts, good synthesis. In my case, I have found chapters 7 about Web Application Testing and 11 about Resources very useful. I think most people that are learning Hacking (and Web Hacking) regardless the area of interest, learning on their own, searching resources, books, blogs, websites, courses, tutorials, etc. Then, the most needed is a guide, a map for organizing the study. Here is the book for you.

Ed Overflow
Ed Overflow

Well-written and cleverly structured

"Learning the Ropes 101" is a well-written and cleverly structured book on information security. Andy takes his time to touch on numerous topics that pentesters and bug bounty hunters will encounter while conducting research. This book is a must read for anyone getting started in the world of security.


Great book, easy to read, fun and educational

Happily reading your #ltr101 each morning on the train. Great book, easy to read, fun and educational. -- Twitter


10/10 Rating

Almost finished reading #ltr101 by @ZephrFish .. 10/10 rating ;) webapp testing part is awesome.

Casey Johnellis
Casey Johnellis

*very* Good

Snagged a signed copy of #ltr101 by @ZephrFish yesterday... the early skim is *very* good - check it out! -- Twitter

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    • What this Book is
    • Why Does This Book Exist?
    • Who Is This Book for?
    • A Word of Warning
    • Disclaimer
    • Prerequisites
    • Section Overview
  • 2. Core Fundamentals
    • Numbers in Security
    • Basic Networking
  • 3. Operating Systems
    • Linux
    • Windows
    • MacOS
  • 4. Virtualization
    • What is Virtualisation
    • What it is Used For
    • Setting Up Your First Virtual Machine
    • Other Platforms
  • 5. Programming
    • Logic
    • The Basics - Functions, Variables, Learning
    • Language Types
  • 6. Infrastructure
    • Reconnaissance
    • Scanning
    • Exploitation
    • Pivoting/Further Recon/Post-Exploitation
    • Other Types of Infrastructure Testing
  • 7. Web Application Testing
    • Introduction
    • Tooling
    • Methodologies
    • Note Taking and Session Tracking
  • 8. Importance of Reporting
    • Reporting in Pentesting
    • Making Things Beautiful
    • Bug Bounty Reporting
  • 9. Social & People Skills
    • Meetups
    • Conferences
  • 10. Penetration Testing vs Bug Bounty Hunting
    • Penetration Testing
    • Bug Bounty Hunting
  • 11. Hacking Your Career Path
    • Things to Consider
    • Advertising Skillset
    • Selling Yourself
  • 12. Further Reading & Resources
    • Books to Read
    • Network Pentesting
    • Programming
    • Web Application Testing
    • Quick Reference for Bag
    • Web Applications for Learning on
    • People to Follow on Twitter
    • Links to Checkout
    • Thank You

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