I know it’s unusual but I recently came across a book that definitely required mention called the, “Red Team Field Manual,” by Ben Clark (located here on Amazon). In short, it’s great, and a steal at its asking price of $9 USD.

It’s a small book that’s a no-nonsense guide to system administration and penetration. It covers Linux, Unix, Windows, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Metasploit, PuTTY, and tons more. It’s less of a book and more of Ben Clark’s administration notebook dumped into book format. Aside from its humorous title acronym it’s a very small, easy-to-pocket or throw into a backpack book which is probably more appropriate than on your library shelf given the spine has no lettering or other identification (I’ll admit it, that kinda sucks. I mean really, spine lettering was too much to ask?).

Once you open it though it’s definitely a great reference manual. Each page simply has a command on the left-hand side and a description of what it does on the right-hand side, divided into logical blocks (like “MySQL” has all the MySQL commands). While some security tools change many/most of the tools in the administrator’s belt haven’t changed much if at all in the past couple of decades and so Ben keeps it short, simple, and unlikely to change when he lists complicated commands. Speaking of complicated commands, I really liked having a quick reference for things like “VLC Streaming” or “Opening a remote shell with NetCat,” complete with a separate section in case -E isn’t supported. Simple, effective, and leaves me to research more later if I want to know why it’s that way.

Given how cheap it is I easily recommend it. My only remaining issue is that there’s no ePub version of the book available. This is definitely a shame as I could totally use an indexed guide like this near me at all times.