Last week, I knocked out a couple of short books. One of them was Instant Penetration Testing: Setting Up a Test Lab How-to by Vyacheslav Fadyushin. It misses a lot of content weighing in at 88 pages. But, if the potential reader has difficulty conceptualizing a virtual lab, what skills are needed for pentesting, or can’t sort through the volumes of Google search results then this book is a passable 101 introduction. If the reader knows how to configure a basic Windows server, is familiar with basic Linux commands, and can use VMWare products well enough to get a VM up and running, then this book will be lacking.

Aside from the step-by-step format, the author does include a couple of on-offs such as disabling the network before installing a browser to prevent it from updating automatically. However, these are few and far between and are not subtle enough to escape a diligent tester. In short, if the reader has only heard of “pentest” and wants to see what it’s about, this is an OK book. Beyond that, there are plenty of online resources available that cover the contents of this text and more. Even at ten dollars, there are better values in other books. If purchased though, it will not be useless to the uninitiated.