Bug Bounty Training for Beginners: How to Become a Bug Bounty Hunter


Are you looking for the best tools to become a bug bounty hunter? We searched high and low to bring you the ultimate guide to websites, tools, and other materials for bug bounty training on how to hack and join a bug bounty program successfully. If you have no idea where to go, but are willing to learn, this article has what you need: a directory of training sessions for bug bounty services, eBooks, and beginner websites.

What Is a Bug Bounty?

In the infrastructure, firmware, and applications of companies, a bug bounty scheme encourages hackers to obtain rewards for disclosing errors, often known as flaws and potential exploits. However, more often, they allow companies to use external tools to uncover and expose vulnerabilities within their sensitive applications.

The purpose of this program is to deter black-hat or grey-hat hackers from leveraging the vulnerabilities discovered in software containing the business or its customers with sensitive information from an enterprise. Bug bounty programs have exponentially grown over the years to include large firms and government organizations.

For eg, if you report a crucial safety flaw in a Google app, Google’s bug bounty scheme will award you up to $31,337.

In 1983, the first bug bounty scheme was published for hackers to crack the Flexible Real-Time Executive Operating System of Hunter & Ready. They will receive a Volkswagen Beetle (aka a VW “bug”) as an incentive if a developer reported a bug.

You will receive incentives ranging from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars per leak, and most modern bug bounty systems pay cash rewards. There are also hackers who do this full-time, even though the market is very competitive.

Bug Bounty Tools for Beginners

Ready to carry out bug bounty hunting with your hand? To turn you from a novice to a tracker in a bug bounty scheme, let’s start with our list of bug bounty resources. For those who choose to learn, watch shows, take a lesson, practice hacking a website, and hop straight into a bug bounty program, this list of bug bounty training options contains software.

Bug Bounty Training Books

Looking for a few bug-bounty preparation books? To continue learning how to hack, here are a selection of the best bug bounty books for you:

Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

For an insight into the mind of a black-hat hacker, this book is the most popular among bug bounty hunters and cybersecurity professionals. It’s also a perfect starting point. By reading an entertaining story rather than educational content, you can learn how to think like a hacker.

“Ghost In The Wires” is the tale of one of the greatest electronic break-in artists ever, Kevin Mitnick, who went on the run to hack into the largest corporations in the world. His string of escapes have prompted officials and enterprises to reassess their present level of protection. He is now an ethical hacker who advises enterprises how to protect their networks (as he used to be!) against unscrupulous hackers.

The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws, 2nd Edition

Some people refer to this as the web framework hacking bible because it offers step-by-step techniques for targeting (red team) and protecting web platforms (blue team). “You will learn about hacking certain types of technology and remote frameworks in “The Mobile Application Hacker’s Handbook: Discovering and Leveraging Security Vulnerabilities, 2nd Edition.

There’s also a bug bounty page combined with the material of the novel, as a bonus. This offers you a chance to incorporate what you’re learning. As such, for early hackers in particular, this book is a valuable guide.

Web Hacking 101: How to Make Money Hacking Ethically

Web Hacking 101 is an eBook developed by Peter Yaworski, a specialist in software security. Under a bug bounty scheme, his aim was to help the HackerOne community benefit from their bug bounty hunting ability. This bug bounty tool will essentially help you learn how to monetize your experience of cybersecurity.

HackerOne makes this eBook available for free if you want to learn how to hack for free as a beginner. You will receive the publication by email once you sign up or log into your free HackerOne account.

Bug Bounty Training Courses


HackerOne also offers a Hacker101 tutorial for individuals interested in learning how to hack for free, in addition to the Web Hacking 101 eBook. This bug bounty course includes a wide range of video lessons on the subject of network protection and capture-the-flag challenges.

Web Security Academy

PortSwigger’s Web Security Academy is another well respected bug bounty course in the industry for learning how to hack as a novice. The developers of Burp Suite (a popular security testing program for applications) offer this free training to help improve your career with immersive laboratories and the ability to learn from experts.

The bug bounty specialist team is headed by the author of The Handbook of The Mobile Application Hacker. Only a couple of the subjects that this training addresses include:

  • Attacks on the HTTP host header,
  • Poisoning of the web cache,
  • Injection with SQL, and
  • Injection of XXE (aka external entity injection).

Check out the Portswigger Web Security Academy website to read more about this course.

SANS Cyber Security Skills Roadmap

The SANS Cyber Security Capabilities Roadmap is an engaging resource that connects participants with more than 60 courses matching their priorities and ability levels.

The roadmap was created by the SANS Institute, a cybersecurity training agency, to help students navigate a set of courses that begin with baseline skills and then pass on to critical skills for specific roles. SEC504 Hacker Tactics is one of the first courses recommended, and will empower you with the information to identify the methods of hackers, locate vulnerabilities, and shift during an attack from defensive to offensive.

Bounty Websites Bug

When a beginner bug bounty hunter has read and watched enough courses with a lot of books, it’s time to get into the field. After all, to truly comprehend the principles they master, any technology professional needs real life implementations. The next step to improving your cybersecurity skillset is bug bounty websites that you are legitimately allowed to hack.

For newcomers, here’s a list of some of the best hacker websites:

Google Gruyere

One of the most recommended beginners’ bug bounty websites is Google Gruyere. It’s sometimes referred to as “cheesy” so people will learn how to hack because the website is full of bugs. The bugs vary from cross-site scripting (CSS) to problems with denial of service.

What’s especially helpful is that for hackers to learn by black box and white box checking, this site is written in Python.


This! HackThis!! It provides over 50 difficulty levels so that you can begin as a bug bounty novice. This website’s aim is to explain how hacks, dumps, and defacements are done. It also has an engaging forum to help you hack and share significant security news with you.

Hack The Box

As a beginner or pentest master, this penetration testing lab is the perfect hacking site to advance your bug bounty expertise. Hack The Box is for beginners, cryptography workers and self-taught programmers to take part in one of their 127 competitions (or rent a private lab).

If you’re interested in a couple more websites with bug bounties to make sure you’re a well-rounded hacker, check out our other post on 13 Insecure Pen Testing and Analysis Websites & Mobile Applications.

Other Bug Bounty Tools for Beginners

We hope you did not imagine that the conclusion of your training would be a compilation of bug bounty books, classes, websites, and services. Let’s share our favorite resources for bug bounties that do not fall into those categories, but are really strong.


Pluralsight is a perfect way to continue your learning when you collect assignments if you plan to try a cybersecurity career at an organization. You can search their Python library, security basics, and lessons from CompTIA Security+ quickly.


When you explore the bug bounty market as a novice, Hacktivity can become one of your favorite tools. For the bug bounty game, just name this your VIP seat.

The new hacker activity about bugs identified in bug bounty programs is provided by this tool, also by HackerOne. Each news item in Hacktivity would include the type of attack, the website of the organization, and the bounty charged.


Shodan is a wonderful place to start if you have ever thought of IoT (Internet of Things) as an area in which to become a hacker. It’s coined as the “first Internet-connected device search engine in the world” and you can use it to discover public IoT devices in your home or around the world.

Only a warning: After seeing the findings, you may want to rethink the technology you have in your house. Shodan browses the internet to find smart TVs, wind turbines, etc. that you or hackers with malicious intentions can access.

Beginners’ Bug Bounty Programs

Now, you’ve learned everything you can really do about how to become a bug bounty hunter… what about the bug bounty programs? This is the next step in your bug bounty training to join and flourish in the big leagues.

Here are a few examples of good bug bounty programs from organizations:

  • Department of Defense
  • IBM
  • Verizon Media

Ready to Hunt Bugs?

As you learn how to become a bug bounty hunter, we hope the funds in this article will be a great resource for you. To learn how to fight against malicious hackers and help organizations protect valuable assets, you now have the best cybersecurity toolkit. And considering that cyber attacks are globally on the rise, your abilities are needed more than ever now.

Melina Richardson
Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.