How do hackers get started?

Gian Singh September 13, 2012
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I am already a web programmer and a student of programming languages like Java, C++, etc. My question is how do people learn to hack for the Black hat purposes (cracking software, entering secured servers, websites), white hat purposes (manipulating software and websites to be more productive and useful), and to enhance the security of my devices and network?

Thanks to all, I want to learn how mostly to understand for security purposes and not actually commit any crimes.

  1. Anonymous
    October 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    in short learn programming and networking

  2. Yashodhan Bhatt
    September 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I don't think any one thing would suffice you need.If you want to hack you have to learn to do it all by yourself.All i can do is to suggest you a suitable places to start with.
    1.Go for a book titled The Hacker's Underground Handbook by David Melnichuk.
    2.Install Tor.Try to explore darknet community.
    3.Try to attend DEFCON.
    4.Learn to hate windows soon...

    Good day friend...

  3. DalSan
    September 24, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Go to http://www.astalavista.com to learn more. It is a site built by hackers for hackers, though more recently they turned to ethical hacking. Many tools, forums, blogs, and more about hacking and security. I've been a fan for almost 20 years, and learned a lot from that community.

  4. Craig Snyder
    September 14, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I would consider myself a "hacker" in the general sense of the term. When I hit the internet in late 1998, I was immediately amazed. I come from a really small town so being able to explore a whole new world online where I could go anywhere and do anything I wanted was a crazy idea to me.

    My first "hacking experience" probably occured a year later when I was just 10 or 11. I used to frequent a kids chatroom called Headbone Zone. It was HTML-based and would post messages to the chat room using a GET request. In that GET request, the chatter's name and their message was passed. I learned quickly through general curiousity, clicking around, and observation that I could view the properties of the framed chat page, copy the URL, modify the GET request, and basically send messages to that chat room as other people.

    I think hackers just get started by being intelligent and curious people. You need a real desire. Hacking on the more mainstream scale, the type of stuff you'd see a group like "Anonymous" doing, requires a lot more.

  5. mohit kumar
    September 13, 2012 at 5:13 am

    I think the best way would be to install any Linux OS and dump Windows/Mac. Then try to do everything with command line. Also create a test website (actually buy the domain and host it) and start hacking the website.

  6. Bruce Epper
    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Wanna get started? Read everything you can get your hands on about electronics (both analog and digital), direct programming of hardware, how computer systems work on all levels, how the different protocols are used on the system along with their strengths and weaknesses, how to read network traffic using tools like Wireshark, the entire TCP/IP protocol stack for both IPv4 & IPv6, and pretty much everything else you find. Learn how to detect abnormalities in log files, network trace files, etc. Learn how to craft custom network packets to attempt compromising protocol stacks in machines. Make sure your system is as secure as you can make it (or use a machine you don't mind rebuilding frequently) and visit sites dedicated to hacking (chances are really high that just visiting many of those sites will attempt to compromise your computer). Some will allow you to download hacking tools - either executables or source - so go through the source to see how they are implementing various techniques to break into systems or compromise a system's security or reverse-engineer the executables to look at the same things. Check out the materials available at cert.org. They have materials dedicated to researchers, developers, system administrators, and managers. Some is extremely detailed. Also check with sans.org for even more security training materials. You may also want to look into computer forensics. That will teach you what to look for to find out how a system was compromised, what was accessed, etc. This can also trigger other ideas about how to do similar things to achieve the same effect (which is why some components of certain software is targeted in similar ways after it has been patched so it remains vulnerable). It is all about learning absolutely everything you can about the systems - both hardware and software - that allows the good hackers to do the things they do. It is also one of the reasons most programmers are clueless when it comes to overall security; they understand the software concepts but don't understand the hardware well enough - at at all in some cases.

    • GrrGrrr
      September 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      nice said Bruce, but wouldn't it take years to do all you suggested?

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