Where to Go from Here - Hacking: A 101 Hacking Guide (2015)

Hacking: A 101 Hacking Guide (2015)

Chapter 9: Where to Go from Here

The next step on your journey is to learn a programming language. If you already know how to program, then let’s be more specific: definitely learn Python. Python is popular among the hacker community, and like Unix it is free and open source.

The main page for Python include downloads, documentations, tutorials–everything a beginner needs to get started, and everything a programmer needs to hit the ground running with it. If you have Unix, you have Python and thus don’t even need to download it. Coding Ground has a few different releases of Python available to work with online, as well as tutorials, reference materials, etc.

Other useful languages are the old standbys like C/C++, Java, and Perl–among others. The more languages you are familiar with, the more knowledgeable and flexible you will be. Always, always be ready to at least get your feet wet with promising new languages that come out.

Did you know there is a website for hackers that lets you test out your skills? It’s called Hack This Site, and has tutorials, missions, and a discussion board. This is a great way to test out your skills while minimizing your chances of getting into trouble by hacking the wrong server.

One of the interesting things about the hacker community is their open-source mindset: they will share tips, tools, scripts, etc. with others who are interested in the same thing. That is another reason why you are encouraged to register for Hack This Site.

If you are going to start communicating with other hackers, just be aware that, like many fields of interest, hackers can spot a noobie (or newbie, or simply a person who does not have extensive skill or knowledge on a subject) and many do not have any patience with noobies that ask questions that a simple Google search can answer. Another tip for getting the most out of hacker discussion boards is to never pretend to know more than you do, and be humble. You can’t learn anything when you already think you know it all.

Before long, you are going to be able to not just use hacking tools intelligently, but begin developing your own. You should start by trying to understand the algorithm, or sequence of steps, that the tool follows. Once you have a firm grasp on that, dig into the source code to find out exactly how they got the computer to execute those steps. Think of it as dissecting a program!

When you see a command you don’t recognize, look it up. Don’t stop until you understand exactly what that line of code is doing. Then move on to the next line.

The first time you do this, it will take forever and you will get frustrated. You will probably not get it done in one sitting, but hang in there. After your first program dissection, you will have gained a tremendous amount of information. The next program you dissect won’t take nearly as long…and before you know it, you will recognize most of the commands and options being used in any program you dissect!

Now, for a warning: remembering how Winnie the Pooh loved honey, and always had a honeypot nearby? Well, there are honeypots used to catch hackers. Some companies setup something on their system that hackers can access–as a trap! Maybe they have been made aware of recent intrusions, or they are just on the lookout. Regardless of the motivation, the goal is to find out who is messing around with the system.

There is another type of honeypot that even white hackers need to be careful about: government webpages that have been set up specifically to lure hackers in. There are other types of honeypots–music piracy, child pornography, etc.–but our concern here is what this means to hackers. Don’t hack where you don’t have legal permission, unless you want to suffer the consequence.

Online Resources:

Python: https://www.python.org/

Coding Ground: http://www.tutorialspoint.com/execute_python3_online.php

Hack this Site: https://www.hackthissite.org/

Recent Article on Honeypots: