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How did you learn?

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Poll: How did you learn to hack?

How did you learn how to hack?

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#1 blackhatt


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Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:23 PM

Please specify if other. I couldnt think of another option so i just stuck that there cause there gotta be other ways.

#2 blackhatt


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Posted 06 December 2007 - 09:08 PM

Please those of you who choose other now that i realized i disabled comments and fixed it. sorry thats why im in the nubie section

#3 snapple


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Posted 06 December 2007 - 09:16 PM

i will always be learning.

:wub: Agreed everyone will.
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#4 blackhatt


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Posted 06 December 2007 - 09:16 PM

that is a valid point. maybe i should have made the poll a lil more clear. Maybe something like how did you start learning. But sense you posted and im curious as to how im going to start learning(im porbbly the deffinition of a newb for you guys) How did you start learning?

#5 chazzer


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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:10 PM

I'm still learning, of course. I started when I was thirteen. In around 2000, I met some guys from WoH who pointed me in the right direction (and still do).

#6 phasma


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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:37 PM

I started learning about security last year then I stopped over the summer, It started out with Scar Scripting for Runescape when I was like 12. I wanted to cheat so I learned Pascal. That lead into Java because that was also popular for Runescape. Then I wanted to learn how to break into Runescape (which would be hard since there a major company). I looked up a How-to-Hack guide off Google! Then from there I dropped Runescape and started learning security. I just started studying it. I Googled for hopes of finding fellow people that shared my interest and found BinRev recently! Of course I was the person that wanted a 1-step hack that anyone could do. Lol, long story short I am still getting better and progressing. B)
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#7 deadc0de


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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:20 PM

I got my first computer when I was 3. Had....DOS 3.3 if I recall correctly. Old POS monitor and a dot matrix printer. Every night I read that manual, with what little english I knew, and every night I sat up (I snuck up. At one point I got the computer in my room secretly) and started to learn the basics of it. I was very, very satisified with the 'dir' command. By age 6 I had picked up either, Windows 3.1 or 95. I was facsinated by it's GUI and played religiously with the registry and .BMPs (I thought icon 'hacking' was pretty awesome when I was 6). This is when I started to really get into it. I was curious. Curiosity is after all, the mother of all hackers. I took down and rebuilt the computer from the ground up. I still have my notebook where I kept notes on where everything was and my "hypothesis'", if you will, on what everything did. Mind you my family was never and still isn't technologically savvy. So these discoveries went unchecked (even though most of them were somewhat correct on various degrees). By age 8 I started learning BASIC. Read somewhere that it's what alot of thing were written in so I decided to take my hand in it. From there I delved into various programming languages finally stopped at C++/ASM as my compiled choice, and PERL as my scripted. I never really had a "field" until I was 13. That's when I began my security specialization, so to speak, and have carried it ever since. I found out there are more "people" like me via The 2600. Which I found at a local bookstore.

As a hacker, a true hacker, you never stop learning.

#8 iceni


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Posted 07 December 2007 - 01:38 PM

you sound like you really want to learn to hack. i'm not really in to hacking, i like computers, linux and computer security, the only stuff i've ever been interested in hacking is porn sites lol. but i'm sure if you want to learn to hack all you need is to enjoy learning about it. if you can find some good books it might help, i've got 100s, mostly PDFs and chm files.

#9 unity


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Posted 07 December 2007 - 03:49 PM

when i was 2 i stayed up all nite playing on my dads commodore. i read all the manuals i could. when i was 4 i managed to learn a few algol commands and i wrote my first program. from there i started learning to hack.

#10 Enola Evol

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:26 PM

Though I'm still learning and have a long way to go before I could ever consider myself elite, I have learned a lot from my two old roommates. I've always taken an interest in the subject of hacking, but haven't had much exposure to it. After living with them for a year or so, I learned a lot about both hardware and software. One was a hacker and a programmer, focusing most of his life on software. The other built computers, so, obviously, dealt with hardware. Let me tell you, you can learn a lot better if there is someone to teach you. Most hackers are very secretive about their knowledge, and most of them are self-taught. Nothing pisses off a hacker more than a noob asking to be taught. Because they all had to learn the hard way. So, if you can find someone that knows what they are doing and is willing to not only show you but explain and all that good stuff, then you will be very well off. You'd also have to learn a lot on your own as well, though.

#11 roflcopter


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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:11 PM

Just like everyone else, straight up self-taught!!!1
And like many others, started off as being WAY to curious as to what that noisy-ass thing could do, other than play games and type papers. Started off with a gorgeous Headstart Explorer that we got from my aunt & uncle in Florida, cuz they had it and didn't want it cuz they already had a computer. It already had the 20MB AUTOMAGIC hard disk and the 256K RAM Pac installed. The box is actually sitting outside my bedroom door with the computer in it!!! (just for kicks, it's model # was the EX-938-CP...google it and see what comes up) I loaded up on commands and BASIC and such, and then the Headstart got boring, and I soon found the old Commodore that was sitting in the closet.
Commodore 64 was not working, and I wanted something new, and my neighbor had a Windows 3.1 system, and of course I was like trippin' over this sophisticated, advanced GUI...I was in awe. Although the system architecture of Windows 3.1 was really quite similar to the commands I had learned with DOS on the Explorer, it was fun. In school, I could be found daily in the computer lab on the unprotected Windows 95 machines just cracking away...
Then, we bought our own, very first *true* computer - a Compaq Presario 7470 with an AMD K6II, @ 533MHz with 128MB of RAM; came with Windows 98. That thing was the freaking bomb. It could play all the cool new games and stuff, and it could connect to the INTERNET via a 56k DIAL-UP MODEM!!! I was like zomg! 1337!!! Although mom and dad had become somewhat wise to my *practices* and didn't like to let me play on the computer w/o asking. :o The Compaq was upgraded to Windows ME *GAG* and then eventually to a new HDD and a backup HDD and running XP, and it now sits in the storage room, slave to our new HP Pavilion a1710n (not that great either...) So I kinda fell out of practice...
But very quickly over the years, I acquired another old Windows 3.1 from my Grandpa who bought it at a garage sale for $50 in hopes of being able to start emailing like we all do, but that was kind of an epic fail... Then I got a Nobilis Windows 2000 pc from my computer teacher at my high school cuz they had just gotten a bunch of new Dell P4s and some new Nobilis machines, and soon 3 more to come, and that launched me back in as i began hardware hacking and building/rebuilding systems, password and network hacking, etc...
But, agreed with everyone else, the REAL 31337 h4x0r never stops learning, and the fact that we enjoy helping n00bs work their way into our world.

#12 bsd-roo


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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:37 AM

A degree in secure and forensics computing showed me the way to start, the importance of understanding code.

#13 nullkraft


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Posted 15 March 2008 - 04:29 PM

I am 100% self taught and I was hacking before I ever knew what it was.

I started in electronics which in the late 80's was a sure fire way to end up in computers. One day I read that a deleted file is simply marked as 'free' on the hard drive and that really fired my curiosity. So I went into the office and pressed my very first computer key. Within a couple of weeks I bought my first computer.

Soon after that the sys-admin made some changes to the autoexec.bat file so that a restrictive program would automatically start on boot up. Really old school shit :) but by this point I already knew about the startup files and how to manipulate them. I opened the "authorized" word processor, edited the files and rebooted. After doing what I wanted I changed the files back and rebooted again. All I could think about while doing this was "Why would anyone ruin a perfectly good computer by putting this crap software on here?" It *never* even entered my mind that this might be considered illegal.

About a year later I found an article that caught my eye with the funny title of "Are you a Hacker?" I'd never heard the term so imagine my surprise when I read it and found out I was one!

The moral of the story is that I did what I thought was fun all while exploring and learning about the things I found interesting. Nobody could have taught me that and nobody told me that I couldn't do that. Though I never went to school for computers I'm now the system administrator.

Finally, I *like* finding local hackers on my network. They are the only ones I find interesting enough to talk to. And the more they know the more fun I have.

#14 Grey King

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 06:50 PM

I started writing windows batch files 2 or so years ago, then kept doing stuff like that for about 6 months, then I started reading a whole lot more about hacking when I got my first computer. I got a Dell Inspiron e1505, and I upgraded the ram and what not, then my dad gave me his piece of shit compaq presario desktop, which I madly upgraded with two gb of ram and a new graphics card, and a 300 gb hard drive, and now I am still learning, two years later. Right now I'm trying to hone my rooting skills, which are decent, but sub-par in my eyes.

Hit me up on AIM at chessgreyking2 or email me at Chessgreyking@yahoo.com if you need help with anything too n00bish. We've all been there before.

Grey King

EDIT: I actually forgot to answer the question. I am completely self taught, with zero assistance from other people that I personally know.

Edited by Grey King, 30 March 2008 - 06:52 PM.

#15 djc4life


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Posted 30 March 2008 - 10:42 PM

I am still and always will be learning. My uncle taught me the very basics when i got my first computer and if it wasnt for him I would probably have a life. I have been learning from experience and online sources. I have only been around computers since like 2001 but I know I could have learned much more if I only had self discipline which I lack greatly.

Does anybody know any good sources to learn C++? I had an ebook once but I lost it after my drive failed.

Edited by djc4life, 31 March 2008 - 11:38 AM.

#16 Dare To Imagine

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:52 AM

I began learning independently, buying books and coding my own programs.

Then I realized that hacking the human mind comes naturally to me, so now I am in constant training to improve my social engineering skills.

#17 theurge


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 12:46 PM

I have to thank my uncle for getting me interested in computers at a young age. I used to hang out with my cousin at his house all the time, and my uncle as long as I could remember always had a PC. So I spent alot of time over there on his, and eventually talked my Mom and Dad into getting a PC (way back in the early 90's). From there I always had a strong interest, and was self taught on pretty much everything.

I'm still learning new things every day, to this day.

#18 bsuhr


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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:59 PM

Started with self taught. Accidentally got into my roommates computer which lead to her email. More of a brute force attack out of boredom. From there started asking others easier ways to bypass passwords, etc.

#19 RETN



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Posted 11 June 2008 - 03:37 AM

I started out learning to program. Like many newbies I was very interested in "hacking" but I didn't really know what the field was or where to start. I saw these "buffer overflows" and wondered what the hell they were. By the time I got used to using assembly language and a debugger I started to figure out that these payloads were actually machine code/binary that could be written in either straight up machine code or assembly. I learned VB after I learned C++, and I learned C++ after I learned Basic and QBasic (on a Macintosh -- the original Apple Macintosh). After I learned VB I learned PHP and MySQL, then I learned Assembly Language and Machine Code through reading articles and experimentation. I learned most of the other languages through friends, and I learned VB through a computer science class at my high school.

Once I figured out how programs were written and how languages worked I figured out that it's actually the exact same in hacking - in stead of writing your program, you're simply abusing a programmer's failure to use proper error handling in his/her functions and/or subprocedures. If you can write a program, you can most certainly tear one apart.

As far as abusing improper error handling, I learned most of that through trial and error. With shellcoding I started out with an article (win32-shellcode.pdf, attatched) and then after experimenting until I understood the code I began to write my own. Once I got a job as a sec-tech/malware analyst I tore apart a worm and learned out-of-order code execution. Once I learned that I combined that with my knowledge of polymorphism from xort's article on polymorphic shellcoding (available at milw0rm I think 135.pdf? not sure). All in all it was an experience in learning to program as well as trial and error; when I ran into systems I didn't (and sometimes when I run into systems that I still DONT understand) I generally refer to the manual for the language being abused (assembly/opcode manuals for the processor, man files for bash [rarely], and of course SQL manuals because of how many SQL variants there are out there). When in doubt about the protocol or when blind fuzzing proprietary software I generally hit the RFC's. Other than that, there's not much to say. Hope this helps some of the noobs/newbies out there.

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#20 Dik


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Posted 24 June 2008 - 05:21 PM

man you guys make me sound like an absolute moron. i'm close to legally being an adult and i mean CLOSE and i JUST got my own computer this last holiday season. man i'm way behind. when i was a toddler i was playing with toys and swallowing currency. omg i suck. how did i start to learn how to hack? forums. ebooks.

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