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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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#21 Rivelli


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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:44 PM

Of course, real Hackers are always learning. Hackers can also read what people meant even when they said something different, in this case it's obvious what the guy meant when he made the poll. Contrary to popular belief, you don't always have to correct someone, that might burn the source. :o

I'm self taught, like all real hackers.

Edited by Rivelli, 24 June 2008 - 11:45 PM.

#22 Spyril


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Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:29 AM

Ever since we got our first computer in the 2nd grade I was curious and interested in how it worked. I didn't do much then except look though random system files, took notice of many different file types, how things were structured and named, etc. I soon figured out that the .exe extension in a file meant that it would do something interesting when you clicked on it, and after discovering Windows' "search for file/folder" feature, I searched for all .exe files and clicked them randomly. I had no idea what I was doing, but I thought that all the settings you could change and all the control you had was cool.

I've always liked video games and in the 6th grade I found a great freeware program called Game Maker (it's still around and in development today, and it is pretty neat). I used its drag-and-drop interface to program some simple games. I lost interest after a few months, but when I got a laptop for Christmas in 9th grade, I remembered the program and decided to take a look at it again. This time I visited a Game Maker message board and downloaded some sample games that people had made, and noticed most of them were in code rather than drag-and-drop. I learned bits of Game Maker's scripting language (similar to C and BASIC). Although I had no real concept of programming, I did implement some simple algorithms that were actually pretty impressive given my limited knowledge back then. From there I learned about different programming languages and picked up some C and PHP. Then I became interested in everything to do with computers. And here I sit today.

#23 luminol


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Posted 26 June 2008 - 09:30 AM

also one of the best ways to learn about network security is to setup your own network at home, different configurations with routers, firewalls, segmented networks, wired and wireless hosts, etc. im really into wireless networking so i setup different wireless networks and routers at my own house so that i could see exactly whats happening on both ends when youre trying to crack WEP/WPA or access a restricted wireless network. this is also helpful because it will give you a better understanding of how different wireless network security tools work, and how to use them more effectively.

I'm really interested in wireless networking and security, too, and as a noob, this is some of the best advice I've read. I'm actually in the process of working on a little home network to test some things out. I'm brand new to this stuff (not computers, but security and the like), so for now I'm just playing around with Net Stumbler & Ethereal and seeing what I can learn.

when i was a toddler i was playing with toys and swallowing currency.


#24 Ace666ace


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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:24 PM

I was phishing runescape accounts because they had destroyed the best part of the game so I was finding other ways to entertain myself when I got tired of using out dated phishers and started to learn html since then i've moved on to learning SQL Injection which i'm learning slowly but i'll get it eventually. I am also trying to learn how botnets work, there's about 600 other things im trying to learn at the same time but too much learning at once makes me forget things.

#25 veb4713


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Posted 17 September 2008 - 12:29 AM

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.

haha thats almost how i started getting in to this... even at about that age! except im only 14 now.... but i jsut got into DOS by playing floppy disk games like Scorch and working everything through DOS and now i have jsut reasearched more about hacking.

#26 tekio


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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:27 PM

IMO like playing sports hacking cannot be taught out of a book or in a class. Technologies can be learned but hacking is original out of the box thinking that can only come from within one's self.

#27 n1njastr1k3forc3


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Posted 28 September 2008 - 03:34 PM

It was a combination of self taught/mentoring. I will never stop learning though. KNOWLEDGE=POWER :ninja:

#28 jerm


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Posted 22 October 2008 - 07:58 PM

it was a combination of me teaching myself and being taught by my dad but of course being a farm boy i've hacked many things other than tech. Of course we call it jerry rigging.

#29 burlap_douchebag


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Posted 24 October 2008 - 04:59 PM

Got a Vic20 for xmas when I was 8 and started copying programs out of books... by the time my bday came around in july i was writing my own programs (recipe manager for my mom that she never used once) and was asking for a better machine... this was 25 years ago!!

:o :roll:

#30 righteous_slave



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Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:10 AM

I don't think I qualify as knowing how to hack. I pick up 2600, listen to talks from HOPE and DEFCON, lurk around here, and poke around my computer at home and the ones at work (just a little bit). Learning a lot, but not enough to earn a title.

#31 Naudia


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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:06 PM

also one of the best ways to learn about network security is to setup your own network at home, different configurations with routers, firewalls, segmented networks, wired and wireless hosts, etc. im really into wireless networking so i setup different wireless networks and routers at my own house so that i could see exactly whats happening on both ends when youre trying to crack WEP/WPA or access a restricted wireless network. this is also helpful because it will give you a better understanding of how different wireless network security tools work, and how to use them more effectively.

Although he is banned... Fascinating idea ^_^

#32 Quazor


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Posted 15 November 2008 - 09:08 AM

mostly online tutotirials/e-books etc

#33 zandi


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Posted 01 December 2008 - 06:12 PM

I think i can trace it all back to middle school, to halo pc (which i played way too much of). one day, I joined a server and some strange things started happening. I learned the server was running a modded map, and found halomods.com, where i started to learn some basic modding (or if you like, "hacking"). started by changing projectile offests with a hex editor following tutorials (XFD ROCKET SHOTGUN), then used some of the tools when they came out, like sparkedit. i tried to get into mapmaking when they launched halo custom edition, but my attention turned to other things. I remember a drummer in the marching band at the time directed me to hackthissite.org, and i toyed around on there for a while. from there, i dicked around on computers whenever i got a chance (mostly school). I took the computer courses at my school and met probably the best tech teacher I've ever met, and took cisco courses under him. He was practically a guru for me, but I couldn't learn everything from him, so I turned to the internet and started reading all sorts of material. Somewhere along the way, i picked up some linux, and got into C++ programming. buying books has been very informative, and I own quite a few; hacking exposed, O'Reilly's practical C++, linux for dummies (which I regret), and counter hack. I've also got an old college textbook on AI lying around i got for free from a high school programming teacher, but I haven't opened it in a long time. i'm sure it's got something interesting in it, but i haven't the time or experience to read it yet.

and as for the "you're born a hacker" crowd, i disassembled (& reassembled) my big wheel when i was 4 after my dad gave me all the wrong tools to do so. does that count?

#34 Promethorn


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Posted 13 December 2008 - 10:26 PM

Well while I'm still learning, what information I've gleaned so far has been self taught. I can attribute my interest in technology to both my father and a lot of the people that I hung out around at his work. I remember him telling me about when he used to fix typewriters and how when he came across a problem he would have to make the tools he needed to fix it out of whatever he had access to, and as a child that was an inspiration to learn to solve problems more than to rely on solutions that may or may not be available.

#35 antirem



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Posted 26 December 2008 - 02:04 PM

For the most part it was self taught, but I had a friend who was learning at about the same pace as me and we bounced ideas off each other and encouraged one another to learn more.

#36 Newbie


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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:26 PM

ok I saw one of you posted that all the real hackers are self thaught, I think it's not true, I mean I'm not a hacker, I want to be one, and I jsut started, I don't know any programming language, only thing I know is basics, and everyone started learning at age of 2-3 , before I readed it, i thought I was smart, because I could add 1000's and I was pretty good at it, and now I think that I rly sucked, well anyways I want to learn, and I will, one day I will be a HACKER! yeyy lol :D

#37 Dooms_day


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:04 PM

i think i started with scamming (social engineering) for passwords and stuff on IM and runescape, which i learned about tsearch then moved to cain and abel, then that opened up all kinds of shit, like nmap, nessus, linux, which led me to hackthissite.org which led me to application challenges and realistic challenges and metasploit and now im learning asm, mostly just the reverse engineering aspect of it, so i can fuzz and debug vulnerable services, then make my own exploits in metasploit and it delivers the payload cause its so 1337, and BAM!....did i mention i played runescape at one point in my life lol? also in there somewhere i made websites for people that were dynamic (php!) and tested that for all kinds of injection problems (POST and GET), also instead of cain, i just put in linux and overwrite the hashes in the SAM file with a nothing hash...lol who needs brute forcing when you have OVERWRITING!

by the way while i was in my hackthissite stage, i got these skiis labeled 1337 on a ski trip, i was like HOLY EFF cause i was just talkin in 1337 sp33k for so long then, omg the extacy was like doin a J turn in your moms car

Edited by Dooms_day, 01 May 2009 - 08:05 PM.

#38 Renegade


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 09:02 PM

For me it all started with "hacking" the password for my own pc back when I was around 10 or 11 years old.
My godfather donated me my first pc with an annoying timebased logon script which had a password to logon
outside the predefined times. The script was written in pure basic and did run without compiling. Therefore
the password was wirtten in plain text in the file (which was called something like logon.bas). This was not a
very big start, but it brought me into it. Shortly after I started learning basic for fun and, maybe 3 or 4 years
later, switched to Delphi. That helped me when we started programming at school another 3 or 4 years later,
but made it also very boring. So most of the time I coded more in VB.net (which was way more interesting
than the older versions), because I thought it was stupid to code in an extremly old version of Delphi (at least
they could have used Delphi .net or 7 instead of 4). Since that time the only thing beside coding I did was
testing the security of our school network, circumvent the printer authentication and tell our "admin" that
everything he changed to make the network safer made at least 2 new exploits possible...later he changed to
linux servers controlled by some pupils because he couldn't get along with it :D
Since I would not count the lessons at school as very informative to me, I count this as learnign by doing ;)

While reading your post I had a déjà vu...
I'm very sure that i have read that story some time ago.

Your ski story found its way into my long-term memory *shit*
Maybe you should stick to doing J turns in your moms car ;)
And sometimes its better to get a password than to override it.
It's much less obvious and if the drive is encrypted it makes life much easier.
And not to forget the people who use only 1 or 2 passwords for everything on the net...

Edited by Renegade, 01 May 2009 - 09:09 PM.

#39 Sandolas


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Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:03 PM

How does a 2 year old hook up a computer and stay up to read manuals after their parents have gone to bed? I'm not trying to flame, but that seems very unlikely as most two year olds aren't even potty trained let alone reading computer manuals. I started learning by reading forums and ebooks mostly. That's how I still stay updated most of the time!

#40 tweeks



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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:18 AM

I stumbled upon a BBS in 1984 called "The Screaming Electron" and from that time on i have been reading, listening, reading, writing, reading, oh and did i mention reading ? with quite a bit of practicing as well.

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