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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 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.

#22 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.

#23 LUCKY_FUCKIN_CHARMS

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:48 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.

#24 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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#25 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.

#26 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.


#27 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.

#28 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.

LMAO!

#29 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.

#30 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.

#31 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.

#32 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:

#33 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.

#34 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:

#35 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.

#36 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 ^_^

#37 Quazor

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 09:08 AM

mostly online tutotirials/e-books etc

#38 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?

#39 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.

#40 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.




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