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JackKnifeZero

Hacking - A New Guy's Perspective

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First of all, I want to thank you for even opening this post. You're probably thinking, "Hmmm....a new guy's perspective, eh? This should be interesting, and by interesting I mean completely stupid and inaccurate." Well I don't blame you if you are thinking that, but I'm not claiming to be an expert here...I'm a long way from that. What I am offering is some advice for other newcomers to the realm of hacking from a fellow newcomer. Although I consider myself a newcomer or Newbie or Noob or whatever you want to call me, that doesn't mean I haven't done my research. What I'm trying to offer is a nice little starting point for Noobs everywhere, because that always seems to be the hardest step in trying to learn anything. Anyway I hope you enjoy it. Also if any of you elites out there would like to add to or amend this advice in some way, then feel free to post something or just message me and I'll add it. Like I said I'm just a newcomer too and I may not have all my facts straight, but hopefully I won't be completely off. ;)

Before we delve in to the wonderful world of hacking, I'd like to take a moment to tell you a bit about myself just so you know where I'm coming from. I live in OKC where I attend Southern Nazarene University for Computer Science, and I'm about to start the second semester of my Freshman year. So far I've taken a beginner's course on Network Technologies and found it to be very intriguing, which fed my interest in hacking. However my interest in hacking started long before that class, and long before college even. I know some of you may hate me for this but I first became very interested in hacking through a little film called Hackers. I know it pretty much paints a false picture of the hacker, but it sparked my interest in hacking. Not to mention I think it's just a great film. Gotta love Angelina Jolie ;). Anyway, this brings up a point I'd like to make to noobs everywhere: don't be ashamed if a movie like Hackers, Swordfish, or Antitrust got you interested in hacking. Just know that these movies really aren't what hacking is all about, and in fact 99.9%, if not 100%, of what is portrayed in these films is illegal. But it's perfectly fine for these films to spark an interest in hacking for you. Just don't expect us to help you hack a television network so you can watch your favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone :lol:. Anyway, enough about me...if you want to know more just look at my profile or add me as a friend, I'm always looking for new friends, or send me an e-mail.

Alright, so what is hacking? (By the way there is a great episode on Bin Rev Radio that covers this topic as well and I encourage every "noob" to go listen to it...It's episode 108)

To answer this let's first look at what hacking isn't. Hacking isn't breaking into another person's computer and reading their e-mail. Hacking isn't building viruses and infecting your school's computers, although that may be funny...and illegal. Also hacking isn't breaking into an FBI database and giving your worst enemies a bad record so they get locked up for life. In essence, hacking is not cracking which is what the above are. Cracking is illegal and will end in nothing but fines and prison time no matter how good you are, remember that there is always someone better.

I think that Black Ratchet said it best in Episode 108 of BRR that a hacker is basically someone who loves technology and has a passion for it and strives to understand the ins and outs of it. Whether it's computers or phones. Cameras or game consoles. He didn't say that exactly but it was along those lines.

So where do you start?

Well I started at my friendly neighborhood search engine and found lots of information. I found some great forums, including Bin Rev, and have just been going from there. But to save you some trouble I want to give you just a couple of sites to get started. These are mainly on the topic of what is hacking for those of you that want to learn more.

The Conscience of a Hacker

This is the essay by +++The Mentor+++ entitled, The Conscience of a Hacker.

A Hacker's Manifesto

This is a bit of an overview of a book by McKenzie Wark entitled, A Hacker's Manifesto.

The Hacker's Dictionary

This is the Jargon File by Eric S. Raymond. It has been dubbed The Hacker's Dictionary.

Lots of great information here....soak it up.

So what next?

-I suggest you start learning Linux. I use Ubuntu and really like it and have been learning it. Episode 108 of BRR goes into more detail on this, but it is important.

-Research networks. How do they work? Understand TCP/IP. Soak up as much info as you can. Put your search engine to good use, or search the forums either here or elsewhere.

-In my opinion this is the most important. READ!!! Get your hands on books about networks or programming or linux. Browse the internet. The internet is a source of unlimited information....USE IT!

-Learn a programming language. HTML, PHP, Python, C++, Java, Perl, etc. I'm not sure which to start with. Just pick one and run with it. I'm trying to learn a couple of them like Perl and C++.

-And finally get your hands dirty. Get Linux and explore and tinker around with it. Take Black Ratchet's advice from Ep. 108 and take your computer apart and study it and learn what does what and put it back together again.

-Also as a side note, don't expect everything to be spoon fed to you. I mean following a list of instructions someone gives you and truly hacking are two separate things. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you get stuck though, but don't jump on the forums everytime you hit a wall. Be patient and diligent. I mean hacking is all about solving problems and that takes a lot of effort and brainpower. So much brainpower that it's wise to have some sort of outlet in your life like a sport, working out, knitting, or whatever.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this article and now have a little place to start. And for those of you that are completely and totally new to the world of hacking...Welcome.

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The "Hacker's Manifesto" was written by a guy who knew he was going to go to jail for some banking swindle and wanted to make a victim out of himself IIRC.

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True but it still is an interesting read....not to mention I've seen parts of it quoted on these forums. But basically what I think is that it points out how the media has a bad/confused view of hackers. Hackers explore...not destroy. Now this Mentor guy...well he probably got what he deserved. But what he said rings true I think. Hackers explore and the media calls hackers criminals. Hackers aren't criminals...crackers are criminals. However, if this guy went to jail then he was more than likely a cracker and not a hacker.

:D

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Your heart's in the right place, but I think telling people what "hacking is and is not" and pretending that it's not at its core illegal is a tad pretentious and patronizing. It isn't my place or your's to tell someone what they can and cannot do with their knowledge. And it's wrong to ignore the fact that many hack for ulterior motives, whether you look down on it or not.

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I think telling people what "hacking is and is not" and pretending that it's not at its core illegal is a tad pretentious and patronizing.

I fail to see how finding/exploiting vulnerabilities is illegal.

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I think telling people what "hacking is and is not" and pretending that it's not at its core illegal is a tad pretentious and patronizing.

I fail to see how finding/exploiting vulnerabilities is illegal.

That's probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. That or you're leaving out more information about your own opinion, which really wouldn't help you either way. It's like saying "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." I'm not here to argue about that, and that wasn't the purpose of my post.

Anyway... OP, I like monotype fonts. I used to use it all the time back in the day for a feel of the "old school." I'd set my email client to a black background and a green monotype font like Lucida Console. Looked pretty cool.

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I think telling people what "hacking is and is not" and pretending that it's not at its core illegal is a tad pretentious and patronizing.

I fail to see how finding/exploiting vulnerabilities is illegal.

That's probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. That or you're leaving out more information about your own opinion, which really wouldn't help you either way. It's like saying "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." I'm not here to argue about that, and that wasn't the purpose of my post.

Anyway... OP, I like monotype fonts. I used to use it all the time back in the day for a feel of the "old school." I'd set my email client to a black background and a green monotype font like Lucida Console. Looked pretty cool.

SonofSparda,

You are way off base and you're here for the wrong reason. I highly suggest you do a little research on the issue.

You say "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." Is robbing your own house illegal? Nope.

Hacking, LIKE ANY OTHER THING IN THE WORLD for that matter, can obviously be used to break laws. The bat in my trunk can be used to bust somebodies head against a wall, or play baseball. Last I checked baseball was in the clear.

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I think telling people what "hacking is and is not" and pretending that it's not at its core illegal is a tad pretentious and patronizing.

I fail to see how finding/exploiting vulnerabilities is illegal.

That's probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. That or you're leaving out more information about your own opinion, which really wouldn't help you either way. It's like saying "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." I'm not here to argue about that, and that wasn't the purpose of my post.

Anyway... OP, I like monotype fonts. I used to use it all the time back in the day for a feel of the "old school." I'd set my email client to a black background and a green monotype font like Lucida Console. Looked pretty cool.

SonofSparda,

You are way off base and you're here for the wrong reason. I highly suggest you do a little research on the issue.

You say "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." Is robbing your own house illegal? Nope.

Hacking, LIKE ANY OTHER THING IN THE WORLD for that matter, can obviously be used to break laws. The bat in my trunk can be used to bust somebodies head against a wall, or play baseball. Last I checked baseball was in the clear.

Same thing with fire extinguishers in an apartment building hallway.. they can be used to break open a door... (It happened to a friend of mine.) Should they be made illegal too?

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I think telling people what "hacking is and is not" and pretending that it's not at its core illegal is a tad pretentious and patronizing.

I fail to see how finding/exploiting vulnerabilities is illegal.

That's probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. That or you're leaving out more information about your own opinion, which really wouldn't help you either way. It's like saying "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." I'm not here to argue about that, and that wasn't the purpose of my post.

Anyway... OP, I like monotype fonts. I used to use it all the time back in the day for a feel of the "old school." I'd set my email client to a black background and a green monotype font like Lucida Console. Looked pretty cool.

SonofSparda,

You are way off base and you're here for the wrong reason. I highly suggest you do a little research on the issue.

You say "I fail to see how robbery is illegal." Is robbing your own house illegal? Nope.

Hacking, LIKE ANY OTHER THING IN THE WORLD for that matter, can obviously be used to break laws. The bat in my trunk can be used to bust somebodies head against a wall, or play baseball. Last I checked baseball was in the clear.

Same thing with fire extinguishers in an apartment building hallway.. they can be used to break open a door... (It happened to a friend of mine.) Should they be made illegal too?

they might be on airplanes.

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