How did you get into hacking?

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    • #4998
      DavidC
      Participant

      Hi! I’m David C. and I’m doing a research project about hacking as a school assignment for my high school English class.

      I just want to know about how you guys got into hacking and why you guys are ethical hackers – income, moral reasons, or just because you think hacking is fun.

      I know a lot of people are hacking for personal gain now, and I want your opinions on that, and whether hacking can be used positively in some way (other than hacking to defend yourself from other hackers)

      Thanks in advance for your replies and help!

    • #31578
      DavidC
      Participant

      To Moderator – I’m not sure where to put this, so if its in the wrong spot, could you move it?

    • #31579
      Grendel
      Participant

      First experience with hacking:

      Was shown a vulnerability in (I believe) the old Fido BBS software that would allow someone to log in as any user. 1200 bps modems FTW! From then on, life and computers had a different meaning to me beyond the typical BS reasons were heard about the value of computers, such as “storing recipes” and “writing papers.” It became sharing information (which I considered edgy at the time, but now seems tame) and being amazed at (and trying to imagine the number of hours required to make) ASCII porn. For those of you way too young to know what I’m talking about, visit http://www.asciipr0n.com/pr0n/ (Rated “R” for “Retro”).

      (Personal Note: Can’t WAIT to hear if you include an example of the ASCII in your report for school).

      As for what motivated me, it was simply information. Back then, there was no money to be made shuffling information, unless you set up some BBS subscription service, but that never made sense, since all the same information was flowing around the BBSes anyway (you might have to wait for it to be transferred to your local BBS, which could take days… DAYS!!!!!) As for morality, there just wasn’t any sense of illegality with what was happening. Nobody thought about copyrights at that time (except perhaps Bill G.). Oh, and we all hated AOL. Still do.

      Now, we’re in a completely different world. My 2 cents.

    • #31580
      BillV
      Participant

      I received a threatening email from a jealous ex-boyfriend of a girl I dated in high school (the same guy was also trying to impersonate multiple people over IM). It started out with curiosity of reading email headers and tracing IM connections and eventually into all sorts of different tools – trojans, keyloggers, packers etc. Script kiddie stuff? Totally. I surely didn’t just turn on the computer one day and understand code and protocols, or half of what I was doing. Of course, I’m not sure I understand half the stuff I do nowadays either :-p

    • #31581
      Xen
      Participant

      It was just one of the things on my “to-do” list. Back then I used to think that it would be so cool being called a h4x0r. Then, one day I read an article in a newspaper about a 20 yrs. old boy who had started a security company with his friends. These people were doing security work for Microsoft, Symantec and Infosys. That’s when I thought that if these people can do it then so can I. I started taking IT Security as a viable career path after then and started learning and practicing a lot of stuff.  It was difficult initially. I just didn’t know whom to approach but after a little guidance things started feeling easier and I’m satisfied with the kind of progress I’ve made. It also helped that I’m studying engineering (CSE).

      I still have that article and if anyone care to read it, it’s here
      http://www.securitybrigade.com/images/media/18_03_2008_012_008.jpg

    • #31582
      rattis
      Participant

      I got a job working at one of the original backbone providers when the internet was privatized. The one I worked at was spam friendly, thought they could control the spammers. So we were attacked a lot.

      After there, I learned how to use tunnels to by-pass firewalls and filters. One of my jobs included being the administrator on the sniffers (network general, running redhat 7).

      Left there, came to where I’m at now, and because I had the other backgrounds got to take over the security of the network (the guy doing it got fed up with me getting around everything he’d try to stop me).

      Mostly I’m here to learn more skills to improve the security of my network.

    • #31583
      morpheus063
      Participant

      May be you should look into this thread also – http://www.ethicalhacker.net/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,54/topic,4636.msg22605/#msg22605

      Similar threat titled – How you got into hacking?

    • #31584
      DavidC
      Participant

      Thanks people!

      To the ASCII porn link – I don’t see it sorry 😛

    • #31585
      Grendel
      Participant

      @DavidC wrote:

      To the ASCII porn link – I don’t see it sorry 😛

      No?… then GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

    • #31586
      BillV
      Participant

      @DavidC wrote:

      To the ASCII porn link – I don’t see it sorry 😛

      lol.. you probably need to click a little further :-p Try clicking ‘pinups’ near the bottom and then choose at random, I’m sure you’ll see it then.

      That is pretty funny. I had no idea what you were talking about but after glancing at the link I had a good laugh. And yeah, how many hours were put into creating those? Damn.

    • #31587
      Xen
      Participant

      ASCII porn! I didn’t even know something like this existed. It’s actually very lolable  ;D

    • #31588
      caissyd
      Participant

      For me, I have always been amazed by what “real hackers” could do to compromise a system. By far the number one reason why I am now working in this field is the ingenuity of other people. I admire how people could think outside the box and come up with these ways of hacking systems.

      So for me, it was just plain curiosity until I allowed myself to start studying.

      And now, my goal is to find a clever idea to!  ???

    • #31589
      hayabusa
      Participant

      Mine just stemmed from a long-time ‘need’ to understand how things work.  As a young kid, I always liked debugging code from other people, and had a knack for finding coding flaws and mistypes.  The challenge intrigued me, in trying to better someone else’s stuff, or even just fix their mistakes, so I could use the programs.  Later, when I graduated school, I began working for a couple of retail shops, and saw how they misconfigured things, as well as leaving mgmt passwords lying around, etc.  I worked hard, and engaged the right people, to show them the value of a more secure environment.  It just continued to grow from there, to where now, I work for a large software company, and have opportunities to show value in both pentesting our own products, as well as showing my customers (and sometimes co-workers) where they’re lacking in their overall security postures, in general.

      Additionally, I do a lot of security training and speaking on the side, and use ethical hacking as a base point, to show others the value of proactive security analysis, rather than reactive.

    • #31590
      Ketchup
      Participant

      Like many other people, I was always intrigued by programming and how software and hardware worked.  I then started reading about hackers and how they took advantage of programmer’s mistakes to make the software do something it wasn’t intended to do.  To me, it was the ultimate thinking outside the box scenario.   

      I think that the first “hacking” experience for me was changing a few hex values in a saved game of the DOS version of Prince of Persia to give myself lots of life-lines. 

    • #31591
      zeroflaw
      Participant

      Hmm I just like to understand how things work. I’ve been programming for a while and always wanted to understand the inner workings. I never allowed myself to really dive in until we had a project about security at college.

      I’ve always been fascinated by hackers and hacker stories lol.

    • #31592
      sil
      Participant

      Lest I give away my age… It all started with… “Would you like to play a game?” I started my foray on a Coleco Vision Adam while I was young. Classmates and I swore we’d find the WOPR after the movie. This was a time when games like Buck Rogers and Dragon’s Lair (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSinFyg6Y5Q) were the rage … *sigh* oh how time flies.

      Hacking is hacking is hacking … I began my professional career in IT Security about 13 years ago more or less (professional as in, I held my first security related position). I’ve always been somewhat of a tinkerer. I just enjoy technology, learning, etc.

    • #31593
      rattis
      Participant

      @sil wrote:

      Lest I give away my age… It all started with… “Would you like to play a game?”

      Most of us here probably remember when that was still in theaters. so your not that old.

    • #31594
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I became interested in security while working at a fairly large credit union. They had a checkpoint firewall running on NT4, that pretty much sat in a corner chugging away.  No one really knew what it did or why, so I started to explore and learned everything I could about it. I started seeing attacks in the logs, and wanted to know how the attacks worked and how to defend against them. After that, I took one of Eric Cole’s first GSEC classes and really had my interest piqued. As the saying goes the rest is history.

    • #31595
      Anquilas
      Participant

      With me it started a while ago when a guy called ‘redAttack’ claimed to have hacked one of the biggest companies in Belgium.
      It was the first time hacking came into the spotlight in my country, and I was instantly intrigued by how essential and important it sounded, yet how little knowledge everyone seemed to have about it.

      Ow, and then I saw Hackers, and I was sold ^^

    • #31596
      BillV
      Participant

      @chrisj wrote:

      @sil wrote:

      Lest I give away my age… It all started with… “Would you like to play a game?”

      Most of us here probably remember when that was still in theaters. so your not that old.

      And some of us weren’t born yet 😛

    • #31597
      hayabusa
      Participant

      @BillV wrote:

      @chrisj wrote:

      @sil wrote:

      Lest I give away my age… It all started with… “Would you like to play a game?”

      Most of us here probably remember when that was still in theaters. so your not that old.

      And some of us weren’t born yet 😛

      L-O-L

    • #31598
      Anquilas
      Participant

      @BillV wrote:

      @chrisj wrote:

      @sil wrote:

      Lest I give away my age… It all started with… “Would you like to play a game?”

      Most of us here probably remember when that was still in theaters. so your not that old.

      And some of us weren’t born yet 😛

      A-men ^^
      (but the movie is still ok 🙂 )

    • #31599
      MicroJay
      Participant

      The movie (WarGames) propelled me.  But it started with the C-64!  😉

    • #31600
      rattis
      Participant

      @BillV wrote:

      @chrisj wrote:

      @sil wrote:

      Lest I give away my age… It all started with… “Would you like to play a game?”

      Most of us here probably remember when that was still in theaters. so your not that old.

      And some of us weren’t born yet 😛

      GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DARN KID!!!!  ;D

    • #31601
      j0rDy
      Participant

      wargames is from 1983. i was in the planning, but not here yet, hehe.

    • #31602
      delusion
      Participant

      When I first watched Hackers I was blown away  😮 LOL So much that I started crawling the net for tools LOL  8) Somewhere along the line I watched WarGames and was bought for life  ::) 😀  ;D  😉

    • #31603
      clanggedin
      Participant

      I work for a large web hosting company and I deal with hacked sites on a daily basis. Unfortunately none of the tech agent from L1 to L3 to our Abuse department really understands or cares how sites are getting hacked. They place ALL of the responsibility on the customer, but give the customer basic info to clean out their site. The info given to the customer is so minute and outdated that the customer’s site gets hacked hours after the account is ‘cleaned’.  No one was telling the customer about the backdoors that hackers installed.

      I created a script that scans for over 300 different signatures found in the shell programs and allows the customer to clean their site out of these often missed programs.

      I started getting into hacking because I became curious to know how these hackers are getting in and how to devise or implement ways to stop them or at least help me locate the vulnerability used to gain access. My career has currently stalled after I lost my job as a Windows sys admin because of the economy. I feel that ethical hacking is a newer less flooded market that could take me places. It has renewed my hunger for learning new things as well.

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