Where and how to gain knowledge?

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    • #2225

      I need to learn about hacking. I need to learn, starting at a general level, how it works. Ultimately I’d like to be able to not only understand what all the hacking terms mean but, more importantly, how they work!

      For example, I want to be able to take a piece of hackware and examine it, understand it, and know what it really does.

      So, all that to say, what are some good resources for a novice?

    • #16959
      Don Donzal

      First of all, welcome to EH-Net.

      Second of all, I could use your help. This question has been answered a number of times in the forums already in various places. To help those like yourself that come here asking where to start, I could use help in finding the list of threads with those answers, so I can make them a new sticky topic for all newcomers.

      Can you do that for me? Ask around the neighborhood. They’ll all tell you I know how to return a favor.

      How’s that for an offer you can’t refuse?

      In the meantime, try Hacking For Dummies: Ch 1 – Intro to Ethical Hacking


    • #16960

        I appreciate the response… here’s the problem. I’m enough of a noob that I don’t even know what I’m looking for. I’d be happy to search, but my questions don’t seem to turn up in a search.

      I’ve been to many forums over the years, and I can appreciate the “Oh no, another noob. USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION!” sentiment… I guess I’ll do some more digging, but honestly…. I am very much a noob. So much so that the topics I need to learn about are rarely discussed.


    • #16961

      If you have specific questions, ask them but be warned: you’ll likely get specific answers – it is unlikely you will get a hand-hold without doing some background research first.
      Your example concerning hardware. That’s a pretty big subject right there. Do you have an example of a piece of hardware and exactly what you want to know about it? Do you need to be able to look at a keyboard and work out how it converts each keypress into a signal which it sends to the computer? Do you need to look a a SCSI card and understand how it requests information from a hard disk drive and passes it to the other components connected to a motherboard?

    • #16962

      if you are unwilling or unable to learn how to search for the right material or be able to ask the right question, you may need to pick a different hobby.  there is an element of self learning, and having to ask a good question to get a good answer.

      but since you are new, i’ll help you.  looking at the various forums on this site, pick on the one that has the most posts, which happens to be this one “Ethical Hacking” which has 3000+ posts.  start looking at the topics of the threads, that should be a good start. 

      if you are too lazy to do that, dont expect much help.

      here’s the link: http://www.ethicalhacker.net/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,54/board,22.0/

    • #16963

      Here is a good thread to start on.  It has some good general advice for a beginner.


    • #16964

      @mambo wrote:

      I think tutorials regarding tools such as Nmap and command line tools such as netstat would be a massive help.

      I also feel a tutorial on setting up a virtual environment or lab would be great as it would help us newbies do some hands on stuff without wrecking our computers or putting in the wrong ip and scanning some governement agency =]

      I’m pretty sure this exists here somewhere…

      Here you go..

      VMware Lab Thread

      VMware Lab Article

    • #16965

      This thread also got a lot of great answers.
      [Thread] An Ethical Hacker must have these skills…

    • #16966

      Cheers guys!

      I was just giving examples of the types of things i would be interested in reading up on from a quick browse.

      Thanks again


    • #16967

      Great responses…thanks alot!  ;D

    • #16968

      I say the quest for hacking starts at programming, in which case I’d learn basic programming like QBASIC where a lot of people start.

      But honestly I think all the information you need to learn to hack comes from books. I figured I’d just post my suggested reads to you and others that read this topic just in case they come in handy at some point.

      The Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking (I consider this a beginner’s book)
      Hacking Exposed 5th/6th Edition (as well as the other Hacking Exposed books)
      The Art of Deception and The Art of Intrusion (classic novels)
      Stealing The Network Series (definitely covers those concepts + terms)
      Hacking: The Art of Exploitation (for advanced readers)

      Those are just books that I found VERY useful in my day, and Hacking Exposed is one of the best of books out there read by professoinals everywhere.

      Programming books of any kind, I’d suggest C/C++ are good of course to be able to examine a piece of hackware and understand what it does. However, on top of that you may want to look into Socket Programming once you learn the language itself, that’s where networking really comes in.

      Learning the art of hacking comes with CRAP LOADS of reading, be prepared to read because that’s where the quest to quench your never ending thirst for knowledge starts and seems to never end.

      One more place to look would be packetstorm or any other similar website’s database of whitepapers and other “hacker papers” released to the public. These can be very useful.

      Hope I was helpful to somebody.

      EDIT: Oh wow, how could I forget the very important SAMS Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours? That book really goes into detail and provides a bunch of visual tables and figures for you visual learners… It’s great.

    • #16969

      Seriously? QBasic? People use delphi and fortran more than they fucking use Qbasic. Not to mention it’s useless.

      He’d waste time learning it for nothing.

    • #16970

      If you don’t have any programming foundation knowledge, QBasic is as good a place to start as any.  I started with Basic and moved to C. 

    • #16971

      @Ketchup wrote:

      If you don’t have any programming foundation knowledge, QBasic is as good a place to start as any.   I started with Basic and moved to C.   

      I learned QBasic, but that was a long time ago. I’d recommend python then perl then c. Lots of the tools are written in python and perl so those are much more relevant.

      I keep brining it up, but command line and command line scripting is very powerful and a good place to go too. You can get in to the inards of the OS and do some very powerful things, be more efficient, as well as script repetitive tasks.

    • #16972

      I said QBasic because I learned it very well when I was a only a kid in a few weeks if that. I saw enough to thrive for more powerful stuff.

      I’m not sure how complex perl or any such scripting is compared to any BASIC languages because I havn’t looked into them much but if they’re anywhere near as easy then I’d suggest those instead for an introduction.

      In my opinion, QBasic is the best way to jump into programming and see fast results, however, I agree that it’s a basically useless language in today’s world, almost as useless as your flaming.

      Back on topic…

    • #16973

      Maybe a sticky thread is needed for new comers? There seems to be a lot of ‘how to get started’ questions.


      LOL Just realised that this is a sticky. 😛

    • #16974

      I am abit late to the party here, but I will add my 2 pence worth.

      In general you will find the InfoSec community to be a friendly and helpful bunch, but as with everything in life you need to also help yourself.

      You say you NEED to learn about hacking, and perhaps this is getting you off on the wrong foot from the begining. I think you need to do some research on what you think hacking is, why its of interest, what your looking to achieve. If its so you can hack your mates wireless you might be in the wrong place.
      If you want to understand the culture, the concepts, mindsets and more then your in the right place.
      As Chris has already said look around the forum for a wealth of knowledge, and try and identify where you want to focus.

      You say your new at this, so why not start with some security fundamentals books, or if your into hardware hacking check out instructables and hackaday.

      Google is your friend 🙂

    • #16975

      I’d agree with steirks…. having read some of the books mentioned I’d add Secret and Lies to the list by Bruce Schneier. The CEH course is also an enjoyable place to start, if like me you like working to an end goal and structure. (Helps me focus and as some guys have already stated gives motivation to obtain the information required (ie researching topics and reading!)

    • #16976

      Ok has anyone ever seen or heard of a site called hack this site?  From what I read on it it’s sappose to teach you the basics to the more advanced but I question the site entirely.  Anyone ever heard of it?

    • #16977

      I’ve used it.  The concept is great, but I think that there are better implementations out there. 

    • #16978

      I know i haven’t been here for a while, i was busy with school, i have finally graduated high school.

      here is a blog post i made few days a go.
      I am not hired by a company to pentest, or work for someone who lets me hack, so i don’t want to get in trouble for hacking without permission. I am sure some people are like me too and they don’t want to get in trouble. so i just have few vms i can hack and learn from it.


    • #16979

      @Dtag wrote:

      Ok has anyone ever seen or heard of a site called hack this site?  From what I read on it it’s sappose to teach you the basics to the more advanced but I question the site entirely.  Anyone ever heard of it?

      I have used this site. It has some interesting things on for noobs like me.  ??? though my search for knowledge is as ever leading me away from studying what I should be for work.

      There are some good Python tutorials about as I have been hammering these for a while now and its finally starting to glue in my head. Had a look at perl and to be fair I wont be ready for it for a while yet. Not till am comfortable with Python.

    • #16980

      @charliemong – ++1  ;D

      I like your signature.  That was the quote I’d used, in my previous one.

    • #16981

      @Dtag wrote:

      Ok has anyone ever seen or heard of a site called hack this site?  From what I read on it it’s sappose to teach you the basics to the more advanced but I question the site entirely.  Anyone ever heard of it?

      I love that site, I used to play with it a lot when I had nothing better to do. My favorite part was the App puzzles section. 🙂

    • #16982

      @hayabusa wrote:

      @charliemong – ++1  ;D

      I like your signature.  That was the quote I’d used, in my previous one.

      Thanks Dude i like my “Art of War” 

      Still studying my nuts off thanks to your advise. Nearly finished all my M$ stuff (along with python etc). Then after reading Dom’s american werewolf in london post about the 7 safe guys I asked about ages ago am gonna pop down and do their CSTA. Should be a good grounding for the OSCP.

    • #16983

      @Dtag wrote:

      Ok has anyone ever seen or heard of a site called hack this site?  From what I read on it it’s sappose to teach you the basics to the more advanced but I question the site entirely.  Anyone ever heard of it?

      I remember using it aaaaages ago, and it was decent. Not sure if its changed since I was on it, but it was very much centred on Web Hacking, so good in that sense, but not quite comprehensive enough.

    • #16984


      It’s an old thread but guess i can just add on to this thread instead of create a new one.
      After hangout for a few years in IT customer service, finally i secured my dream job..to be a pen tester.
      However i need to start from a verrrryyy basic things as i didn’t have any knowledge in IT security and perhaps the only reason i got this job is because i played with Hellboundhackers during my student life which is 4 years ago.

      I have degree in Software Programming, but what can i say that, hacking start with network knowledge. I have to learn bout IP, Port, Linux, Server, etc.

      there is no easy way and no spoon feed information. Apparently IT professional didn’t enjoy teaching newbie who asked without doing some initial research. At least you should have a general ideas of the thing before getting to more in deep knowledge.

      Self learning indeed a necessary criteria in this field. There is no other magical way to gain this skills. Hope i can success 🙂

      Perhaps my post didn’t related to this post…but i feel like i need to say it…hehe..

    • #16985

      I would consider starting by taking the SANS Security Essentials class. Although it is a little expensive, it is a great place to start. There is also a TON of resources on sans.org under “resources”. The two main focuses are Network Penetration and Application testing. Personally, I would start with Network Penetration (external and internal). Learn the tools that are used. Backtrack/Kali, NMAP for port scanning and service detection, Nexpose/Nessus/OpenVas for vulnerability scanning, etc. You should study not only how the tools work, but what and how they are doing it. A good penetration tester can test manually and with the tools. Hope that helps.

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