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.
Last edited by steirks
on Sun May 24, 2009 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.