Imagine Yourself Being A Hacker [Beginner's Guide]
Deeply interested in communication, decentralization and trust minimization.
Make no mistake, the knowledge of hacking is different from a hacker. A hacker is a person, not the skill. And the use of any knowledge is a personal choice and that choice isn’t universal. The same way some politicians are corrupt, some hackers are corrupt. The same way some politicians are good, some hackers are good also. You may be a Satoshi Nakamoto or an Albert Gonzalez, it is your choice. There is nothing wrong with the hacker knowledge. It is all about you. What You’ll Learn
In this article, I’ll show you why hard work is required if you want to be a full-fledged hacker. I’ll tell you what different hackers are called and why they are called by that. I’ll give tongue to stories of some hackers so that you won’t end up spending some time in prison. I’ll also talk on how some hackers make money with their hacking skills in ways cops don’t arrest them. I’ll also tell you not to become a script kiddy because I heard it in class and I read it on blogs, although it is a piece of advice I still find unlikely because in truth everyone seems to be script kiddies as I see it.
I’ll reveal to you how to set up your hacking lab too (it’s but for a beginner, an expert hacking lab is different from what I’ve here). I’ll end it all by providing a textbook’s name that teaches ethical hacking from scratch with some links to books that could make up your hacking library. Let’s begin.
Why Hardwork is the Key to Success
It’s either you get busy or you get dying. No one becomes great overnight and nobody ends up incredible in a short-term. You can’t become a pro hacker in a few days, you’ve to read endlessly and practice regularly. Even if you desire to be a notorious hacker that would bring the world to a pause, you ought to work harder than everybody else.
Many tutorials would help, but it doesn’t end there. So, work every time you get the chance, because, unlike other professions, cybersecurity evolves so fast as whatever you’re taught today may be less useful tomorrow. From time to time, you’ve to put much effort into learning the latest strategies, technologies, new vulnerabilities and new exploitation techniques.
Unlike other professions, cybersecurity evolves so fast as whatever you’re taught today may be less useful tomorrow.
Types of Hackers And Why They Hack
Various hackers are out there, what classifies them are what they do. We have white-hat hackers, black-hat hackers, grey hat hackers, script kiddies, blue hat hackers and hacktivists. You could choose to be any, it’s a choice, and there are ends to it.
1. Ethical Hacker
An ethical hacker is a moral hacker, authorized to access a system, check its vulnerabilities and guard them, thereby stopping cyber threats or assaults. Ethical hackers also bear white-hat hackers.
2. Black-Hat Hacker
A black hat hacker is a cracker. Funnily, these are hackers we often see in movies or hear on news. They access another person’s system, without permission, intending to steal, exploit or manipulate information within the system; often for monetary profit.
3. Grey Hat Hacker
A grey hat hacker is a hacker that fits each white hat hacker’s and black hat hacker’s roles because he accesses a system to unveil its vulnerabilities to the owner of the system; though without any permission from the owner to do so.
4. Script Kiddies
Script kiddies are believed by many people to be lazy hackers; they ain’t lazy in any way, but they’re unskilled in cybersecurity knowledge, so they use scripts written by pro hackers to carry out attacks. And I’ll engage you on the consequential effects of being a script kiddy later in this text.
5. Blue Hat Hackers
Blue hat hackers do what white hat hackers do, but blue hat hackers ain’t fully in any company’s work until a company hires them to check holes in software before it is released to the public.
Hacktivists are hackers that utilize their hacking skills to promote political agenda and social beliefs. There are notable hacktivism events, they can’t be forgotten. E.g WikiLeaks
And apart from this classification structure, there are almost a hundred titles used to identify every hacker irrespective of why they hack, we have titles like the app security administrator, blockchain engineer, bug bounty hunter, automotive security architect, digital forensic investigator, cryptographer, cryptanalyst and so on (50 Cybersecurity Titles Every Job Seekers Should Know About)
Why Hackers Are the Liberators and the Defenders of the Internet? And Why You Should Buy Their Philosophies?Hackers: The Internet’s Immune System
1. Hackers Believe Knowledge Should Be Granted to Every Human at No Cost Because They Believe Best Work Comes From Global Curation
The reason we all have access to the internet in the first place, was because the earliest hackers that developed the Internet protocol in the 70s, believes information should not be withheld or restricted from any human. Instead of the American Owned Internet, they provided the entire world with a global one with no patent and no restriction.
Anyone from any country could use the Internet protocol. Since then many computer hackers have applied this same principle over and over again, and that’s why today the internet is still flourishing. The World Wide Web is free. Linux. Wordpress. Wikipedia. All programming languages. They are all free of charge. The truth is that whatever you do as a hacker and it isn’t for the sake of protecting humanity, then why do it? So, buy this philosophy as you enter the field of cybersecurity.
2. Hackers Love to Promote Decentralization of Power Because They Believe Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Hackers are always challenged to use all they have to tear down the behemoth of evil and corruption. And they all believe the centralization of power is inherently bad no matter how good the individual in charge of the power is. And that is why for every agenda, there is always some hackers building tools to saturate and balance the influence of such an agenda.
Not because they hate those agendas, it is because if left unchecked, too much influence would make such an agenda corrupt. Microsoft, Apple, then you see Linux by Linus Torvalds. Banks, then you see Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto. So as you take some steps into hacking, align your steps with this philosophy of decentralization.
3. Hackers Are Meritocratic, They Respect Your Value, Not Your Age, Race or Gender
Everything about hacking is about freedom. No racist. No bigot. No gender. They keep the gate open. At the age of 5, yes you can. At the age of 50, yes you can. So far, you’re ready to make a significant contribution to the Hackerdom. Pride? Ego? No.
Nobody cares whether you’ve been building tools for 100 years if I start hacking now and I build better tools, no one would reject it, they can’t just reject, it has to be adopted anyhow.
A malicious hacking or you break the law or you make a slushy blunder, you might be the next criminal hacker behind bars. And if these clever guys could have become FBI most wanted, who else won’t?
1. Dark Dante
Dark Dante, with the real name, Kevin Poulsen, was a 25-years old high school dropout, jailed for 5 years; FBI arrested him after he hacked the phone lines in Los Angeles radio station ensuring he won a brand new Porsche 944 S2 that worths $50000 in 1993.
2. Albert Gonzalez
He stole about 90 million credit cards from American department stores. His attack costs companies about 200 million dollars, he was 28 in 2010, arrested and imprisoned for 20 years. Albert was coined with the appellation ‘The Great Cyber Heist.
Cracka, a British teenager at 15, hacked into CIA director’s, FIA director’s and Director of Intelligence Defence’s databases, and he doxed over 30000 government agents’ identities. He was arrested in 2016 claimed to be a member of Crackas with Attitude, still behind the bars.
4. Max Ray ‘Iceman’ Butler
From Idaho, he stole almost 2 million credit card numbers, was prosecuted and charged $86 million dollars. Hired to fix an exploit in the CIA computer network, he planted backdoors. He was later arrested, spent 18 months in prison. After getting out of prison, he launched a malware, stole credit card information, sold them on the dark web. Again, Max was caught, sentenced to 13 years in prison, and ordered to pay 27.5 million dollars.
Astra, a 58-years old Greek Mathematician, hacked France’s Dassault Group’s system, for 5 years, stole weapon-technological information, sold them to about 300 people across the globe; served six years in jail after he was prosecuted in 2008.
6. Jonathan James
A 16-years old, the first juvenile cybercriminal, hacked into NASA server, prosecuted, banned from using any computer for recreational purposes, at 18, when he was to be arrested for TJX (a crime he claimed not to be the hacker), he shot himself in the head.
1. Jeff Moss
2. Nicholas Allegra
3 . Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick, arguably the best world hacker, once FBI most-wanted, yes once upon a time, you know what I mean, haha, however now, a famous white hat-hacker and author. He lives rich and peaceful.
4. Steve Wozniak
Woz, in his college days, hacked friends and families for fun without any malicious intent, I wasn’t with him when he did, he claimed so. With his talent as a hacker, he co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs
. He lives rich and peaceful; a charity advocate.
5. Linus Torvalds
Linus, an elite hacker, built the grand Linux Kernel when didn’t have money for UNIX, also the creator of Git, works from his bathrobe, yet has numerous awards, even an asteroid, 9793 Torvalds, was named after him. He lives fine and happy.
Sure, a normal ethical hacker doesn’t earn as much as the elite guys, you just read about, do. But wait, a normal criminal hacker doesn’t make as much as prominent cybercriminals do too, because to successfully lead a malicious attack that draws millions of dollars overnight, no common criminal hacker does that, you also have to be extremely powerful to be that dangerous.
It isn’t because ethical hacking is unrewarding, an average hacker doesn’t earn a seven-figure salary as some elite hackers do, if you’re outstanding you would earn that much. There is no point being a criminal, so far ethical hacking rewards as much. Just be an outstanding hacker, yes you can.
How to Make Money Hacking And Not Getting Arrested By the Police (Without a College Degree)
Without a college degree, you can make money legally as a hacker and you won’t get arrested for it. And you don’t even have to get started before you start earning cash, you may be in your first year and earn big too. It is just a matter of effort. You don’t need to hijack Facebook accounts or sell credit card numbers on the dark web at all.
1. Teach Cybersecurity
Teaching hacking is the easiest way to make money with your skill. Even the best world hackers still write books. Writing articles on cybersecurity, helping others with tutorial videos and ebooks will earn you cash. If you are an undergraduate, hold tutorials, hacking sells on campus (I hope you understand what I mean by that).
2. Participate in Bug Bounty Programs
Companies are on the rise looking to reward ethical hackers who notify them of any bug in their software before it could be exploited by malicious hackers. Become a bug bounty hunter, no legislation is against it, you make money when you win it. Any no company will ask for your certificate, all they need are your fingers on those keys. Later on, we would further explore where to find bug bounty programs as a beginner and what to do in order to flourish.
3. Write Software Security
The government won’t blame you making money writing software securities that abort malicious attacks. Instead, you will get some accolades for that.
Hacking is if Twitter permits 140 characters, a hacker would think of how to go beyond that, and nobody teaches you that in school.
However, this saying doesn’t erase the fact that if you attend a university and obtain relevant certificates, you easily thrive in the corporate world much more than when you possess no certificate. So, if possible, get a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology or Cybersecurity. Obtain OSCP, CEH, CCNA, Security +, CISSP, TICSA, GIAC, OSCP and other relevant certificates that would make up an impressive cybersecurity career.
Problems With Chat Rooms That Promise To Make You a Hacker in 24 Hours (How Not to Become a Script Kiddy)
Make no mistake, cybersecurity isn’t about hacking your school Wifi or increasing your CGPA on your school website. If you go that way, you will end up becoming, ‘I don’t what to say’. But, there is no way you won’t be tempted to visit hacking chat rooms or read up books that promise to make you a hacker in two days, just like this one.
You have in your hand a book that would show you how to hack without having a reason to rack your brain much or give your uncle a headache. This is a bit by bit, detailed and comprehensive approach to becoming a hacker. Let’s get started, buddy.
Hacking is very easy, you don’t have to do a lot of handwork as everything you need is prepared for you already. Neglect coding, it’s boring and frustrating. Wave it off. And don’t bother yourself with C, C++, or Assembly language, those struggles were for hackers in the 1990s, not hackers today.
These days, modern hackers have been provided with legit hacking tools. And that’s why this book begins by telling you to download Linux OS like Parrot, Kali, and Backbox (they are with powerful hacking tools you could use).
There is an incredible secret of hacking and you won’t get it elsewhere, but only from this book you just bought. One of the secrets is that there are shells that would help you deceive people into thinking that you’ve hacked someone or the website they want you to hack for them. Those shells are c33, r160 and z64. This book will teach you how to use them.
This book won’t waste your time educating you on exploit development, EIP or ESP, as it prefers to save your energy and get you on track soonest by telling you to download any exploit-DB or Packet Storm in the chapter four of this book.
Much more, this book will teach you how to use SubSeven, DarkComet RAT, Lost Door RAT, Wifite, and Fern Wifi Cracker. And we will also train you on how to implement Burp Suite Professional’s Active scanning always when auditing web apps…
1 — Learn How to Build Sophisticated Hacking Weapons
2 — A script kiddy unknowingly gives away his personal information when using (but malicious) scripts he downloads from the internet
A script kiddy unwittingly downloads infected hacking tools that might mess up his PC and freely give out private information (like his credit card number) to pro evil hackers to use.
3 — A script kiddy might be convicted of an unintended cybercrime
Script kiddy ends up causing much more harm than he intended because he never fully understand the possible threat the tool he got at his disposal could do. That means, any hacking material you never developed, if used, may get you in legal trouble.
How to Become a Hacker
Even though tough work is required to become an elite hacker, learning to hack is quite simple because it depends on your brain and your ability to operate a computer and study a lot. So, you have less to worry about. In this section, I’ll share with you the basic knowledge every new hacker should learn and how to set up your hacking lab (for a beginner). Let’s proceed.
1 — Learn How to Code
The truth is that every dime digital device runs on codes written with any of the programming languages, the more a hacker knows how to code, the easier it is to hack devices and build better securities and protocols for any device. For you to become a pro hacker that writes scripts and build sophisticated hacking tools, be good with scripting languages
. — Be informed that there are specific programming languages that meant for specific attacks. An attack could be a target at some websites, that is called Website Hacking. We also have other aspects of hacking too. I’ll buttress on them before we leave this section
2 — Keep Yourself Private
3 — Interact with Command Prompt & Use Linux Operating System
Learn how to interact fully with your OS
by learning the command line, as it is a way you can take back control of your PC, which should be your first step towards freedom, as freedom is your power to decide what your computer does. In my opinion, if I won’t exaggerate it, using the command line is like talking to your computer one on one, it offers ultimate flexibility and control.
Also, take a course on Linux operating systems as they allow you to explore most of the hacking tools out there and even future coming hacking tools would be for Linux. And as for me, I used Linux Basics by OccupytheWeb
to learn how to interact with the command prompt.
4 — Understand Networking and Security Concepts & Database Management Systems
Understand how every dime digital device communicates as it makes it easier for you to hack them and you know where we need to fix so that we may all be secured. Learn networking concepts
like routers, packets, ports, DNS and the likes. Familiarize yourself with the meaning of security concepts like SSL, Firewall and the likes. Master MySQL and other database management systems
as knowing them would horn your skill.
I think it depends on you, where you want to start. But, here are the three sections of hacking and their programming dialects.
#1. Web Hacking and Pentesting
#2. Exploit Writing
An exploit is a code written to take advantage of another person’s system vulnerabilities. The art of writing exploits is called exploit writing. Exploits are used to plant malware into another person’s system and this art can be done locally or remotely. What differentiates web hacking from exploit writing, web hacking is limited to website manipulation. For exploit writing, learn C programming, Python Socket Programming, Ruby, and PERL.
#3. Reverse Engineering
From its name, reverse engineering means to take a reserve, disassemble and reassemble. The art of unveiling how a hacker attacked another person’s system, the steps taken by the hacker to carry out the attack and how to improve the system’s security so that such attack won’t reoccur in future. For reverse engineering, learn assembly language.
How to Set Up Your Hacking Lab (Beginner’s Lab)
Rehearsing is a must, prompted or not, it is an unquestionable requirement, you should set up your hacking lab.
1 — Purchase a Responsive Laptop
A very active laptop is required to learn how to hack. Nothing to argue, it is clear you’ll invest your energy in carrying out attacks and assaults that deal with substantial measures of data, so, you don’t have any option but to use a laptop that won’t go crazy.
2 — Rent a Quiet Space
Provide yourself with a quiet space to study if you want to learn well. As it applies to a student of Biology, it applies to every other student, even musicians need a quiet space. And also Kali testifies that the quieter you become, the more you can learn.
3 — Set Up a Virtual Machine on Your PC
For the following reasons, set up a virtual machine on your laptop (e.g VirtualBox
). One, it’s cheaper compared to an expensive cloud hacking lab that experts use. Two, it accommodates virtual computers on a laptop and it saves you cash on buying more PCs to practice hacking (as you ain’t permitted by law to hack your neighbours). Lastly, you might execute what may harm your PC, if the virtual machine is damaged, yes, your PC is still safe.
4 — Download Kali and Run It on VM
Among the operating systems you’ll use to practice hacking, there would be a hacking machine, that’s Kali because Kali Linux
comes with hacking tools. With Kali Linux, you’ll hack other operating systems on your VirtualBox.
5 — Download Windows OS and Run Them on VM
Among your targets, you’ll hack Windows OS, download them from here
for practice. For more operating systems if you like to explore them also, get them here
6 — Download Metasploitable
Metasploitable is made with vulnerabilities so that new hackers can use it for practices, download Metaspoiltable here
7 — Download Old Applications
Old software apps are known to be vulnerable, you’ll need some of them. Download them here
Textbooks For New Hackers (With Other Hacking Books)
My lecturer once recommends some books on hacking, and among them, I hope you’ll find this one most useful, “Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch By Zaid Sabih”.
For more books on cybersecurity, select and read from the essential reads of some hackers here
. Among those books are books that would forever set you on the fire and keep you burning with passion.
For awesome hacking resources, visit here.
Who to Follow on Twitter
Also, realize that there are many websites and social media pages out there you may follow in order to keep yourself informed and fed about everything happening in the cyberworld. “And if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” — Issac Newton
How to Break Into Hacking With No Experience When All You Got is Passion
College supply hasn’t kept up with the great demand for hackers, you can join the hunt with little experience. But, what’s more? Just wait and look around. Imagine the number of people using smartphones and other digital relatives you could dream of — they are massive.
The internet is blowing more and more. With the number of hackers we have in markets, it is true we need more. We can’t wait for you to graduate before we see you, work on our projects (that is the voice of many companies out there, there are a lot of opportunities for you to taste and feel good about).
Get to Know the Difference Between Traditional Ethical Hacker and Hacker-Powered Security
Before we move on, understand the difference between a company’s ethical hacker and bug bounty hunter so that you would clearly make an informed choice as you’re about to burgle into hackerdom.
1 — Company’s Ethical Hacker
This is an employed ethical hacker that check servers and systems. He unveils possible vulnerabilities that may permit malicious attacks. Such a hacker is a company employee and he’s required to work at offices in-person (not remotely). Note this: A company’s ethical hacker gets paid regardless of the result.
2 — Bug Bounty Hunter
This is an external hacker that participate in bug bounty programs featured by some companies. He’s different from the company’s hacker in the sense that he isn’t employed by the company, he only gets paid based on the bugs he finds.
Let’s look into how you could barge into any of the two with little or no experience.
How to Become a Company’s Ethical Hacker With Little Experience (Cybersecurity Internship)
You know what? Companies will continue to hire students and recent graduates (even at the cost of their security, so you have less to worry), just provide what is required to get into the company as an intern. The sweet thing is: many interns often end up considered for a full-time job. Ta-da, you become a hacker with no experience.
When you join a company as an intern you ain’t required to know much. Many companies don’t even expect you to know much of programming, you’re all welcomed. And with a first little experience you had, you’re all set for it.
All you’re required of is to come early to work, assist the real hackers employed by the company, hang up with them at lunch, work with them till they leave, then repeat that for months, you would have learnt a lot (meanwhile you get your allowance every month).
It is easier done than said when you know what to do.
Trial 1: Get your phone and make calls to the nearest IT firm in your area or send cold emails. Tell them you’re passionate about cybersecurity and you would like to intern at their place. (Proceed to 2, if it doesn’t work)
Get on LinkedIn
. Create an enviable LinkedIn profile for yourself as a cybersecurity enthusiast. Make posts that set you up for an internship. Or drop some message in some IT top guys' that you would like to intern as cybersecurity this or that. (Do the same thing on Quora, Facebook, and Reddit).
Trial 3: Start branding yourself by demonstrating an authentic passion for hacking. Create an online portfolio. Participate in cybersecurity local speaking event and network with meets. Tell your meets what you want — internship.
How to Become a Bug Bounty Hunter With Little Experience (All You Need: Email Address)
You might find less or no reason at all to participate in bug hunting because you never realize most of bug bounty platforms require nothing but an email address. Register as a bug hunter, even as you and I know you would likely lose to experts, but the exposure to recent hacking tutorials, materials and challenges would train you on new methods of finding vulnerabilities.
Let’s look at some bug bounty platforms.
There are programs on the web and mobile app vulnerabilities on Bugcrowd
, it requires just your email address to become a registered bug hunter, just sign up. Your page shows your rank and the point you’ve gotten over time, but with every 90 days engagement, Bugcrowd decides whether to invite you to private bug bounty programs or not. And such is a great opportunity because few hunters would be invited for such programs, so it is likely you win it as compared to the highly competitive public ones. Moral lesson: Be hardworking.
Like Bugcrowd, HackerOne
also has metrics for leaderboard and invitation for private bug bounty programs. But if you don’t report any bug, you’re still entitled to rewards, which sounds encouraging to beginners. Register on HackerOne with your email address. You could also learn from the bug reports on HackerOne.
You may find a bug on any web or mobile application all by yourself without any bug bounty invitation in the first place, Vulnerability-Lab
is a submission and disclosure platforms that accept such vulnerabilities. The platforms act as the middleman between you and the company concerned.
is like Bugcrowd and HackerOne, there are private bug bounty program invitations and aggregation of public bug bounty programs. But it is also a vulnerability-disclosure platform. And it is run in line with European rules and legislations. That implies a lot of French companies are on BountyFactory.
You would find it hard to become a bug bounty hunter on Synack
because 7 out of 10 hackers’ applications are dropped during screenings. Synack isn’t like HackerOne or Bugcrowd, it requires more than your email address, you would be asked to submit your correct personal information, engage a video interview, with background and ID check.
Your skill would also be tested. Synack is a good place to be only after you acquired reputation off other easy bug bounty platforms like HackerOne. Enjoy quick payout time and professional development materials.
A neophyte hacker can’t hack Google unless you dream it, but the bug bounty program is educative. With specific guidelines and follow-ups, Google would educate you into becoming a good penetration tester.
Any exploit aimed at Facebook users, you receive nothing but a lawsuit against your report. Facebook is sensitive and strict with their policies, don’t joke around with them. It isn’t a playroom for new hackers.
Although Amazon has bug bounty programs for all its services, it requires you to register and seek permission before you conduct anything at all. If it is your luck, you would find a series of papers, articles on Amazon’s security and that could make up your hacking shelf.
#9. GitHub & Microsoft
GitHub offers a bug bounty program that covers every one of its properties, but if a beginner like you would find any bug, perhaps next world. The same thing, Microsoft. Just like other multi-billion-dollar businesses, they have a high level of security that you won’t dare. But a beginner could learn from the program’s details about submission-report formatting and other educative materials they provide participants.
Your pay depends largely on the value of the bug and the company concerned. GitHub could pay as much as $20000, some cheaper companies might offer $250. You might not win cash payout bounty programs as easy as you guess, get your hands on swag bug bounty programs that reward shirts and water bottles. Every elite hacker started somewhere small, be patient.
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