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Thread: So ya wanna be a hacker?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Talking So ya wanna be a hacker?

    Heyas everyone.

    Ok, this is my attempt to put another spin on all of the excellent newbie faqs out there. Since we still seem to be plagued with "Teach me to hack hotmail" types, I figured I'd try another approach. Please send PMs\comments\etc to me, and I'll edit\update the steps as I see fit. I'm not going to put any links or anything in, as there are already many faqs that more than supply enough information... I've referred to AO and google in the steps, that should do.
    Feel free to copy, paste, fold, spindle and mutilate... at least, within the limits of AO's rules.

    Anyway, herewith my humble offering:
    So ya wanna be a Hacker?
    Well, follow this 12 Step Course to Ub3r Greatness!

    Step 1: I wanna be a hacker!
    No you dont. If you're reading this ready to heap scorn on my head, then you know why not. If you're seriously reading this to try and be a hacker, then the reason is simple: Hacking is not a toolset, or a series of steps. It's not some mystical technique hidden in some cyber equivalent of a mountain temple. It's not the hollywood concept of these super geeks who know all these amazing back doors, robotically fighting for tapes in a tv studio or hacking into secret government supercomputers.
    And it is not (although I'm sure we all regret this) being adminstered to by some stunning blond while getting into the pentagon in 60 seconds... by apparently randomly hitting the keyboard, but that's beside the point.

    What hacking actually IS is harder to define. Personally, I feel that hacking is a mindset.
    You walk into a room, there's a big red button with a sign over it saying 'Do not press this button!'. Most people will wonder, but will leave the button alone. I can feel a lot of you, right now, saying 'Ah, the hacker will press the button, right?'... No. The hacker will, by the time that the button's owner returns, have unscrewed the plate that the button is on, traced the wires to see where they go, put the plate back, and then left a note explaining that the screws on the plate should have been irreversable and that some of the insulation has cracked on the left cable.

    A hacker is someone who is hungry, for two things: Knowledge, and a challenge. The two sides feed each other... knowledge leads to a challenge, and the challenge makes a thirst for more knowledge.

    So, that's what the first step is... start wanting to learn, and wanting to test yourself. And stop calling yourself a hacker.
    It just doesn't mean the same thing any more.

    Step 2: So like, what is this knowledge stuff then?
    Books. Tutorials. How-to's. Discussions with friends. Trying it out yourself, and then finding more books. Every question leading to two more questions, and each of those leading to another three. As a college professor once said, "If you find a footnote, step on it's head quickly before it breeds".

    Right here is a good place to start. Go browse the tutorial page. Read one of the tutorials, whatever catches your eye. Write down anything you don't understand. Go to the search thing here and search for the questions (its on the front page, top right). If you don't find it there, try www.google.com and look there. If that doesn't help, post a question.

    Step 3: Er... I don't know where to begin
    You have a computer of your own, I suppose. Start there. Look up your OS and your hardware. There will be tips, tweaks and security flaws that you can patch. Soon you will have a streamlined, lean, mean, unhackable (well, close) monster machine! Yeah baby YEAH! *ahem* yes, well, it's a good starting point.

    Step 4: So am I a hacker now?
    Ok, go back to step 1. Read it again. Think about it.

    Step 5: So like, do I h4v3 t00 sp331< l1k3 t|-|15 n0w?
    That's called (amongst other, less printable terms) leet speak. It's sad. Don't do it. Unless it's a joke (eg you're ripping off a script kiddie) and even then, make sure people know that you're joking.

    Step 6: I want some kewl to0ls0rZ!
    *smack* I warned you about the leet speak.
    Like any craftsman, a hacker needs to know his tools, and to have a good, reliable set. What that set is, is entirely personal. A discussion of tools on a forum like this one will be loud, enthusiastic, and neverending. Everyone has their favourites, and it all depends on what you want to do and why.

    A word of warning... there is a dark side to tools. They are merely a means to an end. Make sure you always, ALWAYS understand what your tools are doing. If you don't, then your tools own you, and you have become the horrors of horrors... a Skript K1dd33! *dramatic organ chords, cue lightening, switch to A MYSTERIOUS CRYPT*...

    *ahem* yes, anyway, under ideal circumstances you write your own tools. This leads us neatly to the next step...

    Step 7: C0d3z0r Mon*smack**ow* sorry, I mean Programming and Coding.
    Yes, programming is generally considered to be a good step for any hacker/security specialist/pc guru/ computer type. As to what language to learn or ide to use... well, a discussion about that will rapidly resemble the tools discussion above. The basic concepts tend to remain the same, and so it depends what syntax you particularly want to use.

    Just poke around until you feel comfortable. There's nothing wrong with knowing several languages, just try and learn one at a time... unless you like being horribly confused....

    Step 8: Hey, you keep calling them hackers, but you told me not to! what gives?!
    Like the Matrix, you need to experience it to truely understand it. Just go with it, m'kay... you'll figure it out soon enough.

    Step 9: So like, can I hack hotmail now?
    You're not listening. Go back to the beginning, and follow the steps one by one. Once you've done that, read on:
    Hacking society is often anarchic, argumentative, and free spoken. This is admirable. However, there is a thin line between that and criminal. The most important concept that any anarchic subculture can grasp is the idea of consequences:

    Everything you do has a reaction. This is a law of physics AND metaphysics.
    DDoSing a website to death results in loss of income. People get fired or retrenched, marriages break under the strain, children grow up half starved in broken homes, bitter and vengeful, and the cycle begins anew.

    If a hacker gets caught, he will be arrested and charged... people are always unforgiving when money is involved, and the internet is VERY financial these days. The next thing you know, a 17 year old kid that was 'just messing around' is sharing an 8 by 6 room with a very big guy who keeps suggestively dropping the soap in the shower.

    Everything you do affects everyone around you. Everything they do, affects you in turn. Keep that in mind.

    Step 10: So whats the point?
    Zen and the art of hacking. The lesson is in the journey, not the destination. Go back to step 1.

    Step 11: What do I do now?
    Find friends. Just a few days of browsing and messing around with the information of this and other sites will have increased your knowledge immensely, probably more than you realise... sit on the forums, help other people. Try and actually know what you're talking about, though... otherwise you will a) harm people and b) alienate people.

    There are hacking competitions on the net... usually with some nice prizes (some of the ones I've seen include a very sweet gaming rig, US$ 10000, and lifetime careers

    Step 12: How do you know all of this anyway?
    I don't, and I do. Everything here is subjective... but then, so is the rest of life. And reality, for that matter. I have as much and as little right to hold forth as anyone else on the forum, based on my own experiences. Take everything I say, and everything anyone else says, with a pinch of salt.

    Everything written here may be wrong.

  2. #2
    Flash M0nkey
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Take everything I say, and everything anyone else says, with a pinch of salt.
    apart rom me cause I'm class!!!!


  3. #3
    AO Veteran NeuTron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Thumbs up

    *single tear drips down cheek*
    That was beautiful man. I've never heard it said so well. Oh and......
    Zen and the art of hacking
    .......You referenced my all time favorite book. Bravo......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    i had to go 3 time to step one .... :-D ... beautyfull thread ....

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    The label says AntiOnline Newbie but the hacker aint good cause of posts, I'd still be pushing that button though, someday... someday.
    South Africans rule the net!

  6. #6
    BIOS Bomber
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Originally posted here by Bootlog
    The label says newbie to antionline but the hacker aint good cause of posts, I'd still be pushing that button though, someday... someday.

  7. #7
    Trumpet-Eared Gentoo Freak
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    HEEEELLLLLPPPP, I'm in an infinite loop between point 1 and 4 !!!!!!

    anyway LMAO, great read.
    Come and check out our wargame-site @ http://www.rootcontest.org
    We chat @ irc.smdc-network.org #lobby

  8. #8
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Huson Mt.
    Damn, I can't seem to get past step #1. Now where is that button I am suppose to push??
    Very good post.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  9. #9
    VERY nice post, I think that should answer about 99.8% or the kiddies questions, unless they need a tool to get them to 'hack' their way back to Step 1...
    And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror. -from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    This is probably the only newbie faq that I've read all the way through. Apart from the infinite loop many of us are experiencing, it is very readable. Congrats on a great post.
    Darwin\'s rollin\' over in his coffin, The fittest are surviving much lest often,
    Now everything seems to be reversing, And it\'s worsening!
    --nofx, American Errorist

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