The first thing you need to know, is if you thought that the title of this article is stupid, or if you feel it does not apply to you than congratulations this article was probably not written with you in mind. This article is written for the complete newb or the complete skid in mind. How can you tell if you qualify?
a. You believe hacking is done through the cmd prompt
b. Your experiance with hacking tools involves windows.exe to automatically “hack” the target
c. You are not sure what most or all of the following terms mean:
kernel,rootkit,udp,tcp,memory corruption,heap,stack,queue,ftp,asm,c++,xml, linux,mac address,ipv6,buffer,rfi,lfi,sql,register,stack canary,jtr,bash, ssh, python, dns, subnet, irc, grub, gentoo, xss, csrf, allocate, brute force, iv, ls, strace/ptrace, gdb, linker, rpc, nfs, arp, mitm, wireshark, ethernet, nat, vpn, pgp, perl, compile
(no special precendence or weight was given to any term in the making of this list)
d. You can admit you do not know how to hack.
e. You think you can hack, but nothing ever seems to work and smart hackers ridicule you.
If any of those apply to you, then this guide just might have had you in mind while it was being written.
The first lesson about how to hack, is also a warning. That warning is that this article is going to briefly cover a LOT of things and that it EXPECTS you to look up and personally research pieces as you go along. If you can’t do that, than you aren’t going to make it as a hacker. Hackers are tinkers and learners above anything else. You can have whatever other motivation you want, but if you don’t honestly desire to learn, than there is no point in continuing reading this. I will do my best to ease the reader into things, but keep in mind that certain attitudes and behavior are going to be widely unaccepted as you venture out in the hacker world.
That being said the second lesson is a few other things you are going to have to keep in mind, these are non technical bits you are going to want to know before you intereact with anyone else(and for the skids, why people seem to treat you like dirt):
Being a hacker, and calling youreself one, means more than saying you can break into computers as indeed there have been hackers who have never broken into a computer, and there have been people who broke into computers that weren’t hackers. Being a hacker
means being a part of a culture, part of a philosophy, and accepting a new way of life. Hacker, hacking, hack, etc, are all loaded terms and people can debate the meaning behind them all day long. It’s up to you to recognize what you have gotten youreself into, or for some,
what you are diving into. You need to be able to embrace what it means to be a hacker to you.
Being 1337 is NOT cool. I repeat it does NOT make you cool. 1337 was a JOKE to make fun of dumb newbs, and skids ran with it thinking they were serious. On that note, the vast majority of hackers prefer when you actually spell things out and use marginally correct grammar(I’m no grammar nazi, but there comes to a point where you need to consider going back to third grade). This is a must for the sake of CLARITY. Transmitting information to each other is a vital strength of the community and the culture, and to ensure misinformation isn’t spread, clarity is key.
Don’t concern youreself too hard with hat color. By that I mean the argument over ethics, or what it means to be a white hat, grey hat, or black hat. I’m not saying you should run out and go on a crime spree or anything like that, I’m just saying don’t let your learning get too clogged up by people’s ideologies.
If you don’t know something, google it. Do that before anything else, always try to find your own answer first and heck if you get good at it people might never even notice you are a newb, even if they did, they probably won’t care and will take the time to explain something you don’t understand. This applies to terms to, for instance if you’ve been reading this entire thing and still havn’t bothered to google what a skid is, then you really ought to now(heres a tip, skid is short for script kiddie, and it’s a derograttory term).
Don’t try ANYTHING new that you’ve found or learned on a live system. Always test it against something you control first. Every hacker worth his salt runs test machines for this purpose, even if they have to run it in a Virtual Machine. Trust me, wouldn’t want to bork the target, hit the wrong guy, or get arrested for comitting a crime all because you didn’t fully understand what you were doing, huh? And believe me, it happens a lot. I’ve seen, and helped, multiple people get their lives screwed over becuase they didn’t know what they were doing and left mistakes everywhere. It’s like a game of cat and skid. Don’t be the skid, be the cat.
There are plenty of forums out there full of skids. Don’t be pround to call youreself a member of them(I’m looking at you hackforums). If you don’t associate with skids, then it’s hard to be a skid, right?
Learn non-hacking computer related stuff. This is a must. I cannot stress how much easier it makes things once you learn the technical but perhaps non-security relevant stuff. This means pick up a programming language, write a text game,chat program, anything but just set a goal and seek out the steps needed to reach it and build up some code experiance. Understand the ASCII chart, learn to count and convert binary and hexadecimal. Pick up a book on networking or the TCP/IP Protocol Suite and burn through it(they won’t be slim reading, I can gurantee that.) Play
around with installing a linux system and learn how to use it. Ubuntu is a good newb choice(just don’t use backtrack, you’re not ready for it, and heck
after a certain point you might not even want to use it). These things may seem like minor undertakings, or for a few a massive undertaking, but trust me it will pay off in the end. The hours(and I do stress hours) of reading are worth it and will elevate your general knowledge,
make security and hacking concepts easier to understand, and helps immerse you into the mindset of things. Heck if you are a quick reader/learner, feel free to learn those things side by side with hacking.
Alright, next we will get to the juicy parts.
Hacking into a given target almost always follows the same basic steps or methodology. The method is meant to be flexible, but it is important to adhere to it. If you don’t your results will be sub-par or a simple failure.
The method is:
Preperation(I add this on in whereas most places don’t mention it)
The important part about those steps is that you may very well need to switch back and forth between steps in order to accomplish your goal. Especially if you are targetting a whole network, or have to add secondary targets to accomplish your goal, you may have to
hop between attack and recon, maybe even skipping persist and pilfer depending on your goal. It’s all up to your judgement. I and others only have the power to show you individual steps, it’s up to you to figure out how to string everything together depending on the target and your goal.
Heres the part that most books and/or “flow charts” will leave out, but I’ve added because I believe it’s important. It’s absolutely vital that you plan before hand. When I say plan, I mean you ought to have notes on specific steps you want to carry out, the general pattern of attack, and of course any needed precautions. If the target is a wifi network, you are going to wanna make sure you know all the tools and commands you are going to be running ahead of time, change your wifi adapter’s mac address, don’t let your hostname give you away, etc.
You want to be prepared enough so that once you sit down and do your thing everything moves along quickly and without error. Trying to fix your errors post-facto is only going to decrease your chances of success or worse: leave sloppy evidence behind. This is true
regardless of your ethics or the legality of the situation. If you are going against a network, make sure you are *properly* running any anonymity tools you need, such as routing through tor, proxies, and/or a vpn or two. Against a specific person, scrub any files of any telling metadata, and make sure whatever means you are using to send them your evil file you also made sure you connected to while being safe.
In fact staying anonymous and secure effectively is so important, I recommend you take the time to learn such methods in and out before you attempt anything over the internet.
Thats it for now. Part 2 will be recon, and we should be getting into the interesting stuff 🙂