Advice needed

Hello fellow I.T enthusiasts i have a passion for computers and i would like to become an expert in pentesting and programming ( not for criminal reasons ) as in the future i would like to have a job securing systems writing programs and things like that.
My question is what do you recommend as to where to start? i have knowledge about computer hardware and how they work plus networking and how they work although im always trying to learn more even when im in work. I have started to read programming booked and researching linux operating systems, how they work and how the tools work and what they do.
Can anyone recommend and other things for me to learn to achieve my goal?
Thank You
 

Pupp

Member
The only way to become a hacker is to start researching how to hack. Your not really going to learn the ropes by just going to college, you'll need to join hacking forums. There are all sorts of hacking you can do that's not going to ruffle too many feathers. Most private companies expect a certain amount of hacking attempts. Even when the movie Hackers came out, a lot of hacking had to be done by social engineering.. getting people at a company or other entity to give you the login credentials because they think your someone else that has a legitimate reason to know how to log into their system.

There are plenty of fake honeypots on the internet that are essentially games for people to hack... deliberately set up for people to hack into... and they vary from entry level to the gods of hacking. I'd focus on that for a months, if not years, before diving into social engineering. Good luck finding a pay phone... and never use the same pay phone twice. Phone number masking works as far as what the person on the other line thinks, but it's no barrier to law enforcement. It slows them down, but they can eventually find out, even it was bounced in several different countries. (That being said, it can take a long time for them to figure it out... but they will eventually figure it out, and the gov't never gives up or forgets.)

There is definitively a lot of hacking you can do without getting into trouble, but you have to know what to avoid. Hacking nowadays is not like 30 years ago, back when Kevin Mitnik got 5 years for hacking the phone system just to make free telephone calls. (Which is ironic, since long distance calling went away after VoIP and world spanning internet became a thing.)

Many people have gone to prison for hacking stuff, so you really need know exactly what you can do that won't get you arrested. The honeypots is your best bet. I think some are run for a limited time, where they hand out prizes for the winners. The prizes usually are not monetary or have a low value. (Perhaps a $25 gift card or something.)

There are college degrees in computer security, which includes penetration testing... but you really need to be a hacker before you step into class, or your class buddies will look at you and say...

"Do you need help with your 'puter?"

-Quote from the movie "Hackers".


So the question remains: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GO DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE AND BE A HACKER?????

Personally, if your on a forum like this asking if you should be a hacker... your answer is probably.. NO.

Hackers are driven people. They're obsessed with hacking, it's like their brain is so smart, hacking is just a way to give their brain something to do, in order to give themselves a way to elevate themselves above other people's IQ, at least in their own mind. Hackers.. I'd say if your IQ is under 140, your going to fail miserably. Hackers are just driven, and usually start by the age of 12 to 14, if not even earlier.

They don't wake up and say they want to be a penetration tester or computer security consultant... No... they wake up and say to themselves, "I'm bored, I think I'll hack into my uncle's (or some other relatives) business", because let's face it, they're not going to have them arrested for looking at the trash bin on the company's computer network.
 
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The only way to become a hacker is to start researching how to hack. Your not really going to learn the ropes by just going to college, you'll need to join hacking forums. There are all sorts of hacking you can do that's not going to ruffle too many feathers. Most private companies expect a certain amount of hacking attempts. Even when the movie Hackers came out, a lot of hacking had to be done by social engineering.. getting people at a company or other entity to give you the login credentials because they think your someone else that has a legitimate reason to know how to log into their system.

There are plenty of fake honeypots on the internet that are essentially games for people to hack... deliberately set up for people to hack into... and they vary from entry level to the gods of hacking. I'd focus on that for a months, if not years, before diving into social engineering. Good luck finding a pay phone... and never use the same pay phone twice. Phone number masking works as far as what the person on the other line thinks, but it's no barrier to law enforcement. It slows them down, but they can eventually find out, even it was bounced in several different countries. (That being said, it can take a long time for them to figure it out... but they will eventually figure it out, and the gov't never gives up or forgets.)

There is definitively a lot of hacking you can do without getting into trouble, but you have to know what to avoid. Hacking nowadays is not like 30 years ago, back when Kevin Mitnik got 5 years for hacking the phone system just to make free telephone calls. (Which is ironic, since long distance calling went away after VoIP and world spanning internet became a thing.)

Many people have gone to prison for hacking stuff, so you really need know exactly what you can do that won't get you arrested. The honeypots is your best bet. I think some are run for a limited time, where they hand out prizes for the winners. The prizes usually are not monetary or have a low value. (Perhaps a $25 gift card or something.)

There are college degrees in computer security, which includes penetration testing... but you really need to be a hacker before you step into class, or your class buddies will look at you and say...

"Do you need help with your 'puter?"

-Quote from the movie "Hackers".


So the question remains: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GO DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE AND BE A HACKER?????

Personally, if your on a forum like this asking if you should be a hacker... your answer is probably.. NO.

Hackers are driven people. They're obsessed with hacking, it's like their brain is so smart, hacking is just a way to give their brain something to do, in order to give themselves a way to elevate themselves above other people's IQ, at least in their own mind. Hackers.. I'd say if your IQ is under 140, your going to fail miserably. Hackers are just driven, and usually start by the age of 12 to 14, if not even earlier.

They don't wake up and say they want to be a penetration tester or computer security consultant... No... they wake up and say to themselves, "I'm bored, I think I'll hack into my uncle's (or some other relatives) business", because let's face it, they're not going to have them arrested for looking at the trash bin on the company's computer network.
Thank you for your reply
Like i said i want to do this for the purpose of securing my own network and hopefully make a career out of this.
My reasons for learning is not for criminal purposes but i am passionate about computers and how they work, so theres no danger of me doing anything that would land me a jail sentence.
I believe the future is computers for job security so my end goal is to apply any skills or knowledge gained to become a pentester ( Ethical hacker i believe the term is ) and have a stable career.
I do take into account everything you have said and i appreciate your reply so thank you .

Yes thank you i have the book im about halfway through its very interesting.
I also have KALI LINUX on a pendrive to boot as a virtual machine alongside windows.
i will be getting a new system later this year for which i will install kali as my OS for that system.
Thanks for reply
 

Pupp

Member
Some suggestions.

Get A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. It should be a walk in the park to self study those.

Know everything you can about IP packets, both IPv4, and IPv6. Your not going into networking per se, so you don't have to study like you're getting a Cisco certification. You should have some familiarity with how to assign and compute network addresses, but you won't have to memorize how to compute or assign IP addresses.

You'll need to know linux hands down, and probably Windows Powershell too.
Also, you'll need to read and understand everything possible about Windows Command Prompt. You have to be able to do pretty much everything you can in Windows and/or Linux, via a command line interface. I'm not familiar with Linux offhand. After my teen years, I joined the military, and by the time I got out, I was years removed from technology.. which was changing at a rapid pace. Plus after being in the army, hacking was long past anything I cared about.
 

Pupp

Member
Another suggestion is to get at least the Microsoft MCSE certification. I'm pretty sure you can find courses on that nowadays.
 

Pupp

Member
Now that I'm retired, I have lots of time. You might have restarted my interest in hacking, even though I haven't hacked since the 80's.

The internet is a crystal ball if you know how to look.

Here's 3 books on TCP/IP I'd recommend to read:

The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference 1st Edition

Practical Packet Analysis, 3E: Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Problems

The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response 1st Edition

I'd have to dust off my old computer and install Linux though. I've always needed a reason to learn Linux. You can't be a serious hacker or pen tester without knowing both Windows and Linux. There's a laundry list of stuff I need to learn or at least brush up on. /hehe

I'm not going to bother running virtual machines on my main computer. My desktop has enough real estate for 2 computers and still be roomy. A KVM switch would suffice.
 
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