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New to hacking


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Hi all,

I'm new here, my name is Rich and I live in the UK. I became interested in hacking a little while ago and decided to teach myself about computers and hacking. I've never had any tuition about computers but have used them since I was young and have a good deal of familiarity with them at surface level.

Durring university I took a short module on programming (C++) which I found challenging and good fun - so I decided to look more into it after my course ended. I have so far been working from a book called 'Hacking: the art of exploitation" by Jon Erickson. It seems like a rather good text to start off with as It begins with a basic view into C programming and disassembling code using gdb however I find it rather difficult to follow at times. I also have a (several year old) book on networking which I have recently begun reading.

It seems like I've dived into a pool at the deep end sometimes with the sheer number of different aspects I am trying to understand, so I am here to ask you all; where is the best place to start? Is getting a good basis in coding a good idea? Or do programmers tend to overlook important aspects for the sake of making thier code do what they want (something, i'm informed, most hacks take advantage of)? Is it better to get an old computer or 2 and play about with its inner coding just to explore and see what it does? Or play around with internet protocols and http until i'm experienced enough to go onto the next level?

Also if anyone can recommend any good/useful books for me to study, I would be very gratetful.

I look forward to browsing these forums more thoroughly, and I'm loving the show!!



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The only real "starting point" is the first time you have access to a computer... There are so many different aspects of computers/coding/hacking/cracking/etc that nobody can give you a surefire way to start learning. The way you learn is just by doing. Yes, by all means, get a good basis in coding if you want. Although many say it is not necessary, it will come in handy more times than you can count, even if you don't get into exploitation. Also, yessss get an old computer or two. Network these computers. Learn the basics of networking. Setup some random Linux distro on one. Setup WinXP with no service packs on the other. Do whatever you want with them. If you want to get into exploitation, get SYSTEM access to the XP box. Setup an SSH server on the Linux box and try to do everything through SSH remotely. Don't worry about remembering all the different arguments (that is what man pages are for) for the different programs, just try to remember what some of them can do and can be used for.

I wanted a book that could tell me everything when I started out too... But I've really come to realize that the more you just mess with the computers, the more you will learn. This knowledge will stay with you too, unlike if you were to read it from a book and forget it within a few days. Set a goal: Try to learn something exciting and new everyday. This will keep you motivated. Otherwise, you'll get in a rut and stop learning new things. Also, go back and watch some episodes that sound interesting to you. Hope I helped and good luck.

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