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Advice on Networking, Security, etc.


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First off, let me say that I have done a lot of research on this subject. I have read http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html and http://forums.hak5.org/index.php?/topic/913-hacking-where-to-begin/ as well as a bunch of other pages. I searched on these forums (not extensively though, it's quite possible I missed a few things). I'm at the point where I feel my best move is to ask for advice.

As I understand it, I need to have a firm grip on TCP/IP, Linux usage, and programming. This is where I'm stuck, I don't know what to learn specifically, and that's making it hard to find resources. What do I need to know about TCP/IP? Which programming language(s) should I start with? (I realize that this is covered in the first link, I just want to verify that the information is still accurate) And the big question, what should I be asking that I'm not?

I'm going to continue searching to see what I can find, but I feel that not asking for help would be a mistake.

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You need to have a basic understanding of how networking....works. The Network+ certificate from CompTIA is a good place to start, especially if you have no experience/background in networking.

Knowing your way around linux is handy for a lot of reasons. First, and this is my opinion more than fact, it's easier to find open source pentesting tools for linux. You have live boot cd's like backtrack with many of these tools pre-installed and configured. Second, knowing how to write scripts and take input from one tool and pipe it to another can make your life easier. Also, if you are trying to access a linux based system, it certainly helps to know your way around.

C and C++ are still the 'go to' languages. Learning Python wouldn't hurt either. However, I would first study the techniques used and learn the software that is already out there before you go trying to write something on your own.

As far as what to ask, you need to know what you are trying to accomplish. What you are trying to attack and what the goal of that attack is determines the questions you should ask. That said, I don't advise asking questions like, "how do I hack John Doe's facebook page?" The moderators tend to frown upon that line of questioning... ...

I hope this at least points you in the right direction.

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