Hacking 101: Beginners Guide to Hacking

Hacking 101 Guide

Hacking 101: Beginners Guide to Hacking

writer Hamzah Adil

Hacking is something of a buzzword these days. Thanks to popular culture, movies, and TV shows, hacking, and other terms related to cybersecurity are growing exponentially in popularity.

At some point, everyone wants to become a hacker. The world of hacking seems to

If you desire to pursue a career in cybersecurity or hacking, you need to know that it’s not going to be easy or a walk in the park. Hacking is a difficult but promising career path, and beginners guide to hacking is going to take a lot of dedication and effort.

To become successful in this field, you’re going to need a lot of technical prowess and a passion for constant learning and self-improvement. Being curious about everything related to networks and computer systems is another factor that will determine your success. We recommend joining communities where you can do live chat through live chat app with experts in the field to further polish your skills.

Beginners Guide to Hacking:

Below is a detailed beginners guide to hacking that will help you understand all that is you will need to know to become a competent hacker.

But before you learn how to become a hacker, you should know the basic terminologies in hacking.

A Short Intro to Hacking:

What is Hacking?

Hacking is an activity that involves breaking into computer systems or networks by exploiting bugs, weaknesses, or vulnerabilities with bad intent or nefarious purposes.

 

Who is a hacker?

The term hacker can also mean a person who is capable enough to overcome a problem. But usually, when we hear the word hacker, we assume it is someone who is an expert in the art and science of hacking.

Types of Hacking:

 

There are three major categories for hacking and hackers:

  1. Black Hat.

Black hat hacking is probably the most famous type of hacking. Before we learn more about black hat hacking, you should know that it is illegal. You can face a hefty monetary fine and serve prison time for small misdemeanors.

You should not want to be a black hat hacker at all.

Black hat hackers do not follow the law or have any ethics. They are bad people, and you want to steer clear of any black hat activities.

These hackers break into computer systems and compromise integrity, confidentiality, and availability or personal or corporate data and or systems to do harm.

  1. White Hat.

White hat hackers, on the other hand, are the heroes. They work with companies and organizations and help expose and fix any vulnerabilities in the computer systems and networks.

White hat hackers focus on “ethical hacking” or hacking for good.

The need for cybersecurity professionals who specialize in white hat techniques will continue to rise in demand. If you have a genuine interest in hacking and cybersecurity as a field, you should seriously consider becoming a white hat hacker.

  1. Grey Hat.

Grey hat is something between white hat and black hat hacking.

Grey hat hackers expose threats in a system, and here’s the important part, without permission. They then bring this information into the knowledge of people who govern or own the system.

That doesn’t sound too bad, right? But there is an issue. If the vulnerability is exposed in an insecure way and to the public, it could result in bad actors taking advantage of the situation and stage a hacking attempt.

Also, grey hat hacking is considered illegal. This is because the weaknesses in the system are exposed without the permission of the owner. So it’s best to avoid grey hat as well.

How to become a hacker?

Here we’ll discuss how to become an ethical hacker and pursue a career as a cybersecurity professional.

Here are some major areas where you need to be proficient in becoming a competent, ethical hacker.

  1. Programming

A background in computer science or programming will help you significantly as a beginner hacker. But even if you don’t have a CS background, you can still learn how to code.

Thanks to the internet, there are several programming resources available for absolute beginners.

If you learn best by watching videos, you can refer to YouTube. Several channels have dedicated themselves to producing tutorials and content for new programmers. Ideally, you should avoid hacking for beginners channels as most of them won’t give you proper direction.

If you prefer to enroll in an online course site like Edx, Coursera and Udemy will help you greatly.

Here are some languages that you need to master:

  • HTML (not a programming language, but acts as the infrastructure of the internet)
  • Python (general-purpose programming language, easy to use)
  • JavaScript (object-oriented language used primarily for web development)
  • SQL (language used for data manipulation, handling, etc.)

Other languages that you should pick up, later on, are PHP, C, C++, and assembly language.

Do you need to learn all these languages to be a hacker? Yes and no.

Learning a new programming language becomes easy if you have prior experience. So, start by learning Python and then progress to other languages.

Your coding skills will also improve if you take part in different competitions.

Coding is an essential skill for a hacker. Not only does programming improve your technical skills, but it also makes trains your brain to become proficient in problem-solving.

  1. Networking & Security.

To become a hacker, you’re going to need to know the ins and outs of a computer network.

One of the best books to start learning about networking is Data Communication and Networking by Behrouz A. Forouzan.

For network security, you should start by reading Cryptography and Network Security by William Stallings. Cryptography, cryptanalysis, cryptographic primitives are all areas you need to have a firm grasp over.

One thing that you have to keep in mind while reading this book is not to skim through it. If you want to become a competent professional, you will need to know these concepts by heart.

You’re not trying to pass an exam; your goal is to become capable cybersecurity professional.

Another thing that you can do to increase your networking knowledge is to get some experience working as a network administrator or stick with someone who is. You’ll learn a lot more practical knowledge that way.

  1. Use Different Operating Systems.

If you have only used one operating system until now, you will need to start using and learning about other operating systems as soon as possible.

Most people use Windows, and it’s not a coincidence that most cyberattacks target windows users. As a professional, you need to know why that happens.

By using various operating systems, you will develop a deeper understanding of what makes one safer than the other.

Using a UNIX based operating system like LINUS is hacking 101. Much of the internet, where most of the data is these days with cloud storage, use UNIX like operating systems.

One advantage (or disadvantage) of UNIX is that its user interface is not too user-friendly. You will have to dig deep to become a better UNIX user. Other advantages include transparency, simplicity, and extensibility.

  1. Essential Soft Skills.

One would think that hacking is all about the technical details and aspects of things. And while that is true to a certain extent, it’s not enough.

As a professional, ethical hacker, you will need to have a personality that benefits your career. An intro to hacking cannot be complete without a mention of the soft skills that a hacker will need to succeed.

Hackers need to be creative and think outside of the box. Problem-solving is a critical skill to have as a hacker or cybersecurity professional.

Hackers need to be able to work in stressful situations and work under pressure while making sure that the results delivered are top-notch.

You also need to have a growth mindset and a passion for keeping learning and improving.

Cybersecurity as a field is still at its infancy and is growing rapidly. You cannot afford to get complacent after a certain point. Becoming a lifelong student is the only way you’re going to reach your true potential.

Also, you need to work on being a team player. While most people think of hackers as professionals who work in solitude, but in most cases, you will have to work in teams or collaborate with other people to solve a complex problem.

  1. Personal Projects and Accomplishments.

Once you get proficient with the things mentioned above, try contributing to the white hat community. Become an active member on various blogs as well as forums and share your knowledge with other aspiring hackers.

It is best to create open-source software and have it reviewed by other people in the cybersecurity sphere. This exercise will give you insights into how you can improve your skills.

Try to create something that other people like you would benefit from using. You’ll get some recognition, and it will motivate you to work harder.

  1. Certifications.

Getting a certification does not mean that you are a competent professional who can become an asset to an organization. But generally, having different certifications can help you get an interview, at least.

To get a technical job, your skillset will matter more than your GPA or certifications.

One thing that you need to keep in mind with certifications is that there are scores of certifications out there. You shouldn’t be wasting your time getting certification when you can work on real-world problems.

If you choose to get a renowned certification like the Offensive Security Certified Professional, then it might be worth your time and money. Generally, these certifications are expensive and difficult to acquire.

The Offensive Security Certified Professional certification currently costs around a thousand dollars. Not to mention that the test is 24 hours long.

Getting this certification will be a serious effort on your part if you choose to do so. The good thing about OSCP cert is that security firms and organizations widely accept it.

  1. Work Experience.

Your real test will begin once you start working in the industry. The things you have learned from books and during your certifications can only aid you.

Absorbing knowledge and the industry’s best practices while working is the only way to get a real taste of what hacking is like in the real world.

Working in a professional environment and with unmovable deadlines, you will have to think on your feet and constantly prove and improve yourself. That way, you’ll become well-known for your capabilities as a professional hacker.

After following these steps (and more), you can safely say that you have progressed from hacking 101 to becoming an actual hacker.

Once you become competent in this space, several opportunities are waiting for you. Cybersecurity professionals are currently and for the foreseeable future will be in high demand.

You can choose to be associated with a security firm or as an independent consultant or contractor. Once you become a professional, what you choose to do next will depend on your goals and objectives.

Conclusion

Hacking is an interesting field for a lot of people, especially young people. It’s a competitive career path, but there are several opportunities for people who are willing to go all the way.

Hopefully, this beginner guide to hacking gave you some direction and a place to start. More often than naught, promising individuals give up their passion when they aren’t able to find direction.

After going through all the steps in this guide and exploring the field on your own, you will hopefully become a competent cybersecurity professional who uses his knowledge and expertise for the greater good.