Learning to hack for beginners:

This article may make you a feared hacker

Hackers are feared, especially by large companies and website operators, who are increasingly becoming victims of criminal hackers. Almost every computer savvy user with enough time can learn the craft of a hacker. And the intentions of the future hacker do not even have to have a criminal background. What it is about hacking and what these people can do with your skills, that we reveal in the following.

This is what awaits you in this article:

What is a "hacker" anyway??

Hackers

Most people think of a hacker as a person who exploits various security vulnerabilities to gain access to computer systems.
In general, the term hacker refers to people who deal with technology with dedication and creativity. Experimentation often plays a big role here, and things are often misappropriated as part of the hacking process. Heating up toast in a coffee machine would be an example of a hack, albeit a very unusual one.

It was not until the early 1980s that the term "hacker" first appeared in the field of computer security. Many hackers support companies and enterprises by discovering existing security holes in their systems and subsequently helping to eliminate them.

During the 1980s, the term "hacker" was increasingly used to refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems. They use security gaps or circumvent them to gain a personal advantage or to cause damage to the operator of the respective system.

White-hat, gray-hat, black-hat hackers?!

Following the first attacks by hackers in the media, the United States passed the first draft laws for the area of computer crime in 1983 and Germany in 1986. Among other things, the criminal offense of "unauthorized manipulation of data", as a form of property damage, found its way into the German Criminal Code (StGB).

Hat

Subsequently, the different types of hackers began to be distinguished from each other in the form of white-hat, gray-hat and black-hat. These different groups of hackers pursue completely different goals with their actions, namely.

It is usually very difficult to distinguish which group a real hacker really belongs to. Therefore, the subdivision of different hacker groups is more for the understanding of the general public.

White-hat hackers

White-hat hackers take great care to stay within the law and use their knowledge according to hacker ethics. They assist companies by uncovering security vulnerabilities for them or performing professional penetration testing for them. This is an extensive security test of an existing computer or network.

Grey Hat Hacker

Grey-hat hackers, as the name implies, operate in a gray area. Such hackers may also use their skills to bypass or override security systems. In doing so, they sometimes violate laws or hacker ethics, but this usually serves a "higher goal". This way, companies can no longer deny existing security holes to their customers after a hack, but are forced to close them. The intentions of these hackers are positive, but they violate existing laws in order to achieve their goals. It is often difficult to tell whether grey hat hackers are acting with good or bad intentions, which is why this group of hackers operates in a gray area.

Black Hat Hacker

In addition to white-hat and grey-hat, there are also the so-called black-hat hackers. In contrast to the other two hacker groups, they pursue a criminal ulterior motive with their actions. Black hat hackers use their skills to damage computer or network systems or to gain access to sensitive data. These hackers are also willing to violate existing laws and bypass any security systems.

Basics

If you want to start hacking yourself, you should first learn the basics of programming.
There are a lot of programming languages and it is not necessary to know all of them.

Programming

However, one should be familiar with the basic functioning of computers, websites, networks and the Internet in advance and also have knowledge of PHP. This is a scripting language that is used on the server side on over 75% of the websites on the Internet. There are many tutorials and manuals on the internet that help beginners to get familiar with PHP.

For hacking programs that run under Windows, you should also be familiar with Visual Basic. In cooperation with .NET-Framework, Visual Basic is used for programming under Windows. There are also various tutorials and instructions for Visual Basic on the Internet, both for beginners and for advanced users.

Types of attacks& popular techniques

Now you already know what basics are needed to start hacking yourself. In the following we would like to show you what are the most popular types of hackers’ attacks and what techniques they use during their attacks.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a method that allows hackers to obtain sensitive data or information through social contacts.

Trojan horse

A Trojan horse is a program disguised as an application that sends information in the background without the user being aware of it.

Denial of Service

Denial of Service (DoS) refers, for example, to the overloading of a network service.

Exploit

An exploit refers to a program that takes advantage of security holes or bugs in another program to spy on a system through elevated privileges or to perform a DoS attack.

Sniffer

With a sniffer, hackers are able to record and display the data traffic on a computer or in a network. Sniffers are used, for example, to spy on passwords.

Virus

A virus can be both a program and a script that has the ability to reproduce itself and thus get onto other computers or networks, which is called an infection. This method allows hackers to paralyze or gain control over entire networks.

A worm needs a program already installed on the target system. This is subsequently used to allow the worm to copy itself to other systems and spread there. This could be, for example, a program for receiving e-mails, which is taken over by the worm in order to distribute address data. Some worms can even execute themselves after spreading to a system, in which case it doesn’t even take any interaction from a user for the worm to spread further from here.

Book recommendations:

For those who want to learn more about hacking, we highly recommend the following books. In it, interested parties will find more extensive information about the art of hacking and also about how to correctly execute the previously presented techniques.

Hacking: The Art of the Exploit

The book "Hacking: The Art of Exploits", by Jon Erickson, is considered a kind of hacker bible. It contains both technical basics, programming approaches and helps to understand hardware, also prepared for beginners in an understandable way.

But the book is not a pure theoretical guide, but is mainly dedicated to programming concepts and control structures, without overwhelming the uninitiated reader. Chapters on topics such as exploits, networks, shellcodes and cryptography round off this complete work.

Hacking with Metaspoit

Metasploit is a tool for penetrating computer systems and networks. In this book, the framework is presented in detail by the author Michael Messner, who works as an IT security consultant in the Corporate Technology department at Siemens AG. This shows the reader, in an understandable way, ways in which Metasploit can be used in the context of various penetration tests.

Network Hacking

The protection of personal data is a top priority for many users today. In order to protect yourself and your data in the best possible way, you need to familiarize yourself with the tools and methods used by hackers. Because the one who knows his fine and their means, is usually still the best protected.

In this book, readers learn how hackers proceed and what tools they use to do so. In addition, they will also learn how to protect themselves most effectively against attacks from hackers and how to effectively secure your computer and home network.

Hacking Handbook

Also in the Hacking Handbook by the author Dr. Patrick Engebretson, it’s all about understanding the hackers and their methods. Techniques and tools such as Metasploit, Armitage, Wireshark and others are considered in this book and are presented to the reader here.

The author also explains how to install and run these programs on your own computer, in order to get an overview of the existing security vulnerabilities on your system.

The Hacking Handbook is dedicated to the hacking of computer systems and networks, as well as to the hacking of websites or e-mail addresses. This book also deals with the spying of data and the targeted use of penetration tests.

Hacking on the web

The book "Hacking im Web", by the author Tim Schafers, is particularly suitable for the operators of websites and online stores. In this book, they will learn the methods hackers use to attack websites. Including SQL injection, UI redressing, file inclusion and many other attacks. The attacks are explained in an understandable way by source code and diagrams, so that the information is mostly easy to follow even for inexperienced users.

In addition to the attacks, the book also introduces readers to 35 tools that can be used to detect security vulnerabilities, among other things.

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