There are three types of hackers:

1. White hat

2. Black hat

3. Gray hat.

A white hat (also known as ethical) hacker tries to breach network systems in order to help

businesses and organizations in improving their digital defenses. A black hat hacker,

meanwhile, accesses digital records and/or devices for malicious purposes. A gray hat

hacker is a combination of the first two types: he may be a white hat this time and become

a black hat in the next.

Important Note: There are laws that prohibit black hat hacking. You can get incarcerated if

you’ll try to access digital information without the owner’s permission. Because of that,

this book will help you become an ethical hacker. It will provide you with tips, tricks, and

techniques that you can use in hacking systems ethically.

Benefits of Ethical Hacking

To protect yourself from thieves, you need to think like one. This principle serves as the

core of white hat hacking.

The total number of hackers is growing each day. And these people are on a continuous

quest to improve their skills and expand their knowledge. If you will consider the

vulnerabilities that exist in machines and digital networks, you will realize the awful state

of security that people have against hackers. You need to protect your system from the bad

guys. To achieve this goal, you should know how to hack.

The goals of a white hat hacker are:

Attack a system without destroying it

Identify system vulnerabilities

Prove that vulnerabilities exist

Help in improving the security of his target

Different Types of Hacking Attacks

Hackers divide their attacks into different types. These types are:

Nontechnical

These techniques focus on the end-users (i.e. the people who use the target devices).

Because humans have a natural tendency to trust others, hackers can break through a

system’s defenses without using any electronic tool. These hackers may use “social

engineering” tactics to obtain a user’s trust and gain access to a network or file. You’ll

learn more about social engineering later on.

A hacker may also implement a physical attack against his target. For instance, he may

break into a computer room and access one or more devices that are present. As an

alternative, he may check the dumpsters in the building and try to look for useful

information (e.g. passwords). Hackers refer to this approach as “dumpster diving”.

Network

Hackers can implement this kind of attack easily, since most networks are accessible

through the internet. The most common forms of network attacks are:

Accessing a network using a rigged modem

Taking advantage of vulnerabilities in digital transport mechanisms (e.g. NetBIOS)

Sending a continuous stream of requests to a network

Rigging the system and collecting data packets to access confidential information

Operating System

These attacks play an important role in any hacker’s toolkit. That’s because each computer

has an operating system. And there are a lot of tools that you can use to crack the OS (i.e operating system) of a computer.

There are a lot of operating systems out there. However, hackers usually focus on the most

popular ones (e.g. Windows systems). Here are some of the OS attacks that you can use:

Destroying the security of a file system

Deciphering passwords

Attacking pre-installed authentication mechanisms

Taking advantage of vulnerabilities in certain protocols

Application

Some hackers utilize computer programs to attack networks. Often, a hacker gains access

to a machine through a web-based application or an email-related program. The most

popular members of this type are:

Sending “spam” (i.e. junk mail) to people

Installing malware (i.e. malicious software) in target systems

Bypassing security mechanisms (e.g. firewall) through “online” protocols (e.g.

SMTP, HTTP, IMAP, etc.)

Hacking – A Guide for Beginners

There are many learning materials for hackers. Most of these materials are free, so you

won’t have to spend any money just to develop your hacking skills. Unfortunately, most of

the hacking resources that you’ll find are created for intermediate and/or expert hackers.

You won’t benefit from the said materials if you are a complete beginner.

In this chapter, you will discover a quick and easy way to become a hacker. The three-step

learning program that you will see here is created for newbies. It will help you master the

basics of hacking using a logical method of learning.

First Step – Learn More about Computers and Networks

Hacking involves computers and networks. It requires advanced computer knowledge and

networking skills. Obviously, you won’t be able to hack a computer if you don’t even

know the difference between TCP/IP and Windows XP. To become a hacker, you must

know the basics of computer-related technology.

It would be best if you’ll expose yourself to different operating systems. More and more

people are switching to Linux systems so you should learn the basics of that OS. Once you

have mastered the basics of computers and networks, understanding how “exploits” and

“vulnerabilities” work will be easy.

Second Step – Read Basic Hacking Books

There are countless hacking books out there. A basic Google search will give you

hundreds of available learning materials. However, since you are new to the hacking

world, you should focus on the basic ideas and principles of hacking. It is tempting to grab

books about advanced topics such as Wireshark utilization or payload selection, but you

won’t benefit from this study method. The ideal learning strategy for a complex concept

(like computer hacking) is to master the basics and build up your knowledge and skills

slowly.

This eBook will cover the basic aspects of hacking. After reading this book, you’ll be able

to attack systems and understand complex ideas related to digital security.

Third Step – Learn How to Program

If you want to be a skilled hacker, you should know how to create your own programs.

Programming skills are important for anyone who is serious about hacking. It is true that

there are tons of programs and ready-made tools available online. However, relying on

other people’s work is not a good idea. The ability to create your own programs and

modify existing hacking tools can help you greatly in your quest to become a hacking

expert.

There are a lot of programming languages that you can choose from. But if you are a total

newbie, you should study Python first. Python is one of the simplest programming

languages out there. However, it is extremely effective in writing codes for hacking

purposes. This is the main reason why many hackers prefer this language over C++ or

Ruby. You’ll learn more about Python in the next chapter.

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