Hello newbie hackers, I should say that “How to become a hacker” is a million dollar question so in this article i am explaining about the topic How To Become A Hacker. it is a complete tutorial for beginners who want to become a hacker.
There was a time in 90’s when movies were creating and showing hacker culture, their personalities and lifestyle; some of these movies have shown hackers as a hero and some made them villain. At the end, movies have created a mindset of our generation to become a hacker in order to achieve their objectives, whether they are good or bad.
When someone ask this question, I used to float a counter question; “Why do you want to become a hacker ? Why not IT security professional or penetration tester ?” And believe me most of the time people say that it sounds good to be a hacker. My simple is point is that:
“Media has created this mentality to be a hacker instead of professional penetration tester”
Neither I will define the word hacker here, nor I will differentiate between penetration tester and hacker but in this series of “to be a hacker” I will show a pathway to become an IT security professional.
If you cannot handle the difficulties and challenges then leave this field at your earliest, IT security is a dynamic field which requires education, certification, human skills and impatient while learning something. So you should be waiting to handle loads of challenges coming your way to become a hacker Penetration tester.
Education & Skill Set
Any degree related to computer sciences is highly recommended because while studying computer science you get to know about the programming, scripting, networking (wired & wireless), web,database, cryptography and many other things that will help you throughout your IT security career. Apart from computer sciences, engineering degrees like Telecommunication and electronic degree are also a good option; these degrees enhance your networking and hardware skills, and you may learn the software side while working 🙂
If you don’t have any degree, then come on you need not to worry about it; in history many outstanding professionals did not complete their degree. A little difference is that you need to learn those skills by yourself, believe me you can learn everything free online that a university could teach you.
The Bottom line is that, you need a particular skill set; it does not matter from where you acquired those skills.
Follow the Master, Become the Master
You have got the suitable education now what; have you become the hacker ? No! As I said challenges, it starts from here. To become the master, you need to follow the master; you need a mentor who can show you the path, direction and who share his/her experiences and the one who make you what you wanted yourself to be made.
Be wise while selecting the mentor, it defines your future. Here master can be anyone, it could be a human being, a blog or website and group or place of discussion; you may have as many mentors as you want. Be focused, plan your action to achieve the objectives (but first you need to define your objectives).
Required Intangible Skills to become a hacker
You might be thinking that hacking process has nothing to do with philosophy & psychology but believe me it has; apart from the technical skills,the success of any hacking attack is also
depends on the psyche of the attacker.
“Focus” is the key to get success in every aspect of life, be focused on what you want to achieve. Let’s consider an example, you want to find avulnerability in Facebook; you tried your level best, you were trying to achieve the objective but you failed. The word failure shows your weakness, so please hide it or destroy it; you can’t fail until you keep trying.
“You only fail when you accept your defeat” The foremost skill to become a penetration tester is never ever give-up and be focused in achieving your objective. If you will be able to develop this skill then take my word, “nobody can stop you to become a hacker/IT security expert”. Let’s get back to the example; finding a vulnerability in Facebook takes time, patience, persistence, attention and believe me it is possible. Keep try until and unless you will get success, the same suggestion for this guide too; don’t show impatience, read and implement. Are you developing the skills discussed in the first episode ? Have the mentor been selected yet ? Are you trying to become (focus) a hacker ? We have discussed many important points so far that could lead you to get the success, if you can understand these points.
Attitude, Values, Culture
Winning, success and achieving the objective are all the attitude of a hacker mindset; the value is to care and learn. Learning is very essential, you need to learn new skills, latest technology and everything, make reading your habit.
Limited resources and unlimited wants; in hacking culture you have to believe that everything is possible, you yes you, the master of your own. Increase your capacity of learning, develop problem solving skills; start with basic mathematics, move to algorithm, functions and so on. Remember resources are limited but your wants are unlimited you need to fulfill your wants either by limiting your needs (not recommending) or increasing your capacity (highly recommended).
Don’t ever indulge yourself in the repetitive tasks which you will soon find boring, your attitude should show that you are creative; because you have the creativity to understand the working and process of everything and yes you can make amendment to enhance or destruct the system (this is your attitude).
Freedom & Competency
You need freedom, you want freedom and you love freedom; act this and demonstrate this. You are competent and you need to prove it; select your benchmark, work and achieve higher than this, judge and rate yourself. Make yourself prepared for the real competition, you should not afraid of competition; you are creative, you are competent (this is your value, and you have to prove). Develop and sharpen your core competency, your core competency is the one you do best and nobody can beat you. Make this world to believe in you by showing your competency, and you will become the mentor of many.
Required Technical Skills to be a Hacker
Now i want you to read my latest article before you go for further discussion: Become A Hacker: Types Of Cyber Attacks And Must Know Facts
Hacking without any technical skill and knowledge is a dream that can’t come true, but what kind of technical knowledge is required to become a hacker is the real question. The intangible skills alone can’t give you success in the field of information security, you need to have the in depth understanding of how technology is actually working; you need to understand the systems and processes, from electrical pulses to radio frequency, from bits to bytes and from Windows OS to Linux OS. There are many computer languages are required your attention but to follow the right direction is the real deal that will lead you to your destination.
There are so many things to discuss under the single heading of computer networking, but as you can’t be an expert on everything so the recommendation is to know everything a little, at least.
You should understand the OSI layer model and it protocols (HTTP, FTP, IP, TCP, BGP, NAT, DHCP etc etc) – protocols depend on the layer of the OSI model. Learn the art of routing, how router and switches work, understands the wireless protocols for WiFI hacking (oh come on, learn something with the intention of learning).
There are many books are available on the aforementioned topics but it is always recommended to get a mentor who guide you throughout your journey. You have done or if you are doing any degree in computer science (or related field) then you are most likely to learn all these topics, however if you want self study then start your study now because each topic may cover an entire book.
Operating System Skills
To understand the operating system is very crucial to be succeed in infosec world. Understanding the OS does not mean to install/configure and use the OS efficiently; it means to understand the concept, the flow and the architecture of an operating system. You should not limit yourself to any specific OS, learn as much possible as you can including mobile OS (Android, iOS etc.).
Programming & Scripting Languages
There is a saying that, “Programming is not necessarily required to become a hacker/infosec professional”. Let’s break it and try to understand this saying, it is true that most of the successful penetration testers don’t write code but it does not mean that they can’t write or they don’t understand the coding. So understanding is the KEY, you should understand the tool you are using for your test and don’t forget the importance of manualpenetration testing and code review.
Learn the programming languages for example: C, C++, Java etc. The scripting languages are also important, including but not limited to: Perl, Ruby, bash etc.
Becoming a Hacker – What, How and Why?
To be a
hacker penetration tester is not a single day process at all, it requires time, effort and skills. The discussed intangible skills (attitude, culture, values, freedom etc) have gathered immense interest of infosec professionals, and I have been asked to write on requiring technical skills, I will share the story soon but the agenda of this story is to share an infographic created by schools.com
What type of hacker do you want to be? What does hacker do? Hacking as a career. How much money could a hacker earn (hacker salary)? The answers of the asked questions are discussed on the info-graphics(see the two pictures).
What to do next?
Incorporate the aforementioned skills in your daily life, if you just read and forget then you will achieve nothing; as discussed be focused, learn and implement.