How to acquire hacking skills: 12 steps

Table of contents:

How to acquire hacking skills: 12 steps
How to acquire hacking skills: 12 steps

The first hackers can be considered that small group of people, consisting of experienced programmers and network sorcerers, who several decades ago stood at the origins of the creation of early microcomputers and participated in the ARPAnet experiments. Hacking computers and telephone networks has become a hallmark of a hacker culture, which is actually much more complex and is not limited to just hacking. How to join this community, acquire the necessary skills, learn to think like a hacker and earn respect and reputation in this environment, you will learn in this article.


Part 1 of 3: Acquiring Basic Skills

Become a Hacker Step 4
Become a Hacker Step 4

Step 1. Change to a Unix-like operating system such as Linux

Unix is a popular operating system often used for servers and has given rise to the development of the Internet. While it is possible to use the Internet without knowing Unix, you cannot be an Internet hacker without understanding Unix. For this very reason, today's hacking culture is highly Unix-centric. Unix, like Linux, can be used alongside Windows on the same computer. Download Linux or ask someone on Linux to help you install the system.

  • A good option for getting acquainted with the new system would be a live CD - an operating system that boots from removable media (CD, DVD, USB-drive, etc.), which does not require installation on a hard disk for its functioning. This method will help you become familiar with the capabilities of the system without the need for drastic changes.
  • There are other operating systems besides Unix, such as * BSD. The most popular * BSD systems are FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and DragonFly BSD. They are all open source, just like Linux. However, it is important to remember that BSD is not Linux.
  • Darwin is a FreeBSD-based Unix operating system. It is completely free, open source and available at Since the core of the system is Unix and macOS is very popular, many users have adapted Linux applications for macOS. You can get these programs using the package manager - Homebrew, Fink, or MacPorts. Alternatively, you can run Linux on macOS.
  • You can also use a highly specialized operating system like Open Indiana. It was originally developed from the open source Solaris system before it was bought out by Oracle and became proprietary. OpenIndiana and Solaris are based on Unix System V and as such are not compatible with Linux applications. Nevertheless, there are many adapted programs. MacOS, BSD and Linux are much more popular and much more programs are developed for them, so it's better to stick with them.
Become a Hacker Step 5
Become a Hacker Step 5

Step 2. Learn to write HTML

If you don't know how to program yet, learning Hypertext Markup (HTML) will help you acquire some useful skills for later mastering programming languages. Any website with its design, photos and other components is composed in HTML. To get started, learn how to create simple sites, create yourself a small site and develop further.

  • As an example, you can look at the code of any site. To do this, select "Show source code" in the browser context menu and examine it. In Firefox, go to Tools> Web Development> Page Source.
  • You can write HTML code in any text editor like Notepad or SimpleText, and save the files as text, so that you can then open the file with a browser to see the work done.
  • You will have to learn the tags and learn how to use them. "" To close it. "

    "Is needed to start a new paragraph. With the help of tags, you can give the text any appearance: italics, formatting, color, and so on. Learning HTML will give you a better understanding of how the internet works.

Become a Hacker Step 3
Become a Hacker Step 3

Step 3. Learn the programming language

Before you start writing poetry, you need to learn grammar. To crack a code, you need to know it well. If you really want to become a hacker, then you need a lot of knowledge.

  • If you don't know a single computer language, we recommend starting with Python. It is understandably designed, well documented, and suitable for beginners. While good for a first language, it's not just a toy. It is a powerful and flexible language, well suited for large objects.
  • Java is an alternative, but the feasibility of learning this language as the first is being questioned.
  • Unlike Java, Javascript is very similar to Python - both are C-based languages and extremely user-friendly. Javascript is a "web programming language", so if you want to continue learning web development / hacking it's best to start with Javascript over Python.
  • An alternative to Javascript is PHP C, the main language of the Unix operating system. The C ++ language is closely related to C, knowing one, it is easy to learn the other. It is demanding on computer resources and it takes a lot of time to debug the code.
  • You can also use Backtrack 5 R3, Kali, or Ubuntu 12.04LTS as a starting platform.

Part 2 of 3: Learn to Think Like a Hacker

Become a Hacker Step 1
Become a Hacker Step 1

Step 1. Think creatively

Now that you have acquired the basic skills and abilities, it is time to learn how to think like a hacker. Hackers are a mixture of artists, philosophers, and engineers all taken together. They believe in freedom and mutual responsibility. The world is full of problems that need to be addressed. Hackers have fun solving problems while honing their skills and gaining new knowledge.

  • In addition to hacking, hackers have a wide variety of cultural and intellectual interests. They are equally devoted to work and play. Real hackers don't distinguish between things like entertainment, work, science, and art. All these concepts merge into one big creativity.
  • Read science fiction. What for? Here you can draw an analogy with martial arts, where, in addition to good physical data, a strong spirit is also needed. A hacker needs to be calm, have a stable psyche and be disciplined. This is as important as having physical skills.
  • Learn a martial art. The mental discipline that is instilled in the painful arts is also important for the hacker. For a hacker, the priority is mental discipline and mindfulness, not brute strength, athleticism, or endurance. Taichi is best suited in this regard.
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Step 2. Hackers love to solve problems

No one should ever solve a problem twice. To behave like a hacker, you must believe that the thinking time of other hackers is precious, so much so that it must be a moral imperative for you to share information. Solving problems, and then just handing out solutions so that other hackers can solve new problems, instead of continually returning to old ones, is your job.

  • You are not required to give away all the fruits of your creativity for free, although those hackers who do this are the most respected hackers. It is quite consistent with the values of hackers to sell the fruits of creativity, sufficient to provide themselves with food, shelter and computers.
  • Check out such masterpieces as the Hacker Manifesto, a text written by hacker Lloyd Blankenship, better known as The Mentor, and the Jargon File, an online encyclopedic dictionary of hacker slang in English. Although they are not of technical interest, they will introduce a hacker approach and a spirit that does not lose its value even over time.
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Step 3. Know that hackers are inherently anti-authoritarian

Hackers (and creative people in general) don't do boring things and don't get bogged down in the routine of monotonous work. They are also not supporters of the government, which imposes censorship and restricts freedom of information. Therefore, boredom and routine are not just enemies of the hacker, distracting him - this is evil.

Hacking is a way of life in which so-called “normal” notions of work and property are rejected and the fight for equality and access to information is favored

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Step 4. Be competent

Anyone who spends time on Reddit can pick a cool nickname and pose as a hacker. But the Internet is a good equalizer, where competence is prioritized over representativeness. Spend more time improving your skills, not your image, and you will gain respect faster than showing yourself as a super hacker.

Part 3 of 3: Build Your Reputation

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Step 1. Write open source software

The first is to write programs that other hackers find fun or useful, and to distribute the source code of the programs for use by the entire hacker culture. The most revered demigods of Hackerlandia are people who have written large and talented programs that meet the widest needs, and who have distributed them to everyone so that everyone can use them.

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Step 2. Help test and debug open source software

Also honored are those who test and debug open source software. In this imperfect world, we inevitably spend most of our development time in the debugging phase. This is why any thoughtful open source writer will tell you that good beta testers (who know how to describe symptoms clearly, can pinpoint problems well, can correct typos, and use a few simple diagnostic routines) are worth their weight in gold.

If you are a beginner, then try to find a development program that you are interested in and become a good beta tester. There is a natural way to go from helping you test programs to helping you debug them and then helping to modify them. You will learn a lot in this way and generate good karma in relationships with people who will help you later

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Step 3. Post useful information

Another good thing is to collect and accumulate useful and interesting information on web pages or documents like FAQ (FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions and Answers) and make them publicly available. The hosts of the main technical FAQ are almost as respected as the authors of open source software.

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Step 4. Help keep the infrastructure running

The hacker culture (and Internet engineering) is all about volunteers. There is a lot of necessary, but not very effective work that needs to be done to support the process: administering mailing lists, moderating newsgroups, managing large archives of software, developing RFCs and other technical standards. People who do this kind of thing well are highly respected because everyone knows that this kind of work takes a lot of time and is not as fun as playing with codes. This work shows dedication.

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Step 5. Serve the hacker culture itself

Finally, you can serve and spread the culture itself. But this shouldn't be done until you've been in it for a sufficient amount of time and become well known for one of the first four things. There are no clear leaders in the hacker culture, but there are cultural heroes, tribal elders, historians, and orators. When you have lived in these trenches long enough, you can grow into one of these people.

But beware: hackers are wary of their noisy tribal elders, so the apparent achievement of this kind of glory is fraught with danger. Instead of striving for this, you better not care about it, and then everything will come by itself, and only then you can become humble and merciful in your status


  • Some companies hire hackers to test how secure their system is. So you can make good money on this!
  • Try not to get caught and not engage in hacking.
  • Write well in your native language. According to a widespread stereotype, programmers are not very literate, but in fact, many hackers are very fluent in the language.
  • Lisp is worth learning for the deep, enlightened knowledge that you will gain when you finally master it. This knowledge will make you an excellent programmer for the rest of your life, even if you never really use Lisp itself. You can get a basic Lisp experience in the code editing mode of the Emacs text editor or the Script-Fu plug-in for the GIMP graphics editor.
  • It makes sense to learn Perl for practical reasons: it is very widely used for active web pages and system administration, so even if you never need to write Perl, you should learn to read it. Many people use Perl to avoid C programming, which is demanding on computer resources.
  • Test your knowledge on the websites you create.
  • Use your knowledge and skills for good. A good hacker is much safer and more profitable for everyone than a bad one. Bad hackers do not live very well - they have to hide in order to avoid problems with the law.
  • Always be careful. Illegal activity can lead to very serious consequences, and in fact there is nothing really anonymous on the Internet.
  • Don't get involved in things that can get you in trouble.
  • Ask local employees if they need security checks.

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