Hi Leitwolf, welcome aboard
Leitwolf wrote: Basically, the goal of the missions was to FIND the passwords. But my question is this: How do those sites check that the password you entered is correct?...how do the sites know that what you typed in was either right or wrong?
I assume that this lot of experience involves the use of forms?
You put your name and password in one of these forms and it must then be checked against something to see if its correct.
That something is the data you provided on signing up, this is possible because that data (your password and username) is all stored somewhere.
My memory is somewhat hazy as to the exact nature of the missions but I believe you will have come across GET and POST
at some point? This is the mechanism by which the password is being checked. Its saying, 'here is what derpster89 has entered, does that match what is stored on the database?' if it does, you're golden if not an incorrect message is returned.
IRL it is unlikely you are going to have a table of passwords and usernames which is not encrypted in some way
. When you exploited the GET method, you could see what was going on but with POST you couldn't. Hopefully you can see the advantage of this from a security view point.
I apologize if that is too simplistic an answer, I just wanted to provide an overview of what is going on, feel free to ask about something in a more in depth manner. also read the links and any links they may lead to that are of interest to you. If the manner in which a specific mission is working is confusing you, its ok to ask, if its massively spoilerific there is the PM facility (you may need another couple of posts or something)
I'm afraid I don't know much about chrome stuff but I think there are chrome alternatives to many or most of the generally recommended firefox addons. A swift google will sort you out, look for developer style tools.
You don't need to learn everything about everything, I would suggest being very strong in a few areas of your choice, something you enjoy, and getting a basic working knowledge of a few others. You are correct it is a complex topic but you will find the same sort of patterns and themes arising again and again. If you know a couple of different languages really well for example, you will find that an ability to effectively look things up will get you by when you're looking at something written in an unfamiliar language.
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.