Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

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Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Jake-X on Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:26 am
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I've had little experience with the For Dummies series, actually, but what experience I have had with them has been bad. So I'm a little cautious to buy Hacking For Dummies, although it looks very intriguing. Could someone tell me if it's good for an absolute beginner with NO experience? And if it's not good for a beginner, what skill level is it good for? Or is it just crap?
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Fascination on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:16 pm
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To be honest the general "so and so for dummies" book genre is not the best place to start. It may give you some good general information but in all honest, I wouldn't rely heavily on it. Too many people want instant gratification, and want to be a hacker right off the bat. There are several good books on the board, that would help you out very much.

Most "hacker" books give you stuff like:
- History of hackers
- Basic knowledge for hacking
- Well known hackers
- Programs used for hacking

In all honesty if you want to be on the road to be a hacker, you need to start with this:
Coding.

HTML to begin with. Real hackers need to know how to code, to manipulate scrips, programs, etc. Most everything is found in coding, that is what programs are built around. If you simply are like many of the newcomers that use programs and just youtube how to use them...then you are not a hacker. You are a script kiddie. These are more frowned upon in the hacker community.

So like I said, just start by doing coding. HTML, which if you spend a good amount of time on a day, can learn in a month. Then move on to the next thing. Also do Hack this site missions, which are a great way to start learning to look for exploits of a system. Know this is takes a long time to master a code, shoot even I have to look up certain codes and programs cause even the best forget. Also everyone uses programs. Many programs help out, and depends on what you wish to accomplish on become a hacker. So I wish you the best of luck, and if you need help feel free to ask the forums or send me a personal message through forums. I will not mentor you, just more or less push you into the right direction.

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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Jake-X on Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:48 pm
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Thanks for such a helpful reply! My problem with HTML is I always forget it after I learn it. I usually learn it pretty good and then forget everything because I have nowhere to practice it. Do you have any suggestions?

Also, as for learning how to program, I've been slowly learning C#, and I figure I'll learn C++ after that.
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by insomaniacal on Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:33 pm
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I really wouldn't bother too much with HTML if you're interested in computer security. HTML is mostly a markup language, so all you're doing is telling a browser how to render a page. Not overly useful. Some basics certainly won't hurt though.

I'd recommend sticking with programming, as the logic you'll learn applies to most aspects of modern computing. It's a good base, if nothing else.
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Jake-X on Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:46 pm
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What about website security, though? Even if website security systems aren't specifically written in HTML, don't I need HTML knowledge to know where the security systems will be placed in the page source?
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Fascination on Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:17 am
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Jake-X wrote:What about website security, though? Even if website security systems aren't specifically written in HTML, don't I need HTML knowledge to know where the security systems will be placed in the page source?


When it comes to the website, yes. As you will see in the HTS missions, the basic ones are done in html. Basically you have to examine the code, and find the exploit.

Most websites will be found using:

HTML/XHTML
CSS
JAVASCRIPT

I don't really know of any other ones.

There are programs people use, but most likely in order to find exploits you need to know some coding. I personally would suggest it, because it's easier. This way when your searching through the code...you actually know what your looking for.
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Jake-X on Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:31 am
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Right. The first few basic missions were extremely easy for me, even with my limited HTML knowledge, but as soon as there started becoming other skill requirements, such as JavaScript, I had no idea what to do. So I can see how programming knowledge is important. Right now, though, I'm just trying to become generally knowledgeable, and once I understand the basics of all the different languages, programs, etc. that hackers use, I'll start mastering each one. The only programming language I'm actually learning right now is C#, because I heard it was one of the easiest and would make learning C++ a lot easier.
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by msbachman on Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:40 am
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@OP:

I don't know much about that book but some pirates uploaded a copy of it. I've read it, but it's been ages since then and I can't comment on how good it is.

I'd recommend the Hackign Exposed series personally. Especially the one on forensics if that floats your boat. Some anon also posted that series as well.
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by Jake-X on Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:08 am
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Thanks, but judging by the other replies, I think it'll only slow my training down. Plus, I'd rather not resort to downloading pirated books unless I have to.
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Re: Hacking For Dummies - good/bad for beginners?

Post by yourmysin on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:44 am
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I bought this book about 5 years ago and it was a complete waste of $30. You can learn more just by browsing this forum.

If you're looking to learn check out Hacking: The Art of Exploitation. Also, check out the blogs of some people in the industry such as Bruce Schneier - http://www.schneier.com/
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