PDA

View Full Version : How to be a hacker?



toonamitom
December 19th, 2012, 02:10 AM
Hi,
For personal reasons, I need to be a programmer. I know the basics, I've taken classes, and I'm currently reading Code by Petzold. I'm 70 pages in (out of 400 pages) and he's still talking about binary. So I google "how to be a hacker" and find Eric Raymond's advice to learn Unix. I then learn that Ubuntu via VirtualBox is the safe, easy way to go.

Once I download the hefty 700mb tonight, where should I start tomorrow? And if the board members would be so kind, is there a road map they could give me for achieving "greatness?"

Yes, I realize I sound like a noob; I'm being candid and would appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 02:13 AM
Hi,
For personal reasons, I need to be a programmer. I know the basics, I've taken classes, and I'm currently reading Code by Petzold. I'm 70 pages in (out of 400 pages) and he's still talking about binary. So I google "how to be a hacker" and find Eric Raymond's advice to learn Unix. I then learn that Ubuntu via VirtualBox is the safe, easy way to go.

Once I download the hefty 700mb tonight, where should I start tomorrow? And if the board members would be so kind, is there a road map they could give me for achieving "greatness?"

Yes, I realize I sound like a noob; I'm being candid and would appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.

So you are asking on the best way to learn programming ?

I suggest looking in the programming sub-forum where this has been asked many times and you will learn lots. http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=39

toonamitom
December 19th, 2012, 02:19 AM
Well, I've programmed stuff, mostly web stuff. ColdFusion database, Javascript app, and I had a Java class. But I'm just a hobbyist. Raymond's advice was to use Unix. Am I on the right track with Ubuntu? And what exactly am I supposed to do with it? I've used Ubuntu and it's just a GUI-- and alternative to Windows. How am I supposed to "learn it?"

Edit: And thanks for the tip, I'm checking it out

QIII
December 19th, 2012, 02:20 AM
Define what you mean by "hacker".

toonamitom
December 19th, 2012, 02:22 AM
Define what you mean by "hacker".

Well hackers always say the media applies the term to people who aren't really hackers. "Real" hackers are experts who know what they're doing. So I'm asking how do I start and where do I go from there?

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 02:45 AM
Well hackers always say the media applies the term to people who aren't really hackers. "Real" hackers are experts who know what they're doing. So I'm asking how do I start and where do I go from there?

are you trying to learn how to be a programmer ? if so as i said previously go to programming talk and read the threads.

If you are referring to hacker in the common media sense where it relates to system security, then read the threads in the security discussion area however no help will be given towards learning circumventing system security ethically or not.

Define specific goals and ask in appropriate sub-forums to meet those goals.

Peace

iponeverything
December 19th, 2012, 03:33 AM
Well, I've programmed stuff, mostly web stuff. ColdFusion database, Javascript app, and I had a Java class. But I'm just a hobbyist. Raymond's advice was to use Unix. Am I on the right track with Ubuntu? And what exactly am I supposed to do with it? I've used Ubuntu and it's just a GUI-- and alternative to Windows. How am I supposed to "learn it?"

Edit: And thanks for the tip, I'm checking it out

Its easy, take this to heart. Learn it and live it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy

toonamitom
December 19th, 2012, 03:37 AM
Thank you all for your help

JKyleOKC
December 19th, 2012, 03:44 AM
+1 to the wikipedia reference.

However it doesn't mention any of the writings of Brian Kernighan, the man who gave Unix its name -- and that's a shame, because he set out the basic ideas very clearly.

If you can find a copy of his "Software Tools" co-authored by P. J. Plauger, it's worth reading. If you have even a very basic knowledge of programming you'll be able to grok the RATFOR (Rational Fortran) used for all of the examples, and it will provide an excellent foundation for understanding "the Unix philosophy" that's the basis of what most of us here do...

sandyd
December 19th, 2012, 03:45 AM
Not a Ubuntu support request - moved to the cafe

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 03:50 AM
+1 to the wikipedia reference.

However it doesn't mention any of the writings of Brian Kernighan, the man who gave Unix its name -- and that's a shame, because he set out the basic ideas very clearly.

If you can find a copy of his "Software Tools" co-authored by P. J. Plauger, it's worth reading. If you have even a very basic knowledge of programming you'll be able to grok the RATFOR (Rational Fortran) used for all of the examples, and it will provide an excellent foundation for understanding "the Unix philosophy" that's the basis of what most of us here do...

Peter Neumann first used UNICS meaning Uniplexed Information and Computing Service, I am aware of Kernighans involvement in UNIX obviously, but do you mean he was responsible for replacing the C to an X after it became multiuser ?

BTW im not arguing here, I like the little facts like that, do you have a source for Kernighan first using term UNIX over UNICS

Edit: According to http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/the-strange-birth-and-long-life-of-unix/0

The name Unix stems from a joke one of Thompson's colleagues made: Because the new operating system supported only one user (Thompson), he saw it as an emasculated version of Multics and dubbed it "Un-multiplexed Information and Computing Service," or Unics. The name later morphed into Unix.

roser1833
December 19th, 2012, 04:02 AM
Spend a few days or a few months you can't to be a hacker. You needs to advance step by step.

Mikeb85
December 19th, 2012, 04:03 AM
Hi,
For personal reasons, I need to be a programmer. I know the basics, I've taken classes, and I'm currently reading Code by Petzold. I'm 70 pages in (out of 400 pages) and he's still talking about binary. So I google "how to be a hacker" and find Eric Raymond's advice to learn Unix. I then learn that Ubuntu via VirtualBox is the safe, easy way to go.

Once I download the hefty 700mb tonight, where should I start tomorrow? And if the board members would be so kind, is there a road map they could give me for achieving "greatness?"

Yes, I realize I sound like a noob; I'm being candid and would appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.

First, get Ubuntu installed correctly. It's pretty easy. Then learn to install and remove things with apt-get.

Next install a programming language from source - take your pick, but a scripting language like Perl, Python or Ruby would probably be what you're after.

Then go through a few basic tutorials, and learn how to create a script, make it do something basic, and actually run it.

Then try to make a basic program in a compiled language like C, Fortran, Haskell, OCaml, etc..., and get it to run.

Then try to actually build something useful, and figure out how to build it.

It will probably take a long time and lots of trial and error, but this is pretty much the path. As for when you'll actually become a 'real' hacker, probably quite a few years from now, programming isn't easy. You don't need a Computer Science degree or anything to learn, but to put things into perspective, lots of people do have CS degrees, have put in at least 4 years and many thousands of hours, and still are far from expert.

JKyleOKC
December 19th, 2012, 04:03 AM
Haqking,

I saw it somewhere, since at the time all this happened I was with Honeywell, not BTL where all of those guys were, and I was still using MULTICS. It may have been in one of Ritchie's memoirs.

MULTICS, of course, was the original inspiration, when BTL pulled out of the joint venture and Ritchie and Thompson wanted to continue using the system so began their skunk-works project. That acronym was MULTiplexed Information and Computing System; since the new one had only one CPU, not four, someone at the labs replaced "multiplexed" with "uniplexed" as you report.

Many years later I had the privilege of meeting Bill Plauger. Never met any of the others involved, just have read as much of their writings as I've been able to locate. I still have a few MULTICS manuals squirreled away, together with a yellowing first edition of the official BTL Unix manual from the late 70s...

EDIT: I have the impression, but don't remember its origin, that the spelling change was prompted by AT&T Legal when they decided to make a product out of the system. The original spelling, they felt, came too close to MULTICS to be safe, especially since the actual systems were as similar as fraternal twins!

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 04:08 AM
Haqking,

I saw it somewhere, since at the time all this happened I was with Honeywell, not BTL where all of those guys were, and I was still using MULTICS. It may have been in one of Ritchie's memoirs.

MULTICS, of course, was the original inspiration, when BTL pulled out of the joint venture and Ritchie and Thompson wanted to continue using the system so began their skink-works project. That acronym was MULTiplexed Information and Computing System; since the new one had only one CPU, not four, someone at the labs replaced "multiplexed" with "uniplexed" as you report.

Many years later I had the privilege of meeting Bill Plauger. Never met any of the others involved, just have read as much of their writings as I've been able to locate. I still have a few MULTICS manuals squirreled away, together with a yellowing first edition of the official BTL Unix manual from the late 70s...

EDIT: I have the impression, but don't remember its origin, that the spelling change was prompted by AT&T Legal when they decided to make a product out of the system. The original spelling, they felt, came too close to MULTICS to be safe, especially since the actual systems were as similar as fraternal twins!


I found it ;-) from a paper by Ritchie at http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/hist.html


Although it was not until well into 1970 that Brian Kernighan suggested the name `Unix,' in a somewhat treacherous pun on `Multics,' the operating system we know today was born.

pompel9
December 19th, 2012, 05:30 AM
Just asking. Isn't hacking illegal in most countries?

bfmetcalf
December 19th, 2012, 05:45 AM
The term hacker can be used in many ways, one of which is basically being an elite user/programmer. Of course the other is what the media talks about with people like the ones in the group anonymous.

From Dictionary.com....

Computer Slang.
a. a computer enthusiast.
b. a microcomputer user who attempts to gain unauthorized access to proprietary computer systems.

Gremlinzzz
December 19th, 2012, 06:12 AM
How to be a hacker? :popcorn:easy first lesson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGS8re8cIVI

sffvba[e0rt
December 19th, 2012, 07:39 AM
How to be a hacker? :popcorn:easy first lesson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGS8re8cIVI

Can't believe I fell for lesson one.

But I do believe the best place to start would be to always remember - It's all about the Pentuims, baby (http://youtu.be/qpMvS1Q1sos).


404

lisati
December 19th, 2012, 07:44 AM
How to be a hacker? :popcorn:easy first lesson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGS8re8cIVI

Aaargh! ):P

zombifier25
December 19th, 2012, 10:04 AM
How to be a hacker? :popcorn:easy first lesson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGS8re8cIVI

This Greasemonkey script (https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/83584) killed the joke for me. ARRGGG!!!

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 12:11 PM
Just asking. Isn't hacking illegal in most countries?

This misconception must have the most diverse and misinterpreted answer in computer history. In the world of computers the term hacker conjures up an image of some teenage kid in their bedroom hunched over their computer writing virus code or breaking into NASA. Over the years the media have blurred the lines between the historical definition and the nefarious activities carried out by some individuals.

Quite simply there are two types of hacker; one who has malicious intent and the other who does not.

Historically the term hacker evolved from its conception at TMRC (Tech Model Railroad Club) at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), who still are an active group of model railroad enthusiasts, regularly meeting to share their passion for model railroads and often ‘hack’ them to make improvements to the design and operation.

There is a standardised definition for the term hacker defined in RFC 1392 (RFC or request for comments are a de facto standard for blueprinting the design and operation of the Internet).

From RFC 1392:

Hacker:
A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular. The term is often misused in a pejorative context, where "cracker" would be the correct term. See also: cracker. What the media typically refer to as a hacker is as you can see technically a cracker, regardless of the nomenclature you choose to use.

From a purist’s point of view, hacking is about learning, all true hackers share a passion for technology and an inquisitive mind.

“Do not learn to hack, but hack to learn”This is what hacking is really about, it is about making something work, making something that works already do something else it wasn’t intended to do, figuring out how something works and modifying or improving it. Hacking is about creativity, critical thinking and thinking outside of the box.

This knowledge of course can be put towards destructive and antisocial ends, such as breaking system security; this is when the hacker becomes a cracker or hacker with misguided or malicious intent.

In the good old fashioned westerns we could identify the good guys and the bad guys by the colour of the hats they wore. A White hat was a good guy and a Black hat meant a bad guy.

In the computer security industry we have 3 main types hacker.

White Hat – Ethical Hacker or Penetration tester (someone who is paid to test system security). There is no malicious intent and they do it either for fun, knowledge or to be paid as a security professional.

Black Hat – Malicious or misguided, a black hat hacks for personal notoriety, reverie from peers or financial gain, sometimes a hacktivist.

Grey Hat – As the name suggests this is grey area, the grey hat is a typically a skilled hacker who hacks with misguided intent. They might circumvent system security to inform the owner of the system of the vulnerabilities, thinking they are providing a service. It could also be a White hat by day that gets paid to protect systems, but by night dons the black hat persona by participating in unethical activities.

These definitions are not finite or standardised and can often be misinterpreted. It just gives an idea of the broad spectra within the hacker community.

and finally we also have

Script Kiddie (Skiddie) – These are the ones that tend to cause the majority of harm or are the ones who are caught for hacking then portrayed in the media as hackers. If you download a software hacking tool and point it towards a target such as LOIC and carry out a DOS without understanding the technical concepts or the potential damage it may cause as a result, or perhaps your intent is to cause damage and don’t care then this is usually a script kiddie.

EDIT: In direct answer to your question, it depends on the Intent, by definition alone the term "hacking" or "hacker" does not imply illegal activity, it is all about context

JKyleOKC
December 19th, 2012, 01:56 PM
An excellent explanation, Haqking! Too bad that 99% of the media and public will (a) never see it and (b) if they did, would ignore it completely.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 02:06 PM
An excellent explanation, Haqking! Too bad that 99% of the media and public will (a) never see it and (b) if they did, would ignore it completely.

Thanks. Indeed, sadly ignorance and stupidity are far more ubiquitous traits than intelligence and common sense. Especially where the media are concerned

|{urse
December 19th, 2012, 03:09 PM
Blackhat: Hang out on irc learning every night for about 20 years.
Whitehat: Hang out in college for 2-6 years.
Greyhat: Do both of the above.
Script Kiddie: Find and install metaspl0it.

:lol:

pompel9
December 19th, 2012, 03:30 PM
Thanks for all the information.

But still, hacking a closed software is not legal. On open source you can do as you want.

I can give you one good example of hacking on closed software leads to jail and/or big fines.
Does anyone remember the Norwegian man who hacked open the Bluray security?
Well, he was thrown in jail and got a hefty fine. I can post Norwegian articles about this. I can search and see if I can find some English articles about it.

This is just an example that hacking without malicious intent is in fact illegal. This man did not do this for malicious intent, but because he wanted to backup his Bluray's on his PC.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 03:35 PM
Thanks for all the information.

But still, hacking a closed software is not legal. On open source you can do as you want.

I can give you one good example of hacking on closed software leads to jail and/or big fines.
Does anyone remember the Norwegian man who hacked open the Bluray security?
Well, he was thrown in jail and got a hefty fine. I can post Norwegian articles about this. I can search and see if I can find some English articles about it.

This is just an example that hacking without malicious intent is in fact illegal. This man did not do this for malicious intent, but because he wanted to backup his Bluray's on his PC.

I think you are misunderstanding.

Hacking is defined above.

The Hacker you refer to Muslix64, was a cracker.

U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits users from circumventing copy-protection tools without the permission of the copyright holder

As i already said it is all about context, hacking is not illegal, doing something illegal is illegal ! strangely enough

Hacking is not illegal, breaking the law is illegal everywhere !

mJayk
December 19th, 2012, 08:48 PM
Its easy, take this to heart. Learn it and live it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy

I liked that link :) nice little read

pompel9
December 19th, 2012, 08:50 PM
The difference between a cracker and hacker, is the level of know-how.

A hacker makes the tools he need. A cracker use the tools that hackers make.

Muslix64 hacked the copyright protection on HD-DVD and on Bluray (not sure what country he comes from). I could not find any information if he has been caught for this.

I was talking about the wrong format. It was a Norwegian that hacked the DVD copyright protection. And he went to jail for doing so.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 08:56 PM
The difference between a cracker and hacker, is the level of know-how.

A hacker makes the tools he need. A cracker use the tools that hackers make.

Muslix64 hacked the copyright protection on HD-DVD and on Bluray (not sure what country he comes from). I could not find any information if he has been caught for this.

I was talking about the wrong format. It was a Norwegian that hacked the DVD copyright protection. And he went to jail for doing so.

The difference is clearly defined in RFC 1392 as i outlined in post #22

pompel9
December 19th, 2012, 09:02 PM
I do not know what RFC 1392 is. It would help if you gave a link.

If this is some kind U.S law, then it is irrelevant. U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is also irrelevant in my country, since we don't have that law.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 09:05 PM
I do not know what RFC 1392 is. It would help if you gave a link.

If this is some kind U.S law, then it is irrelevant. U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is also irrelevant in my country, since we don't have that law.

if you dont know what a RFC is you are hardly in a position to be debating the definition of a Hacker/Cracker.

Also copyright law applies to the product not the location, because you dont have that law does not circumvent the copyright, it depends if the US has a copyright agreement with your country or not, read circular 38a

And the point of me bringing the copyright act into it was you were saying that the alleged cracker/hacker wasnt doing anything illegal but went to jail, that would be for doing something illegal, The US Digitial copyright act is also part of the WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, which is an International treaty on copyright infringement

pompel9
December 19th, 2012, 09:15 PM
I see. So you can't provide a link. Since you can't, then I would say that you are hardly in a position to debate this.

I use the common definition. This is the same definition as hackers and crackers use themselves.
U.S. law is not my law. So no, U.S. can't come to my country and demand anything.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 09:19 PM
I see. So you can't provide a link. Since you can't, then I would say that you are hardly in a position to debate this.

I use the common definition. This is the same definition as hackers and crackers use themselves.
U.S. law is not my law. So no, U.S. can't come to my country and demand anything.

If you dont know what a RFC is you know nothing about Internet design and even less about System and Internet Security.

RFC's https://www.ietf.org/rfc.html

RFC 1392 i already quoted above. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1392

For the record I am a "Hacker", working Ethically though at times when younger I was a cracker. and I use the correct definition as do all my colleagues and everyone that attends Hacker cons all around the world, even the script kiddies know the difference between a Hacker and Cracker and the history of the terms.

Mikeb85
December 19th, 2012, 09:30 PM
I see. So you can't provide a link. Since you can't, then I would say that you are hardly in a position to debate this.

I use the common definition. This is the same definition as hackers and crackers use themselves.
U.S. law is not my law. So no, U.S. can't come to my country and demand anything.

The most common usage I've heard is that a hacker is a programmer who puts things together quickly. 'Hacks' usually refers to patches or scripts that puts something together or adds a feature to a piece of software (often inelegantly), and many companies (like Facebook or Google) have 'hackathons' which is basically a session in which people 'hack' things together. https://www.facebook.com/hackathon

Also, check out a site like https://www.hackerrank.com/ , it offers challenges to hackers, all of which are decidedly of the 'constructive' type (there is nothing nefarious). It's actually alot of fun, even for beginners.

Anyhow, the vast majority of hackers are in essence, solo software developers, solving challenges, putting together solutions to things, prototyping things, etc... As opposed to 'developers' or 'software engineers', who usually work in large teams, and use a more methodical approach to software creation.

So while the 'Hollywood' definition is someone doing nefarious things with a computer, the general definition for people who actually know something about software, is different.

pompel9
December 19th, 2012, 11:01 PM
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1392 is obsolete, if you look at the top.

This group does not have monopoly on how to define what is cracking and what is hacking.
So it is no wonder that I hadn't heard about this before.


I have never heard a software developer calls himself a hacker.

haqking
December 19th, 2012, 11:10 PM
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1392 is obsolete, if you look at the top.

This group does not have monopoly on how to define what is cracking and what is hacking.
So it is no wonder that I hadn't heard about this before.


I have never heard a software developer calls himself a hacker.

LOL geez.

It is obsoleted by RFC 1983 which it links to which holds the exact same definition.

And the IETF do hold a monopoly actually as the RFC's are the standard blueprints for Internet Design, or does the Internet work differently in your country...LOL

Most programmers are hackers by definition.

I look forward to more ill informed posts by you in the future, feel free to ask me how to follow links when you get stuck

toonamitom
December 19th, 2012, 11:13 PM
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1392 is obsolete, if you look at the top.

This group does not have monopoly on how to define what is cracking and what is hacking.
So it is no wonder that I hadn't heard about this before.

That means portions of the entire glossary have been updated, not that the definitions in dispute are wrong. Eric Raymond in the aforementioned article (#1) described crackers as "people (mainly adolescent males) who get a kick out of breaking into computers and phreaking the phone system."

The key difference here is not just the level of know-how, But also the intent. Mainly the intent, some would say (which is why haqking brought more terms in: white hat, scriptkiddie, etc which all deal mainly with intent).

edit: as for use of the term "hacker," it is synonymous with an experienced programmer. Example of usage http://news.ycombinator.com/
... just wanted to add to the consensus

koenn
December 19th, 2012, 11:24 PM
The most common usage I've heard is that a hacker is a programmer who puts things together quickly.
You're correct that the emphasis is mostly on programming, not so much on security; the "white hat - black hat" thingy is a retrofitted correction on the idea that hacking = breaking system security.

But it's not always a quick and dirty programming job. "Hacking the linux kernel" might mean, in context, anything from trying to reimplement parts of the kernel in order to better understand it, doing a rewrite of a part that's not up to standards, or trying to add new functionality.

Although there's a subtle difference between hacker (in the programming sense) and developer, programming solo is not the distinguishing factor. There's a big community factor in it as well.

Lastly, it's not necessarily about programming, but about the way you approach it : skillful and playful would be two important criteria. Implementing an April fool RFC would definitely be "a hack".

koenn
December 19th, 2012, 11:27 PM
I have never heard a software developer calls himself a hacker.
That could be because you never met one or haven't looked in the right places.

Bachstelze
December 19th, 2012, 11:29 PM
Goodness, it had been a while since I last witnessed a mudlinging party over hackers/crackers...

Only one person gets it more or less right. A hacker is someone who enjoys making things work in a way they were not intended to. That is all there is to it. "Intent" has nothing to do with it, and "know-how" is only a byproduct.

lisati
December 19th, 2012, 11:41 PM
We've probably gone about as far as we can usefully go with this "discussion" for now.

Closed.