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So you want to become a Hacker?

You have probably seen many of those TV-series and Hollywood movies where "cool" kids playing paid actors are "hacking" into CIA, Pentagon or some other organization with just few clicks and now you want to become like them.

Well, you can forget it. Real hacking is tedious work that can take days, weeks, months or even years and not just few simple key presses. Only clueless n00b (n00b = newbie or ignorant person) will think otherwise.

I don't consider it a real hacking if someone at Pentagon or elsewhere used idiot password like "password", "1234" or "qwerty".

First you have to gather information about your chosen target. Then you have to use that info to search vulnerabilities of the target system so that you can beging planning your attack. And even after all the information gathering and preparations you have made it is not quaranteed that you will succeed.

If you have never writed a single line of code in your life and can only use premade tools made by others then you are a script kiddie.
If you have programming experience and have actually made few hacking tools yourself then you can consider youself to be a real hacker.

However, to become a l33t (l33t = elite) hacker will take some very serious time. l33t hackers don't brag on forums how they hacked into this system or that system. Nobody knows any l33t hacker. Why? Because if they were not l33t hackers then they would be behind bars already or doing snitching work for police.

l33t hackers are like ghosts. They come and go as they please. They don't get caught. Nobody sees them. Nobody knows them.

BTW, the term "hacker" did not originally mean people who break into systems. The correct term for that was cracker. Hacker originally meant individual who was passionately interested of some subject, in this case computers & networks.
As always, clueless media muddied the meaning of the term and nowadays when you say hacker people will automatically think of people who break into systems.

To add further confusion people are nowadays also talking about things like "white hat hacker" (good hackers), "grey hat hacker" (neutral hackers) and "black hat hacker" (evil hackers) which is also stupid because human mind and behavior can't be fixed to some premade role.

If you still want to start your hacking career then I suggest that you start learning some programming with some real programming language (like C, C++, Assembly, Perl or Python), do your homework about Operating Systems and how they work (especially Linux), study how Internet and LAN works and the commonly used services and protocols (DNS, HTTP, IP, SSL, SSH, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, TCP, UDP, NAT etc..) and then start writing your code for your first hacking tool.

It it's also very important that you learn how to not leave any traces and stay under radar when you first time try your hacking tool. Otherwise you will be very soon ex-hacker. For that I suggest that you read a little bit about anonymous proxies and Tor network.

Also, because possible cooperation with NSA and other goverment agencies, stop using Microsoft products (Windows, Internet Explorer, Skype, Outlook etc..) when doing your hack tool development and actual hacking attempts.

Use Linux as your operating system and Mozilla Firefox for your daily web surfing instead and for Firefox install the following extensions: NoScript, Ghostery, HTTPS Everywhere and Adblock Edge. For very secure web browsing consider using Tor Browser Bundle.

Also stop using Yahoo mail, hotmail and gmail for your e-mail services and search a smaller, preferable outside of USA e-mail service provider that offers encryption. If you can afford for corporate class network connection that offers static IP-addresses, reverse DNS and does not blocks your ports (or at the very least, leaves ports 465, 587, 993 and 995 open) then you can install your own e-mail server (like Postfix) to some of your own old computers, register domain name for it and handle all your mail by yourself.

Port 587 is used for sending e-mail and encryption is optional if the target SMTP server supports it. Port 465 is also used for sending but here encryption is mandatory. However, port 465 is considered somewhat nonstandard, legacy port and it is not guaranteed that other SMTP servers will support it. Port 25 is used only for unencrypted sending so if possible don't use it!!! Or if you use it then at least encrypt all your mails with OpenPGP standard. For encrypting your mails with OpenPGP standard you can use Mozilla Thunberbird e-mail client with Enigmail extension. Of course, the receiver of your e-mails must also have Thunderbird with Enigmail installed or some similar software. Otherwise they can't read your encrypted mails!

Port 993 is used for encrypted receiving of e-mail using IMAP protocol. Port 995 is used for encrypted receiving of e-mail using POP3 protocol. Don't use unencrypted ports like 110 (for POP3) or 143 (for IMAP) when receiving your mail!!! For all the ports 465, 587, 993 and 995 the encryption is handled by SSL. You will need to install SSL certificates for this to work. If the e-mail server is for your personal (and maybe few friends) use then they can be self-signed SSL certificates so that you don't have to pay anything for VeriSign or some other greedy company.

Installing, configuring and maintaining e-mail server like Postfix is not for ordinary folks. Anybody (even your grandma) can install www-server like Apache or ngix but Postfix is much more complicated beast. You can start learning from here.

For internet searches use Startpage or DuckDuckGo instead of Google search.

Here are also some links related to hacking that might interest you:

http://packetstormsecurity.com/files/
http://www.exploit-db.com/
http://www.cvedetails.com/vendor/53/Adobe.html
http://www.cvedetails.com/vendor/26/Microsoft.html
http://www.metasploit.com/