A Guide To Hacking and Its Culture
Creeping Death 2000
PREFACE : This is the first of a number of texts on Hacking and its
I dont take responsibility for your actions etc.
This section gives a little background into why hacking is
so popular, and also the different types of hacker. There
is also a section on what myths surround hacking and some
encouraging news for people finding it tough ....
SECTION 1: HACKING BACKGROUND
1. Why hack ?
2. What is a hacker anyway ?
2a. What types of hacker are there ?
2b. Are hackers nerds and social retards ?
2c. What are hackers like as people ?
3. What should I be aware of before starting ?
4. Isnt Hacking extremely difficult ?
4a. Hacking Myths
4d. Script Kiddies
5. I dont have Unix !
5a. Windows and Hacking
1. WHY HACK ?
Hacking is an entire culture. Some people like football, some people
like sitting at the mall watching others go by, and some people live
in their computers. Hackers fall in the latter section. Why do people
hack? There are a number of reasons. Im not going to say this is what
hacking is, because different people have different opinions and
beliefs, like all things. If you find your computer and its
environment fascinating then you could be classed as a hacker. If you
start hacking you will begin to enjoy it more and more. I used to
enjoy hacking as a pastime, but come the weekend Id still go out and
get drunk, maybe go to the cinema and the like. But as I got more and
more into it, I started to stay in with some beer and simply play on
the computer. Even if I was unsuccessful in my goals, I still had a
sense of satisfaction from what I was doing. Consider a worthwhile
anology to Dungeons and Dragons, while this was a game to some, others
lived it, enjoying and feeling every minute of it. Hack enough, and
you too will experience this feeling.
2 WHAT IS A HACKER ANYWAY ?
2a. WHAT TYPES OF HACKER ARE THERE ?
There are a number of different types of hacker, so I will describe
them all. Many people fall into a number of different categories,
depending on interests and strangly time and mood. Youll understand in
a minute ...
White hat hackers are those people who have used hacking perhaps as a
job, eg security professional, or some other form, but do not do
anything illegal (ie have permission) and do no damage. Since most
people cant get grants to hack the local University, even if you do no
damage people will still punish you. There have been many people who
have made a living out of hacking. The black hat hacker is someone who
hacks without staying within the boundries of the law. Basically
someone who still doesnt do any damage but doesnt get permission to do
it. Most of us fall inside this bracket. We only do it illegally
because these laws have been made to try and stop malicous hackers and
we have to use the same techniques. Which brings us to malicous
hackers. These people are also called crackers (although thats also
another subset!). MHackers crack systems and do damage or use
information for illict gain, eg someone who steals passwords for a
system and then uses them to access important information to sell to
another company. MHackers are the ones you read about in the papers
and many of them are Script Kiddies.
Script Kiddies are basicaly people who simply use a program written by
an actual hacker to hack a system without understanding why any of it
is happening. These people are also often the same ones that despise
newbies and give them a hard time. Newbies are those people who want
to learn to hack, and are new to it. They inevitably end up saying
something 'lame' on a posting and get flamed by Script Kiddies.
Everyone was a newbie at one point, even Kevin Mitnick. Newbies should
try and learn lots before saying anything on a board. Elite hackers
are also typically Script Kiddies. They have more distinction from
SKiddies becuase they mispell words with numbers, eg a 3 means an E.
They typically also distibute warez, or pirate software and also hate
newbies. A cracker, unlike the MHacker, is a really good programmer
who can bypass features of software that make it unuseable. They also
crack passwords and the like, although these are skills any hacker
The old style hacker is someone with a exceptional knowledge of
anything to do with computers. Most enthusiasts fall under this
category without knowing it. In fact, the average ten year old that
can connect to the Internet and write small programs maybe in BASIC,
could be classed as a hacker back in the seventies. Although thats a
bit of an extreme example.
What am I? Not completly sure myself! I like to learn about computers
and anything to do with them. Hacking for me is all the things we
shouldnt be able to do, but can. I like hacking because it tests my
mind and challenges me. Hitting a ball at a net does not.
2b. ARE HACKERS NERDS AND SOCIAL RETARDS ?
Some hackers are. It stands to reason. If you want to learn everything
about a particular system its going to take a lot of time and
dedication. As I said before I rarely go out anymore, prefering to
stay at home and learn about computers. This has the side effect of me
becoming known as a nerd or computer freak, but Im comfortable with
that. Some people like to do a little hacking and retain their social
life outside of networks, but many of us would rather play on a
computer. Its a lot like a hobby again. Some guys love playing
football, and would spend maybe two or three hours outside kicking a
ball. The only reason no one calls them a nerd is because they are
actually outside and people can at least see them. With hackers, the
only way you see them is if you cook them food and wait outside their
room with it...
2c. WHAT ARE HACKERS LIKE AS PEOPLE ?
I can only speak from personal experience. I do have friends and most
people like me as who I am. There are always some that no matter what,
are intolerent of you, but that happens in all circles. Hackers are
typically no different than everyone else, only they get excited about
anything to do with a computer. Plus they are sometimes a little more
intelligent than your average Joe Citizen. Many people turn to hacking
to stimulate their mind and challenge them the way nothing else can. I
am in much the same boat as these people, with the added bonus that Im
crap with trying to form relationships, so Ive got to the stage where
I dont even try anymore out of fear. Ask my friends which would I
prefer, a girl or a PC, and unfortunatly I'd say a PC cos its pretty
much all I have at the minute ... :(
In general hackers are just like everyone else, although we are not
like the people in the film Hackers, and hacking is not like that. No
one runs around with copies of the Rainbow books, but we may
occasionally get excited about some new technique ;)
3. WHAT SHOULD I BE AWARE OF BEFORE STARTING ?
A number of things. Firstly, be aware that this is illegal in almost
all cases. When you change a program that is breach of copyright. When
you portscan, that is, well im sure there is some law that covers it
:). Another important thing to be aware of is that you should be
prepared to give up a lot of time! Hacking is all about learning, and
to learn things effectivly, you must study a lot. Reading is the key.
The benefit is, that the material you will read is stimulating and
only helps you to develop as a hacker and shape your identity.
Slightly romatic, but its true. Having read constantly about computer
since I was introduced to them, I have become known as a hacker in
whatever place I end up. In school Im refered to as a hacker, in work
Im a hacker and amongst friends im either a hacker or some drunk guy
that knows about computers.
Another thing to note is that you WILL find it tough going. Trying to
learn a number of programming languages at once, and trying out all
this stuff will test your concentration and mental resources to the
point that you'll get pissed off becuase you just cant quite work out
how a buffer overflow works (personal experience, which resulted in me
kicking all around me until I almost broke my foot). The difficulty in
learning this stuff is, a lot of time youll find either highly complex
texts on the net, or else wannabe bullshit. This is especially true in
the underground. When I was solely interested in explosives, I would
be sitting reading such crap, Im surprised it was even released online
it was that poor. People talking about using caesium and water to
build a bomb, when caesium can only exist for about a second before
decomposing, and they where talking about using a pound of the stuff!
Still, you will find some good tutorials, and I hope that this one is
added to the list of decent files, and that people find it helpful.
4. ISNT HACKING EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ?
4a. HACKING MYTHS
Hacking is not about sitting in front of a computer until your eyes
bleed. It most definitly is not like the film hackers, although I wish
I could at least have a group of people I knew that liked hacking as
much as they did. Here in Ireland, you're hard pushed to find anybody
interested in such things to the same degree as me, but still, thats
why god invented message boards. My personal favourite is the NewOrder
board. They are very friendly towards all levels of people, and
understand that not everyone can program in every language under the
sun. Hacking is not diffcult if you really want to learn it. It might
be hard to understand at first, but thats where the benefit of it
comes from. The satisfaction of understanding,say the buffer overflow,
is worth the probably literal pain that it took to learn about it.
Hacking is also not about just accessing a network. Hacking can be
from changing your own system in an original way, to learning how to
program in a language. Hacking is about computers and anything to do
with them, although networks are the most widespread area of hacking.
This is an essential skill. If you cant program you'll never fully
understand an exploit and become a script kiddie (and we wouldnt want
that). While many stress that BASIC is no good and have a high degree
of spite for it, its still a nice language to start with. You learn
the concepts of problem solving and it can be powerful to a limited
degree, but to get serious you really need to learn C. This opens up
the doors to a number of different languages. With an understanding of
C, you will be able to see why an exploit works, learn Java and C++
pretty quickly and have more respect in the hacker world. It can be
learnt as a first language although it will be more heavy going.
Learning HTML is good but not essential, although its so easy, you
should be able to anyway. While many frown on Visual Basic, its still
pretty good to learn a bit about it, because it comes in to some
exploits as VBasic Script (for web pages) and plus is the new virus
writing language (VBasic for Application [VBA]). Above all, persevre
with it and you will get more than you put in back.
Be prepared to give up a lot of time for your purusit of knowledge. I
spent nearly three years learning about the internet and networking
and have only now started to write tutorials. Ive been programming for
close to ten years and although Im no genius when it comes to writing
progs, im proficent enough to understand code and can change it when
nessacary. You'll more than likely be regarded as some freak, but
thats a small price to pay for the benefits of becoming a hacker.
4d. SCRIPT KIDDIES
As stated before script kiddies are people who like to think they
hack, but just use someone else's code or exploit to hack a system and
then run amock on it. It is however ok to use a script if you have
given it time to understand it and learn about it. I wouldnt have been
able to write a c script to produce a DoS attack, but after I read
through the code, I could understand it and make it my own. It is this
ability that makes a real hacker. You are not expected to code every
bit of software you use. If we all did that, nobody would do any
hacking, and there would be thousands of the same bits of software
with just the name changed !
Trojons are useful tools to the newbie hacker. A trojon is a program
that pretends to do one thing while doing another. They can let you
access someones computer and we'll dicuss this in a later chapter. I
thought Id include it here, just to let everyone know that was being
put off by this, that you can get control of a system fairly easily,
and you'll learn how in the next chapter.
5. I DONT HAVE UNIX !
5a. WINDOWS AND HACKING
You can effectivly hack with windows. UNIX is not essential for many
hacks, although it is needed for some types of hack, and can make your
life much easier. UNIX can be daunting for some, especially if your'e
used to Windows, but this is where LINUX comes into play. UNIX gives
you a lot of power on the web, but as many people reading this will
have some form of Windows, I will centre most of it around this
Many of the machines found at schools and colleges run Windows 9x or
NT anyway, and this will make a nice movement to hacking. UNIX systems
are more network orientated, but with the development of LINUX, this
strict classification has changed.
LINUX is a GUI form of UNIX that resembles Windows. It has all the
power of UNIX, with the ease of a GUI system. The benefit of UNIX OS's
is that they have open source making them developable and tailorable.
Plus, UNIX systems are free! You usally only pay for the packaging or
a program that comes with it, eg Corels 'Blue LINUX' with Corel Draw.
Popular LINUX 'flavours' (types) include Slackware and Redhat. LINUX
can be installed on a windows machine without re-partitioning so you
can have both operating systems for ease of use. UNIX can be
downloaded from many FTP sites, but dont worry about getting it just
Thats it for this chapter. In the next one, we'll learn about Windows
and little tricks we can play to impress the people at school or work.
There are important lessons to be learnt there also.
To be continued.....