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hackingtutorialHacking is a broad term that typically refers to anyone that has a strong understanding of computers and networking. In the media, hackers are portrayed as evil computer thieves looking to steal information from innocent victims. In reality, those types of people are known as crackers.

That doesn’t mean the information you learn while becoming a hacker can’t be used for illegal purposes; the difference is that real hackers have no interest in illicit activities. Hacking School teaches you the basics of hacking and how to protect your own computer from other hackers.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at what it takes to actually become a hacker. It’s not very difficult to get started but you quickly realize that it is a lifelong journey that is never really finished.


If your computer experience is rather limited, the first thing you need to learn is computer programming. Fortunately, computer programming is no longer restricted to text editors and thousands of lines of seemingly nonsensical code.

Most computer programming languages include Interactive Development Environments (IDEs) that make programming much easier. In fact, you could start programming today and within a week or two have a solid grasp of a programming language.

What programming language should you pick? There are hundreds to choose from and a good hacker knows more than one so it may seem difficult to find a starting point. If you have no programming experience, Python is the best place to start.

Python is a high-level programming language that is effective as a standalone application platform and also works very well for web development. This makes it a perfect programming language for you to learn as a hacker because your hacking efforts will typically involve working directly with operating systems and network protocols simultaneously. The Ultimate Python Programming Tutorial will have you writing code in no time at all.

If you are really interested in making a name for yourself as a hacker, volunteer to work on an open source project. There are open source projects written in Python (if that’s the language you are working on first) as well as in Java, C++, and pretty much any other language you can think of or might want to learn.

Speaking of Java and C++, these are other languages that you should learn to use effectively as a hacker. Java is used for many interactive websites and C++ is the foundation that the Windows operating system is built on. It only makes sense that you should have at least a basic understanding of these programming languages as a hacker.  You can learn more in the C++ Fundamentals course.

Although not really a programming language, you should also learn Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). This is the language of web pages and is often necessary when trying to hack a website. HTML5 Fundamentals teaches you how to create websites using HTML; information you can use to hack other websites.

Speaking of hacking websites, one of the most popular and effective website hacks is known as SQL injection. An SQL injection allows you to modify the contents of a websites database which could include information such as usernames and passwords and other personal data. In order to use SQL injection properly, you will need to have an understanding of PHP (another programming language) and MySQL databases.

Many web platforms, including WordPress CMS, are written in PHP. If you understand how PHP works, you can often manipulate blogs that use WordPress. You can learn more about using PHP and MySQL as a hacking tool in PHP and MySQL Fundamentals.

Build a Computer

Another useful skill to have as a hacker is the ability to build your own computers. This is beneficial for two reasons.

First, nothing will teach you more about how a computer works on the inside than building one yourself. This information comes in handy when you start getting into more advanced hacking topics, such as writing code in assembly language.

The second reason is that building a computer from scratch allows you to build much more powerful systems. Depending on what kind of hacking you intend to do, you may need large amounts of memory and processing power that are simply not available if you purchase your computer at a local retailer. Not to mention that building your computer is usually less expensive than buying one anyway.

Building a computer is something that everyone should experience at least once. This is even more important as you learn to become a proficient hacker. Build Your Own Computer covers everything from part selection to finally assemble.

Use a Different OS

It’s no secret that Windows computers make up a large percentage of the computers used in homes and businesses. In fact, you are probably reading this article on a Windows computer right now (at least the odds say you are).

What you will quickly learn as a hacker is that most large corporate systems and Web servers do not run on Windows. Many of them run on UNIX or Linux. Even search engine giant Google uses Linux servers. The only way to get accustomed to how these operating systems work is to use them.

Fortunately, Linux is free in most cases. Even better, it’s open source so you can modify the operating system as you see fit. This is a great way to learn OS hacking and it could become a very useful skill as you attempt to gain access to large corporate servers.

Understand Networking

Hackers rely almost exclusively on basic networking principles to access systems. After all, just about anyone can sit in front of a computer and pull information off of it. It takes the skills and knowledge of a hacker to do this same task remotely and anonymously.

If you have no networking experience, consider taking Computer Networking to learn networking basics. A course like this gives you a solid foundation that you can apply to various hacking scenarios throughout your hacking career.

Remember that being a hacker doesn’t necessarily mean performing illegal activities. There are many hackers who make a respectable living without breaking any laws. By using their knowledge, they find loopholes and vulnerabilities in existing systems, notify the companies with the vulnerabilities, and receive large bounty rewards for their efforts. Even major companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google all offer large cash rewards to hackers that discover vulnerabilities.

Who says you can’t make money and have fun at the same time!

Page Last Updated: September 2013

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