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I'm interested in learning some basic hacking; and I've read online that Linux is a good place to start. Although, I've been a Windows user for as long as I can remember. So I was hoping I could get a few tips and maybe even a good tutorial. Thanks! :)

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Welcome to the site! Are you asking for tutorial on linux? That's not the topic of this site - you could try over at serverfault - but I seriously doubt you'd get an instant tutorial, SE is not built or intended for that. If you're asking a specific question - it's not clear from what you wrote... –  AviD Apr 14 '11 at 20:51
    
I was asking for a tutorial on basic hacking. –  James Litewski Apr 14 '11 at 21:01
    
Erm. Linux != hacking. You said you wanted to learn how to hack, but then said you heard that Linux was a good place to start, so AviD then told you the better place to go find information on Linux. You should clarify your question. –  SteveS Apr 14 '11 at 21:05
    
@James, still not the place for it - SE is not a tutorials site, it's focused Q&A. Of course, if you get stuck on something specific we very much welcome any and all specific questions... In the meantime, why dont you search this site for pointers? The [ education ] tag specifically might help you find some good reading materials, books, sites, etc. –  AviD Apr 14 '11 at 21:05
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alright, i have to comment that noone has given him a lecture on IT Security vs. "hacking." –  Ormis Apr 14 '11 at 23:19
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closed as not a real question by AviD Apr 14 '11 at 21:38

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4 Answers

Go to local events where you can get hands-on and watch others.

In the Phoenix area, we have

You will want to attend DEFCON in Las Vegas and probably Toorcon in San Diego, because both are 6 hours drive-time from Phoenix. There is also LayerOne in Anaheim.

Online, you can take the Offensive-Security course called Penetration-Testing with BackTrack Online. However, I warn you that it is very grueling to learn the material and apply it in the labs -- I would assume 5 or 6 months and 19 hours a day, everyday -- even with resources such as a full subscription to SafariBooksOnline, where you can search for more information and read books online.

I suggest that you purchase a separate laptop, specifically for Linux. Make sure to get one that is highly compatible with BackTrack Linux. You will want to purchase a separate USB WiFi adapter, such as the Alfa AWUS036H (which is not quite obvious yet, but it's useful to learn the MITM network architecture concepts). If you have Windows installed on a desktop, laptop, or whatever else device -- be sure to install and heavily use Cygwin and/or MinGW, although perhaps you can research those later, when you've already installed and used BackTrack. If you can specify the type (laptop) or graphics chipset options to support CUDA (both NVIDIA and Intel's as options would be nice). Your card will probably be listed on that self-referencing wikipedia article.

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If you're looking for books on the topic I might recommend reading Kevin Mitnick's book: The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers.

This book gives a nice introduction to the concepts and the mindset one must be in to be a "hacker."

Another resource I found to be extremely helpful is the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) Certification Preparation Handbook. It outlines procedures that White-Hat professionals use to pen-test businesses which is related to this topic.

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First: Learn some basic programming skills. The better programmer you are the better hacker you will become.

Next I would look at vulnerable software, particularly vulnerable web applications. Google gruyere and OWASP's WebGoat which particularly is nice because its related to the OWASP top 10

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You are asking for a lot... I suggest that you start in a "corner" of this website hacking.

My suggestion is that you learn about differnt ways to "hack" a web site. XSS or SQL injection is a good area to start in. Read about what they can do and how and why it's possible. And if you feel you have a basic understanding of how XSS and SQL injection work then you can check out Hack This Site! they have a lot of exploitable sample sites and forums discussing them.

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