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Thread: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

  1. #1
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    Arrow Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    I have been using backtrack 4 for a few months now. I have successfully been able to enable wireless adapters and crack many WEPS and i am very thankful for this compilation.
    I am looking to expand my skill-set and i would like to request the services of a mentor to teach a young eager mind the ins and outs of this amazing OS.

    I know there are a few tutorials and walk-throughs out there that can teach some of the things. But i was looking for more of a hands on approach.

    I should not that i'm in school for computer networking and security and i will graduate in about 2 months. I have already taken Linux and Advanced Linux so i know the basics of moving around and editing files, viewing them , moving them, etc, as well as how to navigate the GUI so i'm not a complete noob.

    I tried asking my instructors for advice but this seems to be over their heads. I also posted an add to hire someone to teach me on craigslist but i doubt i'll find anyone.

    I don't have much money to pay exactly but i a monetary compensation could be arranged for the right person willing to spend the time.

    Any advice or offers would be greatly appreciated. I hope i posted this in the right section, if not direct me as to where i should post this. Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator lupin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    OK a little bit of an unusual request, but lets see where it goes...

    What exactly did you want to be taught? You need to specify this if you want to attract a mentor with the right skills.

    What exactly do you expect from the mentor? You probably need to let this potential mentor know what they will be getting themselves in for, how much time they might need to spend on this, what sort of input you want from them. For example, whether you just expect them to point you to various existing resources or actually create them for you, whether you expect long email/chat/phone/in-person conversations with them, or just the occasional quick "yes thats right/no thats wrong" response.

    Those who are skilled enough to be really good mentors are probably already very busy, (or possibly very expensive) so being up front with exactly how much time of theirs you expect may be helpful. There may also be some people who might be interested in mentoring someone without financial reward, but these type of people would probably want an indication about how serious you are about the topic (are you just going to give up/lose interest, thereby wasting the mentors time), and how much hand holding you may require.
    Last edited by lupin; 12-15-2010 at 04:00 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member iproute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    Penetration testing With Backtrack course syllabus
    I have used this PDF as a focus guide. I focus on particular topics on the syllabus since it sort of guides your direction of learning, or at least makes sure you cover certain topics. I am currently self-studying these projects as I am unable to invest in the course itself. I highly recommend the syllabus as a "what should I learn next" manual. Then you'll be prepped to take the course and cert if you like too!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    Quote Originally Posted by lupin View Post
    OK a little bit of an unusual request, but lets see where it goes...

    What exactly did you want to be taught? You need to specify this if you want to attract a mentor with the right skills.

    What exactly do you expect from the mentor? You probably need to let this potential mentor know what they will be getting themselves in for, how much time they might need to spend on this, what sort of input you want from them. For example, whether you just expect them to point you to various existing resources or actually create them for you, whether you expect long email/chat/phone/in-person conversations with them, or just the occasional quick "yes thats right/no thats wrong" response.

    Those who are skilled enough to be really good mentors are probably already very busy, (or possibly very expensive) so being up front with exactly how much time of theirs you expect may be helpful. There may also be some people who might be interested in mentoring someone without financial reward, but these type of people would probably want an indication about how serious you are about the topic (are you just going to give up/lose interest, thereby wasting the mentors time), and how much hand holding you may require.
    Thank both of you for your swift reply. I have bookmarked that syllabus and i'll definitely be checking it out asap.

    As for more being more specific.
    I am more interested in the programs already built in. To be specific i noticed such things as password crackers like brute force attacks, dictionary, etc. I don't really know anything about them so i don't even know where to begin or how to test it in a lab environment. I have my own laptop and a desktop at my disposal so i'd love to set up a password to break. But i don't know how it works, or if i can try it on the web, or what the limitations are and the pro's n cons of the different programs out there. I saw other things like network monitors. I want to know about , ...well everything built in, what's a waste of time and what's important, and why, and for what situations.
    I am willing to dedicate any amount of time and effort into this. I don't know if i stated this before but my funds are pretty limited but i can scrape together what i need to if need be. I guess i'd prefer to make a friend out there willing to help out an eager mind.

    My ideal situation would be someone i could talk to either through AIM , or another chat medium, or via phone, or email. Preferably have ways i can test the different programs successfully.

    I hope that answers your question, if not please let me know and i'll digress further.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Archangel-Amael's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    You should definitely check out our faq, (links below). There is a lot of ways one could lead this thread, however I would suggest you to look into the offensive-security.com courses.
    Further this is outside of the scope of this forum but check into twitter and Security Twits This will lead you to more resources.
    To be successful here you should read all of the following.
    ForumRules
    ForumFAQ
    If you are new to Back|Track
    Back|Track Wiki
    Failure to do so will probably get your threads deleted or worse.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator lupin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    Some more questions. What is your ultimate aim from this learning? Do you have a career goal or are you doing it out of interest? If a career goal - what is the goal?
    Capitalisation is important. It's the difference between "Helping your brother Jack off a horse" and "Helping your brother jack off a horse".

    The Forum Rules, Forum FAQ and the BackTrack Wiki... learn them, love them, live them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    The Extinction of Hackers

    Abstract

    The Hacker community looks at the end of their era. The reason is not the always-propagated 1985 type of government, which we surely see in many places being perfected. Neither is it the big evil corporations hunting down and suing all the hackers, preventing freedom of speech and teaming up with the evil governments. The reason is something so simple that most of the people in the community would never notice it: there is no young blood to speak of. The entire community ages linear with the people who developed it to what it is now. At the same time, the technology and the respective hacker techniques get more complicated, complex and demanding, so that there is almost no chance any more to grow apprentice hackers.
    Introduction

    I call myself a hacker. It�s a title I carry with pride. It�s a title I looked up to when I wasn�t entitled to name myself one. I decided for myself when I was ready for the title, and honestly, I don�t remember anymore when and why this happened. There will always be people who do not think I�m worth the title and there seam to be some thinking I am.
    The term Hacker has many sides and facets and everyone likes some of it and doesn�t like others. There are the aspects describing wizard like handling of technology, the black magic of breaking into computers and networks. There is the question of using these skills to do good or evil and the definition of what good or evil is. For many people, especially in what they call the scene, there is also the lifestyle.
    It doesn�t matter if you think of hackers as the ones who write viruses and worms, the ones who wear black all the time and are rarely seen without their laptop computer, the people who publish security issues with all kinds of software and make the companies fix them for free or the ones who protect your personal data from being distributed all over the government and industry by showing the same that it�s not secure to do so. You might even think of hackers as the ones who broke into all your web sites and replaced the start page with an ugly text making fun of you.
    At the end, it doesn�t change the fact that the hacker community did have an important role to play in the rise of the Internet (no, not just the Web). It�s hard to say what the whole Dotcom time would have been without people constantly breaking all the fancy new stuff. Or do you want to drive a car where only the manufacturer tested it and told you it will be perfectly safe for you. Ford Explorer anyone?
    Anyhow, for the purpose of this text, think of hackers as renegade computer experts and take my word for it that we need them. If you don�t, there is no point in reading the remaining text.
    Random observations





    The following is a list of random observations, just to draw the sceptic reader into the picture:
    • <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>The last hacker event I attended (less than a month ago) had an average age of almost 30 and people were congratulating each other for still hacking. <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>From all hackers I know personally, only two or three are less than 20 years old. <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>On a closed, so-called �elite� email list, a fellow hacker was celebrated for solving a simple task in Visual Basic. Any junior hacker proposing the same would have been crucified for it. <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>All new members of established hacker groups I heard of in the last two years were over 25 years old. <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>Everyone I know trying to get into hacking has the primary goal of writing buffer overflow exploits. Most of them don�t actually know why this is their final goal and almost all give up before reaching it. <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>Every presentation I did on the topic of hacker development had an audience full of 30+ people. <LI style="mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list 36.0pt" class=MsoNormal>Every young hacker I know either got tired of the community and left or stopped hacking in favour of just hanging out and talking.
    • There hasn�t been any groundbreaking works in the last two years, except for one technique, which was developed by a teenage hacker.
    If you don�t see a pattern emerging or don�t think this pattern has a bitter taste to it, you should probably consider reading something else now.
    Some will now question if there is really a problem and if my random observations actually reflect the real world. The only thing I can say is: look around you. How many speakers at conferences you visit are younger than 22 years? Only a few years ago, I attended conferences with more than 5 speakers being teenagers. Today, there are none. That alone should speak for itself.
    Unsorted list of reasons

    So the obvious question is: why is the community aging so badly and why don�t we see smart, aggressive, young blood taking over from the old farts?
    Late starts

    One of the more obvious reasons may be the age at which people start hacking. Although all the old farts in the scene will state differently, hacking has its peak of fascination when you are a teenager, and that�s not a bad thing.
    Teenagers can dream a lot more than people in the twenties can. There is still time to think about the boring parts of life later: learning, graduating, finding a job and earning money. Getting into hacking is almost completely different than getting seriously into computers. But both have something in common: you need to play around a lot, which takes a lot of time and dedication. This dedication is hard to muster when you are an adult. But the dream of having the power to access any computer system on earth you want can result in a lot of dedication in a teenager. And, this dream is a lot more realistic than becoming a rock star.
    There is also the fact that nobody really knows how one learns hacking from the ground up. The teenage hackers just play around and after a couple of years they suddenly are hackers. When being asked how to become a hacker, many people just don�t have any answer. Those of us who spent some time thinking about it will answer with a list of skills you need. This list tends to be large enough to keep a reasonable intelligent person busy until retirement. Interestingly enough, following such a list does not produce hackers.
    The third advantage for teenagers is knowledge or the lack thereof. It is common wisdom that knowledge and experience gets in the way when you try to be creative. People tent to imitate themselves when they found something works. Teenage hackers don�t have this limitation. Teenagers developed many of the great breakthroughs in attack techniques on all fronts. Often in computer security, the trick is to be not impressed with the defences or the odds of getting in. If you think you know how much work a specific attack is, you either don�t do it because it�s trivial or you don�t do it because it�s too much work. But if you don�t know, you just do it.
    Fact is, very little teenagers are getting into hacking in the last five years, and if they do, other aspects prevent them from becoming any good. Keep reading.
    Stupid statements

    Interestingly, some of the old farts actually realise the problem, but offer an easy excuse why it exists and why they cannot do anything about it:
    "The young hackers did not build their first computer, but got it for xmas with Windows preinstalled and a lot of computer games. They cannot understand the fundamentals, therefore, they cannot become good hackers."
    This is arrogant bullshit. Just because a young hacker startet with Windows98 and his first programming attempts were in HTML, it does not mean anything. It's a different way to get startet, not the wrong way. Besides, the old farts stating something like that wouldn't be able to program for shit, even if their life would depend on it. So why bother listening to them.
    The Meritocracy

    A commonly agreed upon fact is that the hacker community is a meritocracy. This means that your rank in the community depends mainly on how much �magic hacker points� you collected. It should be obvious that I�m not referring to an official counting scheme but rather to a rating in the perception of other hackers.
    There is a major problem with that approach: the jury. The community is clustered around a relatively small number of fairly well known people. These people almost exclusively influence the joint opinion of the community. But these people are all part of the old farts club. For an apprentice hacker, it�s hard or almost impossible to be recognised as good or outstanding without impressing the old farts club.
    Now, the established leaders of the hacker community often have very little interest in .....................

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lupin View Post
    Some more questions. What is your ultimate aim from this learning? Do you have a career goal or are you doing it out of interest? If a career goal - what is the goal?
    My goal? Well, i don't really have one. I'm not out to break into anything specific, or test the limits. I simply realize the untapped potential of this operating system and want to master it. It really isn't much deeper then that. And potentially maybe the things i learn today can help me tomorrow.
    I had aspirations of becoming a Ethical Hacker, but considering it's almost impossible to break into that field without dedicating thousands of dollars on school(which i don't have) i don't really have any career goals, infact i feel pretty lost. Guess that's why i'd like to make myself as best as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by compaq View Post
    Sorry it took so long, i just finished reading this. It's pretty eye opening, but i won't let this discourage me. I am 22 years old and I'm in school for Computer networking and Security. I already am armed with the knowledge of linux, basic scripting and i've been reading books on website building in my spare time. I'm only 22 years old and i don't even a have a job, i go to school 3 nights a week and my dad pays my rent, i have the time and the dedication to go at this head on. I've done enough acid in my life to stay open minded to new ideas and produce my own.
    After reading this article i only feel inspired to open my own hackers academy. A place where i can teach young teens the ins and outs of hacking, set up lab environments to test eah cothers skills and hold exercises to produce new codes and ways to advance hacking to the next level. It might just be a dream but i think it's respectable.
    Last edited by Archangel-Amael; 12-16-2010 at 07:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Junior Member laptopz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    In my opinion mastering google is a good start. Since u have this copy/pasting each line into google will give you a fair amount of knoledge, which will help u accomplish your goals (i haven`t heard of anyone who knows more than google and which in the other hand is out of logic since it`s free)
    If anything can go wrong, it will....

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    Default Re: Where should i turn for advice/lessons?

    Quote Originally Posted by laptopz View Post
    In my opinion mastering google is a good start. Since u have this copy/pasting each line into google will give you a fair amount of knoledge, which will help u accomplish your goals (i haven`t heard of anyone who knows more than google and which in the other hand is out of logic since it`s free)
    Yeah i know i can learn alot ,probably around 75% from google, but i was really hoping to find a teacher or someone who could really help me when i have a more specific question, and someone who can think of ways for me to test most of these things legally in a simulated environment(that i can built myself)

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