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5 Steps to Get Started Hacking and CTFing

1. Install and Learn Linux

Linux is a hackable, and convenient operating system. The internals of it are very interesting, and the foundation for a lot of engineering. But, they don’t concern you much right now. You just have to be able to navigate around in it, install programs, and run programs. A virtual machine is easiest.

# Absolute basics
ls - list directory contents
cd [path] - change directory to [path]
pwd - print working (current) directory
man [command- pull up the manual for [command]
cat [filename] - print [filename] contents
mv [from_filename] [to_filename] - move a file
cp [from_filename] [to_filename] - copy a file
rm [filename] - remove a file
nano [filename] - open a file for editting

2. Learn Python and C

My advice is to learn the syntax, and then go further in depth by actually programming with it. Some books are fairly decent too.

Syntax

https://learnxinyminutes.com/docs/python3/
https://learnxinyminutes.com/docs/c/

Language

https://automatetheboringstuff.com/chapter0/

3. Learn some basics, and the landscape

There’s a collection of great CTF videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClcE-kVhqyiHCcjYwcpfj9w/videos. Each of them is ~5-10 minutes. Additionally, it’s very interesting and useful to read write-ups of previous CTF challenges. They give you the mindset, and teach you the skills necessary, here’s a basic set: https://ehsandev.com/pico2014/

4. Collect some tools

Security is a very tool oriented field. It’s a good idea to know what tools are out there, and make some of them part of your arsenal.

CTF oriented

https://github.com/isislab?page=1 https://github.com/Gallopsled/pwntools

General security oriented

https://github.com/eugenekolo/sec-tools https://github.com/eugenekolo/win-sec-tools https://github.com/zardus/ctf-tools

5. Follow what interests you

Whether it’s: game hacking, web security, competing in CTF competitions, cryptography, reverse engineering, or whatever that interests you, it’s up to you to continue learning about it.

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