Hacking Rhetoric

Red post Sept 8th


            The one thing that popped into my mind when I was listening to the explanation about white, gray, and black hat hackers was: how on earth does an individual get started?  Is there a website that gives advice or shows you what to do for beginners?  Is there some website that is set up for you to try your skills like practice locks for beginner lock pickers?  Or is it something that comes natural to someone as it was for me when I started to learn how to shoot a gun?  For me who is not really familiar with anything outside the normal functions of a computer or websites on the internet finds it extremely hard to know how someone has the passion one day to figure out how everything works.  Don’t get me wrong I admire such a drive, but even looking at websites, like my online bank account, I wonder: where do you start?  Is there a separate window or program you have to use?  Does it look like the green screens of what they show in movies?  So I started searching online on forums and stories of people and how they started their passion for hacking.  I forgot who mentioned it in class, but they were right in the fact that the term initially started out as someone who modified code and evolved into the negative connotation it is today.  Asking a few of my military and computer science friends, I’ve found a website called “Code Academy” and for a few minutes started playing with it.  The purpose of it is to teach people the basics of coding.  How far it goes or how in depth it goes is still beyond me, but in any case I hope it gives me an introduction.  If anyone else is interested, here is the link: http://www.codecademy.com

It won’t teach you how to hack, but maybe gives you the foundations to understand how it works.  


3 thoughts on “Red post Sept 8th

  1. I’ll second the Codecademy recommendation — I’d heard it suggested multiple times over years and finally signed up a few weeks ago, so I’m currently working on their Python course (for a project I’m working on). It’s a pretty chilled-out environment with a friendly teaching tone. Worth a look, if you’re interested in trying to learn a programming or markup (I’m pretty sure they have HTML, although I haven’t checked) language.

    And … we will be looking at and playing on some sites that do claim to teach you to hack later on in the semester 🙂

  2. When I started taking computer science in high school, it was very fascinating to see how my programs were able to run after writing lines and lines of simple codes and algorithms. My end project was an animation clip of Star Wars penguins (Jedi vs Darth Vader) fighting with light sabers. Of course, the art was very elementary school like because of the time constraints and basic knowledge of coding. So, I started with an instructor and textbooks using Java. That program allowed me to compile all my lines of coding into a program. So, it was a separate window in my case. My knowledge of “hacking” ends there. While I have never hacked any computers before, coding something successfully had a good feeling of accomplishment. Thanks for the link. I’ll try it sometime.

  3. In regards to getting started, I would say that there is indeed a very specific personality type that is likely to seek out and succeed in this arena. There is a particular type of person that seeks to understand everything they interact with on a daily basis. Yes, you swipe your credit card at 7-11, your transaction is approved, the clerk hands you your goods, and money magically vanishes from your accounts. But how does all this happen? What happens if I do something that is unexpected, like encoding a credit card number that is longer than expected onto a magstripe and attempting a purchase? Can I convince the machine to do something other than what it is supposed to do? These are the questions that lead to investigating the operation of these devices we all take for granted. One final word: if you seek out knowledge with sufficient dedication, you always find it.

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