Skills required to become a Hacker!

In the last post I wrote about who a hacker is. But to become one, what skills does one require? Let’s see how a hacker would approach this problem statement! Primarily we will figure out what it is that we want to hack. For instance, in our case we want to hack computers and networks. So first off, we will make a network diagram.

basic network diagram

To hack anything, we ought to understand how it works in advance. To cite an example- Let’s presume that someone sent a file from a mobile phone to a computer, or to someone on the Internet, and you want to intercept it or retrieve it directly from the computer or the Web Server. For that, this is what you need to know:-

  1. Operating systems and hardware:

    To hack computers we should have an understanding of the system: how it works, how to navigate it, how to troubleshoot etc. There are various types of operating systems; Windows, GNU/linux (I’ll be writing it as linux only), Android, Mac OS etc. Most of the hackers prefer linux as it provides the user with more control and flexibility; furthermore,it is a great way to learn system internals and networking. But I strongly recommend that you learn about other operating systems as well, and not just linux.

  2. Computer networking and networking devices:

    Even before entering into the network, the file is first converted into various small chunks of data that are known as ‘data packets’, and by following different protocols and algorithms it then enters into the network. Eventually, it goes to your router and then finally, it is sent to your computer. To retrieve it in between the journey you should know how it is being travelled, where it is being travelled to, which stops the file will make in between, etc. For this, you need the knowledge of networking and networking devices.

  3. Programming:

    Suppose you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to perform application testing or website penetration or even if you just need to write your own tool, Being equipped with programming and coding skills can be beneficial. It provides you with flexibility.

Moving forward, this is just a broad overview of the skill sets that you need and that are enough to get you started in the field of cybersecurity. If you are interested in some specialized tracks in security, now that you know what skills are required, just dive deep into those areas.

Next, let’s talk about the skills which aren’t technical and are often overlooked by beginners but are very important!These skills will not only help you with security, but will also help you in your life.

  1. Communication Skills:

    Having the skill to present your thoughts so that everyone around you can understand what you want to convey, is a very underrated and important trait. This reduces miscommunication, thus smoothening the process and reducing the time wasted.

  2. Problem Solving:

    You will encounter many problems where you will find it difficult to resolve them But if you learn how to use your analytical skills, you can approach such problems more efficiently and effectively. It takes time, practice and experience to strengthen this skill.

  3. Creative Thinking:

    Often you will find yourself in situations where a simple looking problem can’t be solved by traditional means, and to solve that problem you’ll need to experiment with some different approaches. And to recognize which approach works the best, you’ll need to imply creative thinking.

  4. Persistence:

    You might not achieve something or you might not be able to hack something in the first try, but you should not quit. Persistence is the key to success and success belongs to those who dare!

  5. Curiosity:

    Last but not the least, curiosity is the skill that can turn any mundane process into an interesting one. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved. Just keep your eyes and mind open. Question things and seek answers!

And these were my two cents! Remember we can not ‘read’ in a skill, we need to practice it to master it. So keep practicing folks!

Written on March 8, 2021