Ethical Hacking Tutorials

How I learned Hacking, and my tips for fast-tracking the learning journey πŸ’»

I have been hacking (ethically, legally, and responsibly) for several years now. Here are my top three steps for becoming an ethical hacker.

Read this bit first

πŸ‘‰ I stronglyΒ condemn any illegal use of this material as is outlined in my legal disclaimer. There are plenty of responsible applications for this content, and it is here to inform ethical hackers, penetration testers, and anyone who is intrigued as to how systems are compromised. Remember the golden rule and THINK before you type. πŸ‘ˆ

By day, I am a web developer who has worked on websites that collectively attract tens of thousands of visitors every month. By night, I am an ethical hacker always on the hunt to find the latest exploits and vulnerabilities.Β 

I coded my first website at 14/15 – don’t get me wrong, it was literally a bare HTML and CSS local host file that was simply horrific – which set the foundations for a career as a web developer. I have worked as a full-time web developer for four years, and I have been through plenty of highs and lows during this period.Β 

But my real aspirations have always been to make the transition towards becoming full-time ethical hacker, otherwise known as penetration tester, and for over 5 years I have trained extensively in the art of both defensive and offensive security. In this short guide, I will explain the exact methodologies I have used to learn cybersecurity quickly and effectively.Β 

1) Get started with Udemy & YouTube

Don’t underestimate the power of online platforms such as YouTube and Udemy – they are how I got my start. Thanks to modern technology, anyone from anywhere with an internet connection can access a vast amount of information available online. It is truly astounding how many online courses and tutorial videos are in existence, and the increasing number of Cybersecurity training content available online.

These online platforms can give you the foundation you need to make your start. I have a few recommendations of YouTube Channels that every ethical hacker can benefit from: John Hammond, David Bomball, Mental Outlaw, and HackerSploit (who seems to have disappeared from the earth :'(). There are many more YouTube channels that I would recommend, but these are a great start.Β 

Next, go buy yourself a couple of Udemy courses. Never buy a Udemy course at full price, as they literally do a sale at least once per week where you can buy courses for as little as Β£11.99.

If I were to start from scratch, I would recommend the courses from ZSecurity for entry-level ethical hacking, and then StationX for entry-level defensive cybersecurity and counter-surveillance.Β 

I recommend picking up a programming language, which can be super useful as an ethical hacker. Python is a great language for this purpose, and I recommend this course to cover both.

My general advice is to complete at least five Udemy courses and watch a tonne of YouTube videos to learn the fundamental principles of cybersecurity: from XSS to Buffer Overflows.

I should also mention that Podcasts are a great way to learn cybersecurity. I recommend the Darknet Diaries Podcast to help you get started.

2) Read Books, blogs textbooks, online posts, and documentation

Books, textbooks, and comprehensive online resources provide in-depth coverage of foundational concepts, methodologies, and techniques in ethical hacking. By delving into these materials, aspiring ethical hackers can gain a comprehensive understanding of various cybersecurity principles, from network security to cryptography, laying a solid groundwork for their journey.

I have personally read plenty of Cybersecurity-related books, and I am in the process of writing a post about my personal favourites.

Blogs, online posts, and forums, such as the Aitken Security Cybersecurity Blog offer a platform for cybersecurity professionals and enthusiasts to share their insights, experiences, and best practices. Engaging with diverse perspectives and real-world scenarios through these mediums allows aspiring ethical hackers to glean valuable insights, learn from others’ successes and failures, and stay abreast of emerging trends and threats in the cybersecurity landscape.

Many online resources provide step-by-step tutorials, walkthroughs, and hands-on exercises that allow individuals to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios. By following along with these tutorials and experimenting in controlled environments, aspiring ethical hackers can develop practical skills, hone their problem-solving abilities, and gain confidence in their abilities to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities.

Documentation and manuals for various cybersecurity tools, frameworks, and platforms serve as invaluable references for ethical hackers. These resources offer detailed instructions, usage guidelines, and troubleshooting tips, enabling individuals to leverage tools effectively in their ethical hacking endeavors. Whether exploring network scanning tools, penetration testing frameworks, or cryptographic libraries, thorough understanding of documentation empowers ethical hackers to utilise technology to its fullest potential.

3) Progress to Capture The Flag competitions

Once you have learned the foundations, I recommend moving on to online hacking competitions; the next milestone on your ethical hacking journey.

While theoretical knowledge and practical skills are indispensable, it is the crucible of real-world challenges provided by these competitions that truly forges ethical hackers into adept cybersecurity professionals.

Through a blend of collaboration, innovation, and relentless problem-solving, participants not only sharpen their technical acumen but also cultivate a hacker mindset essential for navigating the complexities of cybersecurity.

CTF competitions provide a platform for ethical hackers to apply their theoretical knowledge and practical skills in simulated real-world scenarios. Participants are tasked with solving a variety of challenges spanning different domains of cybersecurity, including cryptography, reverse engineering, web exploitation, binary exploitation, and more. By actively engaging with these challenges, participants gain hands-on experience, sharpen their problem-solving abilities, and learn to think critically and creatively when faced with complex cybersecurity problems.

I personally recommend Hack The Box – which appears to be the online market leader – as your first CTF platform. There are plenty of other vendors available to, such as TryHackMe.

As you become more experienced in your ethical hacking career, there are even competitions such as Hack A Sat, where teams are challenged to hack a real SATELLITE orbiting Earth.Β 

Conclusion: a future-proof career path

In an era of AI and Machine Learning, Ethical Hacking is a career path that is here to stay, and competent cybersecurity professionals are the order of the day.Β 

Through a holistic approach encompassing formal education, practical experience, and active engagement with the cybersecurity community, aspiring ethical hackers can equip themselves with the tools, skills, and mindset necessary to navigate the complexities of the cybersecurity landscape effectively. Whether through formal training programmes, hands-on experimentation, or participation in Capture The Flag (CTF) competitions, every step taken on this journey brings individuals closer to realising their potential as ethical hackers and defenders of digital ecosystems.

Be sure to subscribe to the Aitken Cybersecurity Newsletter for more ethical hacking tutorials.Β 

Hey! Can we make it official? 😘

I would love to share my latest ethical hacking, defensive security, OSINT, and anonymity guides with you. But I’ll need you to trust me with something… your email address. I promise not to spam you, and you can count on me to keep your data safe πŸ˜‡

More Hacking Guides

Hacking Computers With Powershell Empire πŸ’€πŸ”“

How I learned Hacking, and my tips for fast-tracking the learning journey πŸ’»

This is how I hack WiFi networks πŸ₯·

How I hack websites using BurpsuiteπŸ’»

Nmap: an essential tool for hacking βœ…

Hacking websites with WPScan 🧐

Fifteen Steps to maximising firefox privacy πŸ”’βœ…

Download the complete FireFox checklist that I give to my counter-surveillance clients – completely free of charge! I will take you step-by-step through advanced Firefox Configurations that will help you maximise your privacy, security and anonymity.Β 

Enter your details below and I will email it to you straight away. And don’t worry, your data is safe with me πŸ˜‡

Access free subscriber only content 😘

I would love to share my latest ethical hacking, defensive security, OSINT, and anonymity guides with you. But I’ll need you to trust me with something… your email address. Your data will be encrypted and I will never sell it to third parties πŸ˜‡

UK Cybersecurity Company

About Aitken Security

Aitken Security is a UK Cybersecurity Company specialising in offensive and defensive security.