The Path To Becoming An Ethical Hacker

by Sabe Barker

Posted on 19 December 2019

Many years ago in my early teens I became interested in hacking. This was a time when systems were easy to get into through basic techniques. They didn't seem so basic to me then but looking back on it now, they were.

But now, times have changed from those days in the mid 90’s. The simple problems are still the same. Misconfigurations, unpatched systems and weak passwords. But the landscape has evolved to something completely new. From malware techniques such as ransomware and cryptojacking to advanced persistent threat groups such as Fancy Bear and Stardust Chollima, attacks are more sophisticated and harder to detect.

Although I have been out of the game for over a decade I still have a strong interest in cybersecurity. So why didn’t I stick with it back in the day? Simply put, I got sidetracked. Kids, mortgage, all that life stuff. But after a major event in my life I have taken a hard look at where I am and where I want to be.

After a lot of thought the decision was made that cybersecurity is not only where I want to be it is where I need to be. It’s hard to explain but when I am doing anything related to cybersecurity I feel like myself again. The other side to that coin however is that whenever I do anything related to computer security I feel like a fraud. I feel like no matter what I do no matter the amount of knowledge I gain I feel like it isn’t enough. Like I should be doing more. I should know more.

As I write over time you will probably notice that I never refer to myself as a hacker. I’m not too sure if it is the old school mindset I have but you are not a hacker unless you are recognised as one by known hackers within the community. Hackers that have proven themselves to the community. From my experience it seems that everyone these days are calling themselves hackers.

Many that I have met seemed to have very limited knowledge but were still quite happy to call themselves a hacker even though they wouldn’t be able to hack their way out of a wet paper bag. I refuse to be one of those people.

Ok so I have gotten off track. Story of my life. Where were we? The Path To Becoming An Ethical Hacker, right! So like I have mentioned I want to get back into hacking. I want to get some certificates under my belt. CISSP, CEH, OSCP the usual culprits. But I don’t want this to be my main focus. Practical learning is key I feel. So I will get started at places like Hack The Box and VulnHub as well as building my confidence to enter capture the flag competitions in my local area.

On this site I will be keeping notes on various things I am learning and will be of a somewhat formal format. You will generally find these under the Writeups section. My Blog where you are currently located will contain more personal thoughts and rants as you are experiencing at this very moment (apologies). No formal structure here I will just write what is on my mind. Finally, the Tools section will be a directory of sorts listing tools that I have used with a little info about them and how I use them.

Maybe someone will find the info helpful, who knows. But my main goal here is to force myself to write stuff down to not only help with retaining information but also as a reference for myself in the future. I had tried to do this a few times with tools such as KeepNote and the likes but I either got over it or it became a huge mess. I thought this might be more fun and it might force me to be more organised. We will see.

I have attended my local Bsides for the last few years and have really enjoyed them so I will continue with that. As well as getting back to attending my local Sectalks group. Deal with some of that social anxiety I have got going on.

Anyways, I think I have written enough for my first post. If you have any feedback about the site hit me up. My social media links can be found at the top right of the site. I would love to know your thoughts.