3 Things no book about hacking will ever tell you

There are tons of books which 'teach' you on how to become a hacker. Some boast to make you a hacker in XX number of days, or brag about being authored by the greatest experts in the field, or some other commercial mumbo-jumbo.

But is there any great wisdom in those books? No, and they are not even good at teaching technology.

Here is what hacking books will NEVER tell you:

  • Being a hacker requires a HUGE amount of learning - All hacking books tell you that you need a lot programming knowledge, a lot of TCP/IP knowledge, and some of them will try to cover the basics. So look around you, these guys are usually the 'gurus' at this and that company, and have a much nicer title - usually it's infrastructure architect, chief designer or something along those lines. And these guys became that by working overtime, nighttime, at home, over weekends, missed vacations and built systems from the ground up. It took a lot of dedication and a whole lot of time to reach that kind of knowledge.
  • Being a hacker is very rarely (if ever) a glamorous thing - Most hacking activities are not legal, therefore the prominent or established hacker has to watch his/hers back, remain undercover and rarely trust anyone. Even if you employ your skills for patriotic or political goals, you'll be a hero somewhere, but an enemy elsewhere. Oh, and noone will ever make a movie of your achievements and exploits!!!
  • There are few people which earn a legal salary as hackers - hackers are usually hired to do 'dirty' jobs, or at least jobs of questionable legality. So apart from earning money, these jobs leave the hacker always looking over his/her shoulder for investigators or the police. If you are thinking about penetration testing, think again - hackers are not hired outright for such jobs since penetration testing consent requires an enormous amount of trust in the pen-tester. These jobs are mostly landed by 'white-hat' pen-testers with excellent public track record.

On the other hand, if you maintain your learining and studying to be a hacker, you will build excellent technical expertise. Focusing your skills not as a hacker, but as a technical expert will bring you a good name, a lot of conferences where you'll do presentations and a lot of contacts in the expert field of IT.

Talkback and comments are most welcome

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