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Essential Skills for Hackers

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Essential Skills for Hackers is about the skills you need to be in the elite hacker.

Some people, when they actually go and try to hack, think of it in terms of what they see in an application. What we want to do as hackers and, more importantly, as security professionals however is to be able to look at different layers of the model and understand it at the lower layers, the physical layer.

We’re talking about the open system interconnect OSI model, which we’ll cover. What that model does is it allows us to break down each functionality of the network from the time it becomes bits of either voltage or light depending on if you’re in fiber or on copper, and then as it goes up through the process until it gets to the application layer that the user sees.

I want to talk mainly about two things: TCP/IP 101. That is we want to understand: TCP/IP, as well as the alphabet. This is very important when it comes to hacking because everything we’re going to do, unless we physically sit down on the machine, is going to require network traffic. So the better the hacker, the more we will be able to master TCP/IP.

And then we’re going to talk about protocol analysis. Once we understand what TCP/IP is, what it looks like, we’re going to go into protocol analysis and how analyzing the protocol or, in a more general sense, looking at packets on the wire, we will be able to determine what exactly is taking place on a network. By doing this, we can identify when something on the network doesn’t match what it should and, more importantly, we can create any type of sequence of events or packets that we want on the network and see how the defenses or the machines that we send them to react. And that’s the power of doing TCP/IP protocol analysis. So let’s go ahead and get started.

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