Cyber Security

Free Hacking Resources

March 8, 2016

Bita Beigishah

Are you learning to hack computers and need some guidance? Maybe you’ve been at it for years and are just looking for new quality free resources? This list of free hacking resources list of useful sites for hacking including general information, web sites to practice hacking on, free hacking tools, and more. I also have overall tips to help out the new hackers.

Note for Noobs

Before I get into this list of resources, please listen up newbies. Be sure to keep your wits about you on any forums, and don’t take a stranger’s word as gospel. Verify information they give you and no – don’t ever listen to someone telling you to delete system32 files on Windows to “fix” a problem.

Free Hacking Resources for Those Willing to Learn

Hack This Site

This website offers up basic to realistic hacking challenges for you to try and solve, and includes a large community base of people to share ideas and information. You’ll have to sign up to use HackThisSite, but it’s a well established site that can teach you plenty of useful things. Note that this does not require or have anything to do with Kali Linux. However, I recognize that not everyone has the resources to set up a practice lab, so this is a great alternative.

Hell Bound Hackers

This is a great informational forum for beginning and experienced hackers alike. There is a section of hacking challenges to practice with, including web applications, java exploits, and more. They also include assistance for the HTS (hack this site) challenges, so if you get stuck this is a great supplement. There are a lot of great articles on HellBound Hackers, so be sure to put this site to use!

Kali Linux Tutorials

For Kali Linux specific tutorials, this is your place. You’ll find all kinds of good stuff to begin with here, including more Windows XP hacks, SQL injection, Wireless attacks, and more. The guides on Kali Tutorials do a great job of walking you through various exploits, and are very beginner friendly.

Over The Wire

This is a cool little site that has you work through “war games”  that test your skills and knowledge in the given environment. These challenges include code analysis, cryptography, and more. Basically, these games are teaching you to find exploits that allow you to acquire a password to move on to the next level. Over the wire encourages you to do your own researching to solve the puzzles, as doing so will help strengthen your problem solving skills.

Smash the Stack

For more online war-gaming fun, check out smash the stack. There are quite a few to choose from, and again these games are meant to give you a legal means of practicing exploitation techniques against a vulnerable target. These are fantastic when you don’t have the means to set up a home penetration testing lab, and provide a nice supplement  to them if you do have one.

Official Kali Linux Forums

The Official Kali Forums are an awesome resource that you should familiarize yourself with right away. This is going to be your go to when you encounter technical problems while using Kali. This is a good place to keep up on Kali news, and there’s a nice list of community projects going on as well that you can follow. Be sure to actually join and take part in the community, and as your knowledge grows you can start contributing your own ideas.


This site provides all kinds of technical information, including of course hacking information. Honestly the sites design is a little dated by modern standards, but don’t be put off by that. You can dig up some good information in their repositories. 2600 has been around since 1984, so there’s plenty of cool historical information as well.

Tips for Beginner Hackers!

Save State on Virtual Machines

Those of you using virtual machines should be aware of the save state feature! If you set up a fresh virtual image of a target system, make a save state and name it something like “new install”. This way if you manage to break something within the target operating system you can just restore save state. In Virtual Box, there is a tab under the general options that I like to use to store my credentials for each machine. Of course you should make sure these don’t match up to any actual passwords you use, but this can come in handy if you should forget what password you set.

Isolate Vulnerable Practice Systems from the Internet

Keep your vulnerable practice systems isolated from the Internet. These could be exploited by someone else and used as a stepping stone to compromise other systems. If you really need them connected to the internet for some reason, consider placing them on a separate VLAN if possible. VLAN’s aren’t foolproof, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Learn Programming Languages

Learn to code. Supplement your skills! Plenty of people ask, “Do I need to know a programming language to be a hacker?“. The short answer is yes, but for now go have fun and see what you can break!

Never Stop Learning and Breaking Things

Try to understand how the tools you use work and why they work. Learn how networks function. Supplement your skills and don’t limit yourself. Now go have fun and see what you can break! 

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