Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Basic Computer Configurations and Defense Programs to Start Hacking

This is the 2nd of a series of tutorials on how to start on your hacking journey. So, if you're reading this, you might wanna read first my tutorial about The Basics of Hacking 101. There are lot's of tutorials out here on how to be a hacker, like my first tutorial, so now, let's dive a little bit deeper into the technical aspect as how to be a hacker.

Tonight, we're gonna talk about some basic computer configurations and security measures for you to be safe in your hacking deeds. Well, the cyber-world is similar to the real world, where many crimes are committed everyday, and you don't wanna be the target of stupid skids, and also, you don't want cops outside your door if ever you did something stupid, out of curiosity, of course.

I would like to discuss to you some basic computer configurations, as well as some basic defense programs which you MIGHT like to start with, since I guess these series of tutorials are DEDICATED for new members.

So, let's start.

What is the "Limit" of your Machine?

First of all, before you do anything else, you must know what is the "limit" or capacity of your computer. You should know the basic specifications of your computer like the memory size of the RAM and the HDD, how fast is your processor, how good is your graphics card, etc.

After you've done a background check of your machine, you're now more aware of the limits of your computer, so you know what you CAN do and what you CAN'T do with it, so as not to mess it up.

What are the Essential Software you need to Install in your Machine?

This tutorial is based mainly on the Windows OS, for the very simple reason that it is the MOST COMMONLY USED OS nowadays, so every software that will be discussed here are all compatible for Windows, but not guaranteed for other OS like Macs and Linux (although some of them are compatible).
  • Anti-Virus Program
    Now, this is your first line of defense, and is really essential for every computer user (even non-hackers). HF users can't bypass it using crypters, but for the sake of this tutorial, I'm adding it up to the list just for maintenance and your first line of defense for skids.

    I assume you know the purpose of this program according to its name. So now, I'm just gonna give you links on free and paid AVs that I can consider good.
    Avast Free Anti-Virus (Official Site)
    Avira Free Anti-Virus (Official Site)
    AVG Free Anti-Virus (Official Site)
    ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus (Official Site)
    Kaspersky Internet Security (Official Site)

    Do note that the paid ones have cracks and exploits all over the Internet, so feel free to use them. However, I really don't recommend them since they might be infected themselves.
  • Virtual Machine
    Nowadays, even AVs, or anti-virus programs are not really effective that effective, because many computer virus/malware/spyware still get past through it. And being a hacker, you're always prone to those nasty things, mainly because, oftentimes, you are now the one creating them.

    But, there's a problem. Working with viruses, malware/spyware-creating programs might cause loss of valuable data if you're working with only one main computer. Fortunately, there is a software called Virtual Machine, in which you can create a virtual OS inside your main OS. Unlike dual-booting in Linux, Virtual Machines, or simply VMs, are very flexible, because you can install any type of OS in it. Why do we need to use a VM anyway, when we can REALLY avoid or prevent our main OS to be infected with viruses/malwares/spywares? Well, it's for added security because of its feature that it creates the virtual OS from an isolated part of your hard disk, so once your virtual OS gets infected, you can LITERALLY delete it's "virtual hard drive", then just re-install your virtual OS again. Also, you can configure your VM to have a definite amount of RAM to be shared with the main OS, so that it won't cover up the space needed by the main OS to run itself AND the VM.

    The only disadvantage of having a VM is that it eats up a lot of your memory space, so if you don't have the appropriate hardware requirements, it could get a little bit disappointing in terms of its performance.

    To install a Virtual Machine, I would highly recommend you use VMWare Player, or you could buy VMWare Workstation.
    Here's the link: VMWare Player Download (Official Site)
  • Sandboxie
    Now, after installing VM as your first layer of security for your main OS, it will also serve as your "laboratory", so it must also has it's own defenses.

    That's where Sandboxie comes in. Sandboxie, coming from the word "sandbox", is a sandbox program (of course). A sandbox is a program which is used to run other programs in it, especially suspicious programs. It runs the programs on an isolated part of the hard drive, so that once the file is diagnosed as infected, you can easily terminate the program, thus infection will be avoided.

    Also, you can install this on your main OS, for the main reason of server testing. You can test your servers on the VM, but it's much better to test the servers in the main OS via Sandboxie, to know if they really work.

    Here's the download link for Sandboxie: Sandboxie Download (Official Site)
  • MalwareBytes
    Of course, just for precautions, because you're still new and probably can't fix some infection problems manually, you still need an anti-virus software or a malware-protection software, even if many viruses still get pass through them, they're still worth to have.

    MalwareBytes is the choice among the users here in HF, mainly because it doesn't JUST delete your stuffs if it's infected. Well, basically, almost every tool/program for hacking is considered virus/malware/spyware, so regular AVs would just automatically delete them, except MalwareBytes.

    Well, this program also used for cleaning your computer with test installs that have been accidentally executed without Sandboxie, or unwanted installs which may be caused by your own curiosity.

    Here's the download link for MalwareBytes: MalwareBytes Download (Official Site)
  • (Optional) COMODO Firewall
    For added security, you can also use a separate firewall program besides the essential Windows Firewall. This is ONLY INSTALLED in the main OS, just for added protection.

    Here's the link for COMODO Firewall: COMODO Firewall Download (Official Site)

    COMODO Firewall is a good monitoring program for outbound and inbound connections. This could give you a sign that you're infected or not. Also, it is compatible with other AVs, so you don't have to worry about software incompatibility.
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network)
    As a hacker, you would want to stay as anonymous as possible whenever you're doing some exploit. Well, basically, you just want to stay anonymous so that you won't have to worry about the cops knocking at your door.

    A VPN is used for this kind of purposes. There are many VPNs existing as of today, but only a few are used by members here on HF.

    One is CyberGhost. It has a free and paid subscription, so it's up to you to choose. Unfortunately, for free subscription, you can't forward ports, which you'll need when you are using a RAT (Remote Administration Tool).

    Another good VPN which have a free subscription is HotSpotShield, although it is not recommended because they keep logs (but to tell you honestly, EVERY VPN KEEPS LOGS, even if they claim they don't, they just delete them from time to time like nVPN). Another thing, if your VPN claims they don't keep logs, it's half true, and even if they don't, their ISP does.

    Another free VPN is proXPN, but it also keeps logs, so be careful if you would use it.

    Another one is OpenVPN, which is mainly used to download tools/files from survey sites.

    Another free VPN is VPNReactor, but if I'm not mistaken, they're also keeping logs, so another caution if you're going to use this VPN.

    For paid VPNs, nVPN is good, plus the advantage of it's portforwarding feature. It is mainly used for RATs.

    For download of the VPNs mentioned above, here are the links:
    CyberGhost VPN Download (Official Site)
    HotSpotShield VPN Download (Official Site)
    proXPN VPN Download (Official Site)
    OpenVPN Download (Official Site)
    VPNReactor Download (Official Site)
    nVPN Download (Official Site)
  • WinPatrol
    Each program that runs in your computer can be monitored via Task Manager. Unfortunately, virus/malware/spyware nowadays have the ability to hide in the Processes Tab in the Task Manager, or even disguise itself as a system program like svchost.exe, so it's harder to see.

    Fortunately, there are programs whose task are only dedicated for monitoring processes of a computer, and a good one is WinPatrol. It gives you a detailed list of every process that runs inside your computer, so you can easily spot any suspicious program.

    Here's the link to download WinPatrol: WinPatrol Download (Official Site)

Other Computer Configurations and Reminders

There are some computer configurations that you need to do to achieve the best of your hacking experience.

First of all, especially if you are going to RAT someone, TURN OFF YOUR FIREWALL. Either if it's on your main OS, or the VM, turn it off. It will cause you more trouble when you're learning how to hack, especially when using RAT.

Second. It is okay to have an AV program, but ONLY IN YOUR MAIN OS, not in your VM. The only "cleaner" you can put in your VM is MalwareBytes.

If your computer is not PERSONALLY yours, meaning someone else is using it, I suggest you put EVERYTHING related to hacking inside the VM, and have a password for your virtual OS. It's still better to be safe than sorry.

Last, but certainly not the least...
Quote:You may try to experiment with your computer, but don't do something stupid that you know would put you in a bad state.

Be curious enough to know it, but not always try it.


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