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finding what you want & effectively using google

Arrow Image this article should explain how to find exactly what you are searching for and how to use google effectively to find topics of interest. a follow-up to spyware's article on mentor requests.

as long as i have been on this site, newbies have been trying to find the best way to begin learning to program/hack. Many immediately turn to the \"request mentor\" forums, but without much prior knowledge, recieve no replies or messages telling them to \"RTFM\" or go read something. Others have tried turning to the HBH forums to learn the basics, but the more recent articles are difficult for newbies to comprehend and when asking newbie questions like \"what is SQL?\" can often get flamed.

The best answer would be to do some independent research, learn the basics of programming, and then request a mentor or begin to research some hacking. But some underestimate how confusing researching can be at times. This article aims to cover how to use the greatest resource available, the internet, to research exactly what you are looking for.

[for newbies]
For the newbie, with little to no knowledge of html, javascript, and TCP/IP(the rules that define how the internet should work) the website should be the first stop. This site covers all of html, is a great javascript tutorial/reference, could be used to learn CSS for styling websites, and gives a short introduction to PHP.
[/for newbies]

  1. <?php
  3. the next step up from HTML would logically be either PHP or ASP, the former being more popular. is the main resource for everything PHP, and they have an online documentation detailing everything php can or will do.
  5. ?>

C and C++ are undoubtably the most popular languages to program applications in. These languages form the core of rooting, along with assembler and maybe perl. A few sites are good for learning these, can be used as a reference for these languages, and is a good place to begin learning C. However, i have always found that a good book is the best way to learn these languages, and i would recommend \"C++ for dummies\" from WILEY productions.

[Visual Basic]
For those wanting to learn visual basic, which is a good language for programming windows graphical applications for windows, although bad for anything else, many good tutorials can be found by simply searching google for \"learn visual basic\".
[/Visual Basic]

These are just a few languages which would be good to learn the basics of before delving into the world of hacking. The 3 most important would be HTML, javascript and PHP and i would recommend having at least basic understanding of these before proceeding into more in depth research.

[Researching a topic]
If you are trying to research a commonly known web-hacking method, namely XSS, CSRF, SQL injection, Blind SQL injection, RFI, LFI, among others, HBH is the best place to look. Check the forums and use the search page to see if your particular interest has been mentioned before, and if it has, either read the topic or if you are not satisfied with your answer, \"bump\" the topic or post a new reply asking for more information.

If HBH forums or articles sections do not seem to cover what you are trying to research, try using wikipedia( to look for your topic. Only search using the name of the topic(e.g. \"XSS\" or \"SQL Injection\"). However, wikipedia can only give basic theory on a subject most of the time, or a definition. Also, if you do not know the name of a topic you are researching, wikipedia can become useless. This is where google comes in...

Google is an amazing tool. It really is. But there is a trick to using it effectively. To search for something on google you need to be able to either name it or give a description of it in under 5 words, which can be difficult if you do not understand the topic fully. Here are some tips and tricks i use to research unknown subjects on google:

For web hacking try and search for what you would describe the subject as, for example if you were looking for sql injection you could search for \"hacking sql\". This may not bring up a tutorial on the subject, but it could give you a name or a clear definition for the subject, making research easier.

If you have a name but do not know what it is, for example someone has told you to research RFI, search on google for \"hacking RFI tutorial\". This works for most subjects and in this case i found a youtube video on the first page with \"Remote file Inclusion\" in the description, which can help with more research.

if you do not know exactly what you are looking for, you can always try appending the word \"hacking\" or \"exploiting\" or \"tutorial\", or other relevant words to the subject you think it would fall under. A good example of this is when i was recently looking for how to redirect DNS requests(google for \"define: DNS\" for an explanation) and searched wikipedia for \"DNS exploiting\". From this i got an article on \"DNS cache poisoning\" which is what i was looking for.

If all else fails, you can always ask on HBH forums about the question. As long as you post the research that you have done and what you already know about the subject, you should get a constructive response with details of what you are looking for or sometimes an offer to explain over PMs. This should only be done AFTER google and wikipedia research though, as you will get flamed if you create a thread saying \"help i want to learn how to hack sql databases\" without stating your research.

I hope this will help you research topics more effectively in future, as these rules help me day-to-day in research into any topic.


spywareon October 01 2007 - 19:20:03
It's an okay article, but kind of chaotic. You don't have a real structure, you forgot a lot of things and it's a little bit messy. You did bring up some good points though.
mr noobon October 01 2007 - 19:24:08
its only supposed to be a basic outline of what to do when researching and its readable enough so meh Smile
Zephyr_Pureon October 12 2007 - 01:17:50
No offense, but I think the whole article would've been much more effective if you excluded the parts about the programming languages; in my mind, you didn't do some of them justice. For instance, you mention that Visual Basic is a "overall bad language", yet you give no supporting arguments. Convention does not dictate preference to everyone... I have found Visual Basic to be handy in certain situations. Anyways, your article was solid for what it was intended. I just hope that people will actually READ it before approaching the forum with Google requests.
mr noobon October 24 2007 - 17:33:53
i said it was good for windows guis and bad for other things, that is an argument in itself? or do you need elaboration?
5h4d0wm4non February 08 2008 - 22:12:31
lol dude, I just bought c++ for dummies 2 days before reading this article... I knew I was on the right track! and has some great google search strings
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