Life Lessons from the Hacking World

Life Lessons from the Hacking World

Unveiling the Human Side of Cybersecurity

I've been exploring the world of cybersecurity and hacking for some time now. It's a vast field with different specializations just like any other tech-related area. Rather than delving into the technical aspects of hacking, I'd like to share what I've learned about life from it.

Life is a complex concept that can be explained in many ways and linked to our daily activities. Throughout this journey, you may come across some unfamiliar terms. Let me explain one of them - hacking. Hacking involves five phases, namely Reconnaissance, Enumeration, Exploitation (Foothold), Escalation (Pivoting), and Covering Tracks. These phases are a continuous cycle, and I will provide you with a clear picture as I delve into each one except for the last.

I will map out the different phases and describe what life would look like during each phase. Everyone has goals in life. These goals can be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, or more long-term. However, not all goals are easy to achieve. Similarly, in hacking, if my goal as an individual hacker is to compromise a company's servers to get my dream job, where do I begin?

Phase 1(Reconnaissance)

First, I conduct reconnaissance to gather information about the network structure and the individuals who work there. This involves studying at a college or university or pursuing online certifications. After this, what's next?

Phase 2(Enumeration)

I need to conduct port scanning to determine which services are currently running and whether they are using any vulnerable services that have known exploits posted online. This will help me identify potential security risks and take appropriate measures to prevent any unauthorized access. Additionally, I plan to apply for internships at various companies to secure an interview.

Phase 3(Exploitation)

Let's imagine that we discover a significant vulnerability and the exploit is publicly available for anyone to use. As a result, we take advantage of it to gain access to the company's network using a low-level user account. This occurs after you've completed the interview and started your internship.

Phase 4(Escalation)

You repeated phases 1-3 to learn as much as you could about the company's network. At this point, you were able to elevate your access to system admin on a particular server or desktop machine. This meant that you had improved your skills and had been promoted to a senior position within the company. However, your ultimate goal was to reach the very top, so you did not stop there.

With system admin privileges, you can view other machines on the same network. You can tunnel your connection and pivot to another computer with lower privileges. Then, you can repeat phases 1-4. At this stage, you become proficient and efficient in your work, which can lead to promotions. With each promotion, you can continue to do your best and repeat the processes to achieve even greater success.

After successfully pivoting on multiple machines, you gained system access to the company's domain controller, which has elevated you to an executive or senior role.


We didn't discuss the obstacles that you may face during phases 1 and 4, such as firewalls and antivirus software. To succeed, you will need to find ways to bypass the company's defenses. As you move up the ladder, you will encounter more challenges that may be even tougher than the ones before. These could include competition for promotions, sabotage from colleagues, and lack of respect. However, you must overcome them to succeed.