Performance Objective

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Identify six out of six reasons why someone may want to be a hacker.
  2. Identify and describe the four parts of the hacking timeline.
  3. Identify and describe the three teams involved in hacking and their role.
  4. Identify and describe tools used in the probing aspect of the hacking timeline.
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Why Hack?

  1. Fame
    • The pursuit of recognition.

      Kevin Mitnick is an example of a fame driven hacker. He has been in numerous news articles, movies, magazines, and blog posts. He also sells books.

  2. Fortune
    • Monetary reward for services rendered.
    • Bug Bounty Programs.
    • Criminal Rewards.

      Kevin Poulsen was an example of a hacker driven by the drive of monetary gain. He is most famous for rigging a contest for a Porsche. His thirst for a larger payout eventually led to him being found guilty of mail, wire, and computer fraud as well as money laundering and other financial crimes.

  3. The pursuit of knowledge
    • Some people like to learn how things work and are natural tinkerers.

      Richard Stallman is an icon of traditional hacker culture. He is a proponent of freedom and has written numerous essays on software freedom. He is now a political activist.

  4. Political statement
    • Hacktivism has recently reached the news as a method to rebel against issues real or imagined.

      Gary McKinnon is an example of a political hacker. He believed the United States Government was hiding evidence of UFO contact with the planet. He hacked into US military and NASA networks in order to investigate this.

  5. Criminal Enterprise
    • Furthering the aims of a criminal enterprise by committing crimes like identity theft, credit card theft, or unauthorized access of a computer.

      Astra was a hacker who stole and sold data that was in relation to weapons. It is believed that he stole information about weapons stored in French Dassault Group computers and then resold that data to numerous countries. His real identity was never released but he has been caught. He was accused of costing Dassault over $360 million in damages.

  6. Fun and laughs
    • Some people just want to see the world burn.


Hack Timeline

  1. Reconnaissance
    • Who is the target?
    • What is the target?
    • When is the best time to execute scans or attacks?
    • Where is the target?
    • How should you attack?
  2. Scan and Probe
    • Tools
    • Techniques
    • Documentation
  3. Infiltration
    • Vulnerabilities
    • Bugs
    • Remote Code Execution (RCE)
    • Soft Skills
  4. Exfiltration and Attack Continuity
    • Slow and Silent
    • Smash and Grab


  1. Red
    • The offense. Team members here are looking for exploits, vulnerabilities, and ways into a system or network. They usually follow the rules of engagement as set forth by the White team.
  2. Blue
    • The defense. Team members here are on the lookout for the Read team and their antics. They are usually well versed in how the application and network is built and functions. They follow the ROE on defensive actions.
  3. White
    • Management and direction. Normally sets the ROE and how the operation will be conducted. These are the management members who monitor the event and also filter the results.

Scan Tools


nmap or Network Mapper is an open source tool for network exploration and security auditing.

Perform an OS Detection Enabled Scan

$sudo nmap -O

Scan a range of IP addresses

$sudo nmap -O

Scan a range using notation

$sudo nmap -O

Aggressive Finger Print Scan With Versioning

$sudo nmap -sV

What is available locally?

$sudo nmap -sP


masscan is an Internet-scale port scanner, useful for large scale surveys of the Internet, or of internal networks.

Scan the entire internet for all ports while using an exclude file

$masscan -p0-65535 –excludefile exclude.conf

Scan the entire internet for dns servers using an exclude file

$masscan --excludefile no-dod.txt -pU:53 --banners --output-filename dns.xml


traceroute tracks the route packets taken from an IP network on their way to a given host. It utilizes the IP protocol’s time to live (TTL) field and attempts to elicit an ICMP TIME_EXCEEDED response from each gate‐ way along the path to the host.



Wireshark is a GUI network protocol analyzer. It lets you interactively browse packet data from a live network or from a previously saved capture file. Wireshark’s native capture file format is pcap format, which is also the format used by tcpdump and various other tools.

Add the user to the wireshark group

$sudo adduser -a aaron wireshark

Enable the Name Resolution

Edit -> Preferences -> Name Resolution -> Enable Network Name Resolution

Example Filters

Filter by port 80 traffic

tcp.port eq 80

Filter by conversation

ip.src== and ip.dst==

View all tcp recets


Only view http and dns

http and dns

Mask traffic

!(arp or icmp or dns)

View the man file for the filters

$man wireshark-filter


TShark is a network protocol analyzer. It lets you capture packet data from a live network, or read packets from a previously saved capture file, either printing a decoded form of those packets to the standard output or writing the packets to a file. TShark’s native capture file format is pcap format, which is also the format used by tcpdump and various other tools.

Add the user to the wireshark group

$sudo adduser -a MY_USER wireshark

Get the device number for our network card

$tshark -D

Dump the traffic on the card to the terminal

$tshark -i #THEDEVICE

Dump to file

$tshark -i #THEDEVICE -w #_device_dump.pcap


whois searches for an object in a RFC 3912 database.


Web Applications

Web Applications and search engines can be used for gathering target data during the reconnaissance and probing stage. Individuals would be on the lookout for weak links in the security such as individuals dealing with financial troubles, divorce, or job issues. A restructuring of the company could mean employees will be laid off and they may be more likely to actively assist in an attack or allow an attack to occur due to apathy.


Poorly cared for infrastructure could also be of use to the hacker. They may discover systems that have not been kept up to date and could find vulnerabilities available for their use in unpatched software.


Education, leadership, and attention to detail are the core principals that will allow an individual or company to recover from an attack. There is no assurance that a vulnerability will not be found in your company. Your preparation and understanding of security will allow you to recover with the least amount of damage done when a hacker arrives on your doorstep looking to pilfer or make a name for themselves off of your embarrassment.

All parties involved should be educated about the dangers posed by social media, poor practices, or ignorance of standards. Continuous education is important but that education must be relevant and interesting for individuals to be willing to learn from it. Make learning worthwhile with incentives for passing tests. A company I know of provided a day of paid vacation to an inquisitive secretary who refused to allow a social engineering test to proceed. Make success worthwhile.

Lead by example. When the top brass have open social media accounts, release improper information over the wrong channels, or do not demonstrate good choices, it reduces every ones effectiveness. Listen and ask questions. You must be willing to allow others to bring issues forward without fear of retribution or they will hide problems until it is too late. Don’t foster a culture of fear when people locate issues that need to be rectified.

The final principal is attention to detail. Thoroughness and accuracy in every task should be cultivated within the culture. Backups should be made but also tested. Regular reviews for improperly managed company data should be made. Make lists and plans that can be followed to ensure that a job can be performed correctly. It is in the fine details that the enemy looks for their avenue of attack.

Final Recommendations

  1. Develop a physical security plan.
  2. Develop a data security plan.
  3. Document business processes and review them for vulnerabilities.
  4. Foster a security-positive culture.