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Hacking is a form of cybercrime that has become common in our digital world. From ransomware attacks that cripple businesses to data hacks impacting billions of user accounts, hacking has gone from an underground criminal activity into mainstream headlines. Hacking has also given rise to a new breed of ethical hackers who are securing the internet.

Ethical hackers are professional cybersecurity researchers who test for cybersecurity vulnerabilities as part of their job. Malicious hackers, on the other hand, exploit security flaws to gain unauthorized access to computing systems, mobile devices and even connected appliances like cars and fridges. These attackers may also target social media and email to wreak havoc on personal or professional reputations or steal login credentials to steal sensitive information or money.

For beginners learning to hack, we recommend starting with the fundamentals – learn networking and learn Linux (a popular operating system used by many infosec professionals). You can then accelerate your hacking skills through HTB Academy’s guided theoretical training paired with interactive exercises on live targets to put your newfound knowledge into practice.

For a more intensive and rewarding experience, try taking part in a Capture the Flag (CTF) hacking competition. These are essentially competitive hacking challenges with teams of individuals and/or companies competing to break into services and gain points. This is a great way to learn everything there is to know about hacking in a fun, challenging and mentally stimulating environment. It’s important to note that gaining unauthorized access to computers that don’t belong to you is illegal and can be a local or federal crime.