A Beginner’s FAQ for Web Hacking (Frequently Asked Questions)

photo-mainSome of the stuff I post on my site may be a little advanced for people who are just trying to get the lay of the land. If some topics mystify you, or you are just trying to start out in the world of Curious Hacking, maybe we should take some time to answer a few basic questions. The following will answer some simple questions as to what is what, and how and who. Pay attention and take some notes? Or not…


Question: What is a shell when it comes to web hacking?

Answer: Well, basically a shell is a type of .php file needed to be uploaded on a hacked website or a host in order to make it work.

The way is works is not that complex if you wonder. With a shell uploaded to your hacked website or host, you can alter almost anything using it.

While you’re using a shell, you will be able to:

  • Delete Website Directories and upload a defacement page.
  • Can be used to DDoS another website (depends on what type of shell you’re using).
  • Having a shell with many functions, you can also crack MD5 Hash, modify another php file, mass mail someone, or do an email bomb.

An example of a shell I use is: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ani-shell/

Question: What does defacing mean and what’s a deface page

Answer: Defacing, in most certain cases, means that you wanna upload a specific file of yours, mostly a message to prove to the administrator that you hacked the website.

If you think about it, it’s relatively similar to a deface page.

A deface page, while hacking a website, is simply a message to convey to the owner of the website that you’ve owned their security.

Most people do this for fun, fame, or other stuff that can satisfy their odd sense of ego.

If you’re a beginner in web hacking, you might consider defacing a page as a relative accomplishment.

Question: What is the difference between a shelled website and a defaced website?

Answer: A shelled website can be used as hosting for illegal operations (which I do not encourage), such as DDoSing and other functions a shell can perform, while a defaced website is simply a type of message, mostly threatening and fun which conveys the owner of the website that their security is low and that you have owned them.

Question: My IP was logged while I was hacking, what should I do now?!

Answer: Well, first of all, don’t ever freak the hell out or piss your pants! Calm down a bit and get your head straight and leave the country. Okay, just kidding…

Now to the point, if your IP has ever been logged, their is a huge chance that you won’t get bothered. However don’t be too happy about it.

Try WHOISing the website and see if this website is an important source to the owner. If it is, you might wanna leave the website forever. What I mean is that, you can just leave the site alone so that the owner won’t get too suspicious of what’s happening.

Now for the most important part, why weren’t you masking your IP origin? Next time use as VPN that never saves logs of your activity on the internet, or use a proxy chain (bouncing your communication through numerous anonymous proxies, creating a chain).

Examples of VPN:

  • nVPN (paid)
  • ProXPN (free)

How about proxies?

A piece of advice from me and all other web hackers out there, no matter what you hack whether it’s a stupid little website or you decide to step on the gas and go big-time on a government website, always stay behind a VPN or Proxy and stay anonymous! You are a moron if you don’t.

Question: What is a hash and what can I do with it?

Answer:To get to the point, a hash is basically an encryption. To be specific, a special encryption which requires hash cracking knowledge in order to reveal the plain text

Unlike other encryption, a hash can’t be decrypted. In other words, to successfully crack a hash, you either might need to use a hash cracking website or an external hash cracking program with an enormous word list.

An example of a website for cracking hashes:

  • http://www.md5decrypter.co.uk
  • http://www.md5crack.com
  • http://www.hashchecker.de
  • http://www.hash-cracker.com/

Program for cracking:

  • HashCat


Now there are different types of hashes out there and you can determine what kind of hash it is by studying the number of characters and the types of characters in the code.

To know most of the types of hashes, visit this thread (Credits to Haxor!:) )


Question: What is rooting, a.k.a rooting a server?

Answer: Rooting a server in simple words means that you’re having a complete remote access to a server (computer).

Rooting works on the basis of exploits. Most websites are running through Linux servers. Now what will you gain when you root a server?

Easier said than done, you will gain remote control of the websites associated and run by that server.

It’s like hacking more than 1 website at a time, because you will have access to the multiple sites hosted on that same server.

Rooting can be done with Linux and Windows and is really a hard method of web hacking when you’re a newb to it.

You can search millions of tutorials out there about rooting, but you might wanna start from the basics first.

Question: Is there any tool that can help me ease my web hacking activity while I hack websites?

Answer: First of all, never use tools that will do the job for you i.e hack everything for you! You don’t wanna get your ass stuck while you watch a program hack websites for you and you don’t learn anything… No!

Now, there are many useful tools out there that can help you speed up your activity when you start hacking websites. Many of these might be add-ons installed in the browser Firefox. Firefox’s extensibility has made it a must-have helper for many hackers.

You can use some of the following:

  1. HackBar add-on for Firefox:
    1. Has a built in automatic column-number posting when you use UNION SELECT in SQL injection
    2. Tools you need when you XSS
    3. Built-in Text to Hex and Hext to Text
    4. A big space for customizing your queries
  2. Cookies Manager:
    1. A very efficient tool for adding/deleting/modifying cookies
    2. Organized layout and a friendly GUI
  3. Live HTTP Headers:
    1. Manage all the activities your browser performs i.e record the activities your browser is performing live
    2. A very useful tool for uploading Shells on a hacked site (Used for renaming your shell.php.jpg to shell.php
    3. Replay the activity on your browser while you alter your cookies to make changes
  4. Tamper Data:
    1. Mostly used in LFI (Local File Inclusion)
    2. Instantly records the connections being made in your browser from the websites opened

Question: I’m very new to Web Hacking, I’m confused, where can I start?

Answer: You can start from the very basics to the advanced, but never be in a hurry when you’re just starting.

Here’s what you can study first:

  1. HTML coding
  2. PHP
  3. Javascript
  4. Cookies

Don’t work hard on mastering all of them though, just learn the basics and try to get the hang of it.

Once you’ve got an idea about those four, methods of web hacking are what you’re searching for now.

Many methods can be learned and used and some of them are listed below from the easiest to an intermediate level.

  1. SQL injection
  2. XSS
  3. LFI/RFI

I recommend you to start from the basics of SQL injection. Then you can progress to further advanced methods of web hacking (More about those methods below)

Question: What are the types of web hacking methods?

Answer: Some of the types are explained below

  1. SQL injection: Queries entered in order to extract information from the database of the website
    1. Error Based SQL injection
    2. Union Based SQL injection
    3. Time Based SQL injection
    4. Blind SQL injection
    5. String Based SQL injection
    6. There’s also something called WAF Bypassing where you bypass the firewalls installed on the website. This can lead to combinations of SQL injection if you think about it. Examples are like
      1. String Based WAF bypassing SQL injection
      2. String-Error Based WAF Bypassing SQL injection
      3. WAF Bypassing Double Query SQL injection
  2. XSS (Cross Site Scripting): Execute scripts to perform functions required to hack a website
    1. Persistent – Can be used for cookie stealing
    2. Non-Persistent- Can be used as an HTML injection, commonly used for website vulnerabity proofs
  3. LFI (Local File Inclusion): Directory exploits used to upload files into the website(example: shells)
    1. /proc/self
    2. Log Poisoning
    3. Malicious Image Upload

This is all what I can cover for now. But I’ll be making tutorials on web hacking soon…

Question: What should we do before we start to attempt web hacking?

Answer: I do not condone hacking sites that are not your own, but if you were to do so, you might need to do the following:

  1. Proxy/ VPN (Virtual Private Network)
    Always stay behind a proxy or a VPN no matter how useless or precious the site you’re attempting to hacking could be.
    Some proxies can be obtained from here:

    And a VPN you can use is:
    ProXPN: http://www.proxpn.com

    Note: When using a VPN, always use one that doesn’t store logs, that is kind of the point.
    You can also connect to the internet from a public Wireless network if possible.

  2. Expose prevention
    Never attempt to share your web hacking activity anywhere or with anyone unless you trust that person so that you both can discuss and learn together. Even this is dangerous. Some stranger might report you or blackmail you and that would really suck.

Question: If I were to hack a website, what would I do when I am done?

Answer: You don’t wanna get caught or reported or traced. Here are some tips:

  1. There will be Logs in the website’s admin panel.
    After you’re done with everything, (i.e defacing/shelling) make sure to erase the logs created in the panel. Their is a possibility your IP could be stored in one of the directories
  2. Erase your tracks
    Make sure to delete everything done on your browser i.e cookies, logs, logins etc
    You can do this using CCleaner.
  3. Pride of success
    Don’t be too proud sharing what you have just done, some people are really not trust-worthy and could report you.
    Be happy of what you’ve done and share to ones you absolutely trust.

So, now I wonder if maybe you have a little more info on where to start your quest, or maybe you have become a little more familiar with what certain things are and where to go with your research.


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