Do You Wish to be A Computer Security Researcher ?

I have seen many people asking on the internet that how one can be a hacker and I always wondered why people don't want to be at the security side? To be very frank, even I don't know how one can be a hacker and why one become so to live a life in hidden world, when one rarely gets a life to live. I have also seen many people willing to know the learning path to be a Security Researcher & hence sharing the same even if its endless.

Become Computer Security Researcher

I am not a Security Researcher yet but intend to be one (will let you know upon finding my first 0 day) and continuously learning the computing technologies for it. As per me and my learning, I am sharing the path with you and will keep on updating the same. I am sure, if you would follow the same then you would end up learning something worthwhile. Yesterday, someone asked in a Facebook group that which programming language one should learn to be hacker and I replied with such a long comment and then thought of making it live here.

Its not about learning a programming language only rather one should need to understand the working of the mini box known as Computer. One should gain OS level knowledge first starting from GUI (Windows, Windows Server + Exchange & SQL Server). Its not mandatory to learn Windows first but it will make the things easier to understand as humans remember graphics more than the text. It will take around one year at the max to understand them properly and then ages to master them which you will learn in practical environment while tackling them.

Then switch to Linux so that you can do everything you learnt in GUI, the CLI way as it becomes easier and now, you can relate the things to GUI. Gain atleast RHCSS level knowledge though the certifications are no more offered by Redhat. The more you learn Linux OS, the more you will be able to understand the CLI tools.

After that its the perfect time for Networking, atleast CCNP R & S level knowledge, though CCNP Security level knowledge is recommended. If you do CCIE security certification then you will understand the extreme knowledge of securing the Networks and then can explore the world of Cryptography.

You must be wondering why no coding and programming till now? As its the best time to properly code now because now you know what to code and now its the best time for you to learn how to code? So, start coding though it s not a bad idea to learn coding 1hour/day while learning the above mentioned technologies so that you get familiar with the syntax and if-else things.

Better understand the Algorithms & Data Structure from the book Coreman and then you can use any programming language to apply the same. Rest mere is syntax which you can learn in 3, 6, or 12 months though again it will take years to master a programming language. Its good to know one system language like C or C++ though its good to know more as the later is the superset, one web language like Java or PHP, one scripting like perl or python rest the more you learn the more you understand the world of computers and the list is endless.

PS: I have not mentioned assembly, html, css, javascript, virtualization ==VCP, learning multiple security tools like wireshark, nmap, snort etc, certifications from CISSP, SANS & GIAC which add more value to your knowledge. The list is endless as I mentioned before though this way you would be fine to do or go better.

Everyone be it a Computer Science student or learner should at least read five books though again the list is endless and I will keep updating it as per my experience.

1) Operating Systems by Andrew S Tanenbaum

2) Computer Networks by A. Tanenbaum

3) Software Engineering by Roger Pressman

4) Fundamentals of DBMS by Navathe

5) Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen

I wish someone would have told me this path earlier when I was at your age. Anyone can follow the path be it a Computer Science student or not. If you are a Physics & Mathematics student who are interested in Computers then here is the way for you. Had I known all this earlier then I would have opted for Physics (I think it is related to Quantum Computing and just now when I searched then found this useful link and you should refer the link as well) rather Maths (As Mathematics is the soul of Computer Science & I strongly agree to it) as a major subject along with all this to create wonders in Computing.

Rest after doing all this, you will explore on your own and better work at the security side or an Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester or Computer Security Researcher. If you are already one then do let us know what all things are missing and what all need to be learnt including the best way and resources for the same.

PS: Above path is my way of doing things, rest do at your own risk but one thing is sure that you will end up learning something worthwhile. I am still in the stage of GUI so don't ping me for anything as I have seen many guys asking this and its worth answering so replied here. Share it with as many people you wish, I won't mind at all lolz.

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