Some of the best computers to be used for hacking

Well, this is one of Adrián Lamo‘s computers:
Beautiful, isn’t it? He obviously owns this machine (to “own” something means you can fix it when it breaks, and the above has obviously been fixed many times).
Here’s one of my own boxes:
Yes, I’m using “box” literally… and yes, we actually installed LEDs inside the power supply (hint: there are two circuits inside, high voltage and low voltage; one of them can kill you and burn your house down, while the other will only burn your house down (which may or may not kill you)).
It’s eco-friendly, too (the cardboard is biodegradable and the components are from the trash).
TL;DR: The best computer for a hacker is one that they own.
Possibly the most important aspect of my early computer experience was finally having a computer system that was mine. I could experiment with it. I could break it and have to fix it. I could mess up the settings and have to learn how to configure things correctly again. It was no one's responsibility or problem except mine. I'd spend hours going through the DOS directory, learning how each command and utility worked.
P.P.S. If you’re looking for a specific example of how owning a computer can help you learn hacking: one time I misconfigured my firewall, cutting myself off from accessing my box over the network! And it has no monitor and keyboard, so I hope you can see how this is a big problem :D But I found there’s a short period while the computer is booting where the network is already up, but the firewall still isn’t. After 5–6 restarts, I finally succeeded in setting up an udev script so that when you insert a USB stick, it would automatically look for “” in the main folder and run it (as root). Obviously, this makes for an interesting backdoor :)

Guest Author

Vladislav Zorov

programming enthusiast.
Lives in Bulgaria


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