What Is a Useful Computer Hack That I Can Learn in 5 Minutes?

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What is a useful computer hack that I can learn in 5 minutes?

It depends on your definition of "good". To gain access to your proverbial mother's computer or email account or an unsophisticated website requires only skills I could probably teach you in an afternoon, maybe a couple days if you don't know anything at all about programming. To compromise most companies but often get caught in the process requires a few years of part-time study or training, or less if you're bright or can invest more time. I would consider this "proficient script kiddie" - though it's plenty enough to get inside, and depending on your goal, target and geopolitical situation it may not matter to you if you get caught. As Maxe Johnson says, advancing to the stage where you don't get caught requires writing your own tools, but not finding your own exploits. His answer is great on this topic; expect to spend a few years full time. To be truly elite, which I think is what the hacker portrayed in Mr. Robot is supposed to be (I've never seen the show), there are two paths, as I cover in David Seidman's answer to How does one become a hacker? One is basically being a very, very skilled penetration tester, which has two paths that could be described as "social engineering" and "finding where t screwed up". The second path is highly technical and could be summarized as "finding and exploiting new vulnerabilities". This path will take even the smartest person at least 2 years of full time study, and for most, more like 5-10, and requires constant reading and practice to keep up with the field. This type of work is necessary only for the most difficult and secretive penetrations, and is compensated accordingly. As Maxe covers, there are multiple skills within these domains, and almost nobody has all of them. It's worth noting that from what I understand the guy in Mr. Robot is on the defensive team, trying to prevent penetrations, which is where I am also. Although the skills are slightly different, defense is considerably harder because you have to be secure everywhere while an attacker only has to find one insecure point, though once t're on your network, the situation reverses and any slip up on their part exposes their presence and lets you eradicate them - if you notice their mistake and know how to follow the forensic trail. The defenders need to have many of the same skills and mindset as the attackers to do their jobs properly, and indeed most major companies employ dedicated penetration test or "red" teams whose job is to break into the company exactly as a real attacker would, to find the weaknesses so t can be fixed.

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