best machines to start for a beginner

Hi, I'm new to this site. After I successfully joined I'm kind of stuck on which machine to hack next. Which machines do you recommend? I'm trying to catch up to the more advanced hackers who started earlier. I'm 22 and I want to catch up to those who have been doing this since an earlier age. I'm glad to be a member of this site. It's a really cool site and forum.

So which machines should I start off with now that I completed the first one? I want to become a good hacker.

Oh, in case I'm breaking any rules in this post, I have autism. I don't do a good job of following social rules at first so please remind me if I'm doing anything wrong because I forget the first time I hear something.

I'm a college student but I am taking a much longer time to do college than other people.

I have quite a bit of free time on my hands. My goal is to become an excellent hacker.





  • Use the difficulty bar to get an idea of how difficult they are (except Calamity lol). Blue/Shocker/Mirai are fairly straight-forward


  • Thanks. Also, how do I catch up to those who started younger?

  • edited October 2017

    Check out this YouTube channel

    Great walkthroughs for retired machines. You will learn a lot about the tools and workflows that work on HTB machines.

    Hack The Box

  • @0b5cur17y said:
    Check out this YouTube channel

    Great walkthroughs for retired machines. You will learn a lot about the tools and workflows that work on HTB machines.

    Retired machines? So I'm not cheating by looking at this? Ok, then that's a good thing. I don't want the answers given to me but I guess if the machine is retired then it will still probably help. Thanks.

  • The rules don't say anything about this but I guess ippsec would be outlawed by now if it were forbidden ;)
    There is also a walkthrough section in this forum btw. In general, you must decide for yourself how to make best use of walkthroughs and if you need them. For me personally, it really took a few to get anything done in HTB (I'm data scientist professionally, just got hooked on security lately).

    Hack The Box

  • its not a cheating to watch these as you will not get points for retired machines.
    Bear in mind that you only have access to 2 retired machines if you want to practice on them. To have access to all you need to go vip.

    I highly recommend watching some videos, reading walk-through and practicing (!) that.
    Vulnhub is invaluable resource for practice with walkthroughs as well.

    Do not ask for help on active machines as its against the rules. You can still get help if you ask about problem with specific topic i.e 'im struggling with sqli bla bla bla'.

    Join the slack channel - there's good chatter going on most of the day.

    enjoy and gl


  • I second @sajkox with saying vulnhub. There is difficulty ratings on all of those VMs. Pick a few easy ones and refer to the walkthroughs if you get stuck. One thing Id recommend is not just run through the VM only relying on the walkthrough and if you have to use the walkthrough make sure you really understand what is going on for the vulnerabilities / exploits. Get on some other wargame sites like overthewire and smashthestack and read read read read. Age doesnt really matter its all a matter of how much time youre willing to put into it. Good luck!


  • Thanks. I just started downloading some VMs from vulnhub. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to look at overthewire and smashthestack too. You guys are awesome.

  • how to hack machines , as i am new to this platform but actually i have keen interest in hacking career. Plz help me hackers...!

  • edited April 2018

    (Deleted post as I realised I replied to an old post that had been bumped)


  • @Alexander1212 how to hack? Learn how to enumerate machines, learn how to use the tools you have, watch the videos here by ippsec and use that as a basis to start and take lots and lots of notes


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