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HackingEll is a free training ground for users to test and expand their hacking skills. Our community is dedicated to facilitating an open learning environment by providing a series of hacking challenges, articles, resources, and discussion of the latest happenings in hacker culture. We are an online movement of artists, activists, hackers and anarchists who are organizing to create new worlds.

This guide is an introduction to the site, community, philosophy and project organization. This project is entirely what you make of it. We encourage people to take an active role in the development of this community and to copy and redistribute this guide on their own.
Hacking Philosophy

We believe everyone should have free access to all information. Hacking should not be a privileged skill - everyone should have the opportunity to learn about computer security in the age of technology. We seek to facilitate a free and open training ground where people can test and expand their skills in a legal and realistic environment.

Considering that several of the hacking challenges are simulated web defacements, the question of the ethics of hacking is repeatedly brought up. We like to consider hacking itself to be a tool, a skill which in itself is neutral, a means without end. It can be used for good (for the benefit of all) or bad (mindless destruction or theft). We do not encourage negative use of the information we provide. We are more concerned with the greater risks of not distributing this information and are ready to accept the consequences.

Unlike many wargame and security sites, HackingEll is a community where all users can contribute and participate in the development of the site. We are an open society that encourages active participation, and we have set up a number of ways people can become involved. In addition, we have a very active IRC network, forums, and an open publishing system where people can submit articles and external resources to the site. We are a friendly atmosphere where we help people who ask intelligent questions. Join us and participate in very lively and passionate debates about technology and worldly events. There is no social hierarchy; we are all equal. HTS is what you make of it!

We wish to promote the use of hacking as a tool to fight for social justice causes. Hacking is justified if it is used to combat oppression, censorship or inequality. While we do not encourage or participate in illegal activities, we do want to present hacktivism as a positive alternative to mindless black hat hacking. Gain the skills and join the struggle for freedom!
Hacking Challenges

At the heart of the project lies the hacking challenges. We have dozens of simulated wargames that allow users to put their skills to the test in a legal, realistic environment. There are several kinds of challenges each demonstrating different types of skills.
Basic Challenges

These small challenges are straight forward and are designed to outline the fundamentals of a hacker's first steps in web hacking.
Realistic Missions

Once basic hacking techniques are learned, it is time to test your knowledge in our "real world" scenarios. These missions are complete websites with built-in security flaws and simulated objectives. You play the role of a freelance hacker who is contracted by several individuals and organizations to hack for social justice causes. You are given objectives and left to explore the site on your own, trying to discover and exploit the vulnerabilities. The web hacking skills taught in this series of challenges can be directly applied to systems in the real world.
Application (Reversing) Challenges

Requiring more operating system / programming specific skills, these missions test your ability to manipulate and gather information from applications on your own machine.
Stegonography Challenges

Everyone has a need to hide something and often encryption is good enough for this purpose. In this case, however, everyone knows you are hiding something. Hiding information in plain sight is much harder to do discretely. We start you off on the basics and hope you can contribute your ideas back to us.
JavaScript Challenges

JavaScript is a very prominent web technology. It is no longer just for pretty effects but can be used to make entire web applications. Exploiting JavaScript is an important skill for a hacker's tool set.
Extended Basic Challenges

Reading code is the simplest way to find exploits. We offer up some vulnerable code snippets that you then have to exploit or patch.

Last, but not least, is we encourage you to literally HackingEll! We encourage people to explore the security of our site and we reward those who responsibly disclose their exploit with an entry into the HackingEll hall of fame.
Project Organization

If you are interested in becoming part of HTS, the first step is not to submit an application or directly ask us. Try contributing to the project through a number of other ways - becoming active on IRC, writing articles, giving lectures, contributing ideas, etc. Have something to offer to HTS, then declare your intention about being on staff. Remember that you have to win the support of existing staff members and be voted in.
Get Involved!

HackingEll Site is not something that just happens. It is a continuously evolving project with many active users working on many active projects. It's more than just a website, but a movement made up of people just like you.