How long did it take you?

How long did it take you to be able to competently root a box by yourself without looking at hints?

I’ve only been doing this for just over a month so still trying to get my head around it. I am definitely getting better and knowing how to enumerate certain things but always have to revert back to a write up or IPPSecs videos in order to progress past certain points.

How long was it until you felt comfortable getting through easy and intermediate boxes without looking at hints?

I’m guessing it will take me atleast 6 months to get to the point of doing it by myself.

And am I right in assuming that the hard boxes, these are for people with years of experience in the field?


I started doing HTB boxes and learning security back in November 2018, I can say that until now I’m still having a hard time doing the easy boxes and the medium ones and the fact that I usually tends to overthink a lot.

I started hacking when I had a PreComputer 2000 toy. I wrote 10 PRINT “FUCK YOU!” 20 GOTO 10 in the built in BASIC interpreter. (my first malware) A few years later, I was on a public terminal that had CyberPatrol nanny-ware parental control censorship software loaded, keeping me from accessing
I found a zip file containing a bat file that allowed me to completely disable CyberPatrol® .
A few years later, a freshman in high-school, I loaded a key-logger onto a NovaNet student terminal, told a teacher I forgot my password (I did), they logged in, on the computer next to mine! Then another teacher walked up, struck up a conversation, sat down logged in, & I changed grades for money after that. (never got caught. never graduated neither). Around the same time, the phf bug was in full swing (found out before the Spring 1997 issue of 2600 Spring 1997 – 2600 Magazine ). My point is, I still need hints, clues, advisories, bulletins, journals, blogs, YouTube, forums, magazines, podcasts, web sites, individuals, corporations, institutes, non-profits, & any other resource I can tap. With that said… about 2 minutes :wink:

it took me 2 years before to start to be autonomous, but i still need hints for big machines

Couple of years

Years, definitely. Honestly any box is doable without hints once you have a solid foundation (you can kind of guess your way forward since you’re more or less aware of what’s “possible”) but sometimes it’s just smarter to ask for a small hint to save you days worth of time so you can go do something else productive too.