Looking to learn cyber-security this 2024?
With the increasing need for cyber-security professionals in this day and age of constant threats and sophisticated hackers, having even the most basic knowledge in cyber-security is more important than ever. With the constant looming threats, the Internet is lurking with bad guys waiting to attack businesses and even you.
With basic or even more advanced knowledge in cyber-security, you can easily increase the security and privacy of your life as well as others. Once you begin to understand the complexity and specifics behind attacks, you can start to understand how these attackers work and even grab yourself a job in the cyber-security industry.
The increasing need for information security professionals is skyrocketing, and this coming 2024 will be no different. The Internet-of-Things continues to take over new markets while security standards get continuously bogged down til something catastrophic occurs.
Learning cyber-security is becoming a necessity just to browse the Internet today, and there are dozens of ways to learn. Whether you’re looking to secure yourself, learn hacking, or grab a job in the cyber-security industry, the list of five free websites to learn hacking below will help!
The Internet doesn’t have to be so scary.
Top 5 Free Websites to Learn Hacking / Cyber-Security
Here are our personal favorite websites to learn hacking and security completely free:
Cybrary is a rather older and established site that offers a wide range of interactive courses and classes spanning everything from basic networking to advanced penetration testing. The website has dozens of detailed courses all taught by leading professionals in the industry. Cybrary even offers certification classes that can prepare you before applying for security certifications in a certain field, ensuring you’re ready for course material.
Cybrary covers a wide range of hacking topics including:
- Ethical Hacking
- Penetration Testing
- Social Engineering
- Post Exploitation
- Kali Linux
- Malware Analysis and Reverse Engineering
- Defensive Security
- threat intelligence
- vulnerability management
- offensive security
- Access to 50+ free courses.
- Dozens of certification courses
Alongside their vast range of classes, they also offer material specific to certifications including, A+, Linux+, Network+, Security+ and can also prepare you for MCSA, CCNA, CISA, CASP, CISSP, and several other certifications. If you want to get access to the whole website it costs $60 per month.
Cybrary is a great free tool for learning and can help any newbie just starting or help advanced hackers take their skills to the next level.
Another great website to learn hacking for free is Hack the Box! As the name suggests, well sort of, Hack the Box puts the hacking right into your browser!
The Hack the Box website has hundreds of courses and fun games you can use to begin learning. They focus on ethical hacking and information security.
One of the great things about the Hack in the Box beginner courses is they give you two options on how to interact with their course. You can use their online attack box, or they give you the option to configure your own machine and connect it right to the website. The second option is completely free, and you can fully interact with their free labs for an unlimited amount of time.
Once you get to the more difficult labs it does require a premium pass because you have to use their online attack box. Hack the Box has a number of free labs you can explore and they let you get pretty deep before needing to pay. They do offer affordable plans starting at $14 or $20 per month.
Hack the Box catalog is packed with a lot of classes geared towards hacking. They have tons of interactive games, pre-set labs, and fun custom ways to learn hacking. Here are some of the great classes and courses they offer:
- hardware hacking
- crypto hacking
- reverse engineering
- game hacking
- blockchain hacking
- mobile hacking
- web hacking
- Vulnerability Assessment
- Anonymous/Guest Access
- FTP Hacking
- Weak Credentials
Hack the Box is a great place to begin to learn hacking for free. It requires you to create an account, but utilize the free version and then come back to this article and try the next website on the list.
Try Hack Me is another fun and interactive website that can help you learn hacking for free. The company specializes in teaching cybersecurity in a manner that is very geared towards hacking. The website does have a couple dozen labs that you can do for free. However, free accounts are limited to a maximum of 1 hour of labs per day.
The website makes hacking fun and easy to begin learning. They set up custom hacking modules for you, where you can go inside and begin to learn hands-on. Try Hack Me also has dozens of custom interactive hacking labs and hacking boxes with everything set up. They then guide you through how to perform the attack on their own machines. It is extremely fun and interactive. The only downside is free accounts are limited to one hour of interactive labs per day.
Outside of the interactive labs, Try Hack Me has a lot of great cybersecurity courses with question-and-answer games. They aren’t nearly as fun, but it’s a great place to begin learning hacking or brush up on what you already know.
Try Hack Me has a number of really fun courses to help you get started, and the labs are extremely interactive. Here are just some of the fun hacking topics they cover
- Red Team
- Penetration Testing
- Cyber Defense
- Attacking & Defending AWS
- SOC level 1
- Web Hacking
- Network Security
- Offensive Security
- Network Exploitation
- Vulnerability Research
- Cyber Threat Intelligence
- Windows Exploitation basics
- Shells & Privilege Escalation
- Malware Analysis
The only downside is the website does not offer any official certifications, so this is strictly a site for education. That’s also a benefit as their pricing is quite fair starting at $15/mo for unlimited access.
Try Hack Me has some very fun cyber security training, be sure to check it out.
Now when I found this website to learn hacking, I couldn’t believe it was actually free. Another great place to begin learning hacking and cyber security is PortSwigger.
Portswigger is another extremely interactive way to learn hacking and the website is almost entirely free. Portswigger has a huge catalog of extremely in-depth information with attack labs attached that you can use completely free.
PortSwigger does offer certifications, however, the learning material is completely free. They break their website into three main learning sections for web security. Some of the free hacking topics you can learn on Portswigger include:
- SQL Injection
- Command injection
- Information disclosure
- File upload vulnerabilities
- Server-side request forgery (SSRF)
- XXE injection
- Cross-site scripting (XSS)
- Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)
- Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS)
- DOM-based vulnerabilities
- Insecure deserialization
- GraphQL API vulnerabilities
- Server-side template injection
- Web cache poisoning
- HTTP Host header attacks
- HTTP request smuggling
- Auth authentication
- JWT attacks
- Prototype pollution
Head over to PortSwigger and give it a try. You can go from a beginner to a pro with 100% free and reliable hacking information!
Another staple in space to learn hacking for 100% free is HackSplaining. Now HackSplaining is very basic and can really teach you the basis of web hacking. It’s a great resource to get started or to test what you know.
Hacksplaining is 100% free, they have an area where you can sign up for an account but they offer no premium plans. The website speaks for itself, you go over to the lesson section and can choose what you want to learn from their array of topics.
Once you click on it and enter, you are greeted with a very basic, yet interactive lesson. It is kind of like a more interactive microsoft powerpoint lesson. It’s a very nice and effective free resource to begin learning or to test what you have learned.
HackSpalining is a little more basic and not as interactive as the websites above. But the website is free and has over 35 very well-crafted lessons that are free. On Hacksplaining you can learn:
- SQL injection
- cross-site scripting
- cross-site request forgery
- file upload vulnerabilities
- unencrypted communication
- email spoofing
- logging and monitoring
- buffer overflows
- server-side request forgery
- broken access control
- XML external entities
- Denial of service attacks
- lax security settings
- host header poisoning
- remote code execution
- cross-site script inclusion
This website is great to help you learn some of the cyber security fundamentals. This is a great resource for beginners and can be a fun resource to help you learn from the ground up.
HackSplaining is a great introduction resource on your road towards learning cyber-security.
6. Notable Mentions:
Here are some other noteable websites I wanted to mention that can help you learn hacking, for semi-free.
Pentester Labs – This is a great website where you can learn very technical cyber-security and exploit real vulnerabilities. Currently, the website offers over 51 free courses with fully interactive labs. With a free account they give you access to the written courses, allow you to boot up your own machine, and give you the download files to complete the course. No videos with a free account.
Kontra, – This is another interactive website that can help you learn hacking. This is more for larger businesses, but they currently offer 8 free courses. The website is very interactive and fun to learn from. With a free account, you can also get access to one premium course.
Zsecurity – This is a great resource and similar to an older website known as SecurityTube. This is essentially the YouTube for hacking. They have an awesome catalog with hundreds of YouTube videos on how to do anything. This website does offer paid courses but has hundreds of free tutorials. This is a great resource.
Bug Bounty Hunter – This is another semi-free and interactive website that can help you get started on your journey to learn hacking. The website currently offers 15 free challenges that anyone can learn and compete in. The website also includes free labs with their challenges.
CryptoHack – There are a lot of “interactive hacking games” that are really complex and don’t help you learn a lot. CryptoHack is the opposite. This is actually a really great free game that you can utilize as a tool to learn cryptography.
Harvard/EDX – Hardvard/EDX are free courses you can enroll in to learn cyber-security from quite literally Harvard. You can tune into all the lessons online and learn college-level courses completely free. EDX compiles college-level courses from top institutions that make them publicly available online. If you want a certified form of completion for your college course, you can grab most certificates in the $100-$200+ range on EDX.
There is no reason you shouldn’t be getting started on your cyber-security career this 2024! With millions of free resources available online, cyber-security professionals have made it easier than ever to become a certified ethical hacker.
Whether you’re looking to hack commercially or for fun, getting a start on the basics of Internet security is crucial. Hacking is not only a fun skill to develop but can prove to be useful when evaluating and working out complex or critical situations.
These are just five sites of the hundreds that exist online. Be sure to comment below with your favorite sites to learn cyber-security and hacking-related material from!
Go on, use our list of the best five free websites to learn hacking and get your hack on this 2024!