What is HackTheBox, and how does it work?

  • mdo  CodeShady
  •   Security
  •   September 6, 2022


I've been a member of HackTheBox for quite some time now, and at first I wasn't really sure how any of it worked. So, I thought it'd be cool to write a post on how HackTheBox works for anyone who is starting out with their cybersecurity adventure.

What is HackTheBox?

HackTheBox is an online platform that has gamified digital cybersecurity/hacking.

HackTheBox gives their thousands of users ways to (completely legally) practice hacking.

How does it work?

HackTheBox gives you an IP address. That's it. From that point on, you're supposed to scan the IP address for services that are running and exploit your way through the machine to capture two flags (user.txt, and root.txt)! Once you capture both flags, you give HackTheBox the contents of the flag (which is usually just random text) to prove that you hacked the machine. Once done, you'll be rewarded with "hacker" points!

HackTheBox also has excellent guides if you get stuck and can't figure out how to continue.

Is it free?

Yes, although, there is some content that requires a VIP membership (which is only €10 a month)!

Is it competitive?

Yes, very.

How do I join?


More Guides

HackTheBox Walkthrough - NetworkChuck (YouTube)

Beginner Tips to Own Boxes at HackTheBox! (medium.com)

Hack The Box — Beginner Mistakes (medium.com)

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