Machines to Start at HackTheBox

April 17, 2023

If you are thinking about starting in HackTheBox, specifically to start making their machines to improve your pentesting skills, surely you have asked yourself which HackTheBox machine to start with? And it is normal that it happens because there are quite a few machines available, so we are going to explain you in this article the best HackTheBox machines with which you can start from scratch.

What are the easiest machines in HackTheBox?

First, understand something, HackTheBox and the difficulty assigned to their machines, is not entirely true in most cases, ie, machines that can be categorized as easy, can be difficult and vice versa, so, guide you by the difficulty is not something that is 100% effective, plus each machine will have software that, maybe you’ve never tried, so even if the resolution of that machine is very simple, for you, it may be more difficult, so this difficulty is quite relative and, it must also be said, in HackTheBox such and such “Difficult” machines become very easy to perform.

Despite this, there are machines that, even if you are starting in pentesting, you can perform very simply and, incidentally, review concepts, these machines, in our opinion, are the following.

  • Lame
  • Return
  • Mirai
  • Bank
  • Academy
  • Celestial
  • Jeeves
  • Shocker
  • Sense
  • Blocky
  • Legacy
  • Popcorn

All these machines, if you already have a basic level in ethical hacking, you should be able to do them easily in less than half an hour or an hour at most, as they are not really complex, if you take longer, it is obvious, do not get discouraged, think that the important thing is to practice what you are already doing, but if you are looking for a starting point, these machines mentioned above, can serve you a lot.

What are HackTheBox's intermediate machines?

Now, if you have already solved the previous ones and, most importantly, you managed to understand how you did it, you can go directly to the other machines on this platform, easily to the medium difficulty ones, which, for us can help you to continue learning if you have already done the previous easy level ones, are the following ones.

  • Encoding
  • MentorForgot
  • UpDown
  • Outdated
  • Noter
  • BackendTwo
  • StreamIO
  • Faculty
  • Shared
  • Bolt
  • Unicode
  • Union
  • Timing
  • Meta
  • Seal
  • Time
  • Sniper
  • Carrier
  • Bart
  • Olympus

Next, if you have managed to do all these machines (and really all the others that are in their respective “difficulties”) it would be good to move to the “difficulty” difficult or insane, do not stay long in the machines that are quick to solve, many enter a loop where they spend even years always doing easy or medium machines, the day you will learn more is when you jump to the machines that are more complex and similar to realistic environments such as those that you can find in a company that you are going to do a security audit.

Finally, I have to remind you that, as I indicated before, the difficulty is relative for each user and, in general, HackTheBox does not usually categorize the difficulty of their machines very well, giving “easy” machines in which you spend days and “difficult” machines in which in a couple of hours you solve them, in the same way, you just keep learning.

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