Forum Thread: Treatment of Newbies

One of the things that makes Null Byte different than all the other hacking web sites is how we treat newbies. While others treat newbies with scorn and derision, we treat them with kindness, patience and openness. We are here to share our knowledge and not deride those that are trying to learn. That makes us different, better and more welcoming.

Today, Romeo and Juliet treated a newcomer to our site with scorn and derision. When he asked for help, Romeo and Juliet maliciously gave him instructions to essentially delete his OS. Not knowing any better, he followed his instructions.

This is NOT acceptable here on Null Byte. I instructed Romeo and Juliet to help the newcomer recover from his ill-advised recommendations and he refused. As a result, Romeo and Juliet is no longer welcome here.

I'm sorry this had to happen as he was a valued contributor here, but I will not tolerate this type of mis-use of our valuable site and good reputation for offering help and assistance to all newcomers.

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43 Responses

he helped me out on PM
The advice he gave me was so good I'm finally getting started
Tbh he's one of the best contributors in this forum
U can't just ban him from this forum for one little misconception

Maliciousness is NOT one little misconception. he purposely set out to damage a newcomers system. That is NOT tolerated here.

If he wants to take responsibility for his actions, he is welcome back.

He helped me so much why would he have the attention to damage another persons systems who was kindly requesting help ? I just can't believe that...

Believe it. He did.

When asked for help with aircrack-ng, he maliciously instructed them to delete their operating system. This newcomer, not knowing better and trusting the advice of an "expert", did so.

He was given an option to take responsibility for his actions, but he refused.

Ohh I saw it right now man...
Wait didn't the new guy have common sense to know the purpose of the cammand

Occupytheweb yh he trolled the newbie a bit but the newbie didn't run the cammand and no bad conclusions.
He was just angry as the person asking the question tbh was a bit stupid
It's pointless banning him he has one of the best ideas for how to(like pen test on the fly series)

I'm not going to defend or deny the maliciousness of the comment since it has been deleted; however, I want to point out that there needs to be some level of computer competence before venturing into the world of hacking. If someone doesn't know enough to realize that a "format" command is going to wipe their hard drive, they have no business cracking passwords. Frankly, the dude is going to get caught doing some stupid crap down the line because he doesn't understand the basics. I can honestly say this is the most welcoming hacking forum I've seen — trust me, when I joined different forums years ago I had to put up with the "hazing" of being called a n00b and being given malicious commands as "trusted" advice, but at least I knew enough when it came down to whose advice I should and shouldn't follow. And I can say I do enjoy R&J's posts, even though I already know 99% of what his tutorials entail, I always walkaway with some new, valuable command ("nmap --script vuln", for example).


"I can honestly say this is the most welcoming hacking forum I've seen".

We want to keep it that way, that's why his maliciousness can not be tolerated. R&J was given an opportunity to take responsibility for his actions, but he refused. When and if he does, he will be welcomed back.


I agree. Should that kid have erased his system? Yeah, probably, just to protect him from himself. LOL, jk (kinda).

On the flip side, we've all gotta start somewhere, and for that kid, this isn't really the place (at least, not yet). Heck, he may be the next Jonathan James for all I know, but if he can't tell the difference between a "format" command and an aircrack command, then there's a huge learning curve ahead.

Saying that, of course, would have definitely been more couth than trolling the kid.

It's called security awareness for a reason.

"If you don't understand any of this, don't worry, this is the place to begin!" It's literally the first thing you see coming here.

Directly speaking to you, not touching R&J case.
No offense of course, I'm just agreeing with your last sentence.

Im not a expert in the hacking field either im only begging but if i see code and someone would claim its a useful exploit i would read the code see who gave it(Go to their profile and look) and then if i don't trust it i would go to a virtual machine and see what are the consequences of the cammand

Views Expressed are My Own

This is not rocket science, You do not run commands from anyone if you do not have a clue of the outcome of said command. From what we saw the principle told him to run a format and the minor retorted it and did not run it. No harm no foul or "de minimis non curat lex" The minor did not harm anything from advice given.

To me this is a another recent event of policing members that don't play nice in the sandbox. Kids throw sand sometimes, is it the correct thing to do, no. Ban stick worthy, no . Action required, yes. Yeah he went overboard but each country has a different view on others feelings. R&J gets a little hyper. Maybe he was off his A game at the time. We all have off days.

I am all for a safe place to learn with a support group but you have to do some basic training and reading before you can even walk on to the floor. Asking why my command don't work and the reason is clearly in the screen shot you posted as mis spelling then part of this is his fault.

This is not an attack on any one or group of people just some thoughts on the matter.


As it turns out, he DID run the command. R&J was given a chance to take responsibility for his actions, but he refused.

I will NOT tolerate the treatment of newcomers with maliciousness, no matter how simplistic their questions. If you are not willing to help, simply ignore them. R&J did not have to answer. He set out to take advantage of this newcomers lack of experience.


I understand, gotta do what ya gotta do.
We were unaware that he did en fact run the command , so he is now liable for the outcome and malicious intent.

whose the user that run the cammand ??
becuase from what im told the user did not run the cammand im so confused on whos lieing or telling the truth

He did run the command and wrote me to help him to recover his system. I told Romeo that he should help the user as he created the problem and he refused.

Clearly, the key issue is not whether he ran the command, but rather how we treat newcomers.

Listen, to all those people bashing the guy who just had his OS wiped, every single person on this forum here was once at his stage. Imagine if it happened to YOU when you were just starting out. Think about it how it would make you feel about the community. Would you still trust the community? Would you still be willing to learn from it? You weren't all born with basic computer knowledge. Hopefully the newcomer will be wiser from this.

"All actions have consequences. You are the only one responsible for your own actions."
Holly Lisle.

OTW for president! Thanks for protecting the noobs like myself :P

What's with all the snide remarks about how he's not supposed to run commands without knowing what they do? That is the purpose of him asking the questions, is it not? In regards to him not being ready for such information is no excuse for malicious treatment. Whether or not he is ready is beyond us, what we should care about is that information remains open and free to all. As an information community, what we should so is share. It is unfortunate that this generates conflict, yet OTW did the tough thing by being firm and representing the true spirit of the community. Looking forward to future articles, you've always been a legend in my eyes.

Just my opinion here, no harm meant: The fact is if you do not even know how to use LINUX (as in just the basics) you have absolutely NO business moving on to try hacking or cyber security. However, this website also has some of the best "getting started with LINUX" articles I have seen anywhere so there is no excuse for not learning basics first except for laziness.

I was reading through a tutorial the other day of how to install Kali Nethunter on any android not just Nexus and it was shocking to see how many followed, got it installed, then ask "Now post a video how to use it". (banging head on desk)

I agree with OTW and this sites decision on this matter, in an adult world we all have consequences for our actions and R&J was given ample chance to fix the issue he had caused, rather purposely or accidentally.

I'm sad to see him gone, and what he said and how he refused really stunned me. It's not like him to do that. But, he did tell the newbie to delete his OS, which is not acceptable. I hope he does come back, as I've been in the same shoes.

We actually were just about to write a series on MitM, but I guess I'll have to do it on my own. Not the same... :( Maybe the C3 guys want to help?

OTW, can you give me his exact words? What he posted on?

Questions? So many questions. Sad, disappointed, shocked. Turkey bacon...

Any way I can contact him outside of WHT?

Also, Cx2H, you might need to be more careful about what you say as well. I read over your recent response on the Airodump-ng post, and I recommend you don't do that too much. I don't want you gone, either.

I did? I babel a lot sometimes. I try to be understanding and if no one has noticed I have disengaged pretty much from answering 90% of question to avoid conflicts and side taking. Not out of frustration or anything just get in where you fit type questions. Yeah I get annoyed but try not to lash out too harshly or I just write a long comment and end up deleting it before hitting submit. See random babel.

* Now I'm confused looking back in history.

:-P That's a happy comment, it's contextual.

You need curly brackets for it to work on skype. :-P

He gave the "sudo rm -rf /" command to a newbie? "sudo shred /"?
That's kinda harsh :/ (don't try out those)

I agree that he may defend that kid from himself, but he's not to judge if someone should or shouldn't continue learning and trying out stuff. And that's definitely discouraging. I personally use my Linux box as my main OS and I would hate to have it all wiped out.

On the other hand, he wrote a really nice series recently, I hope he redeems himself and comes back, as he seemed like a valuable contributor to this forum.

Is that post still available to read?

I'm with CyberHitchHiker in that general computer competency is necessary to learn how to hack; but instead of doing something like this, it's better to just tell the user.

Hell, direct them to the "Where Do I Start?" section of my How to Post to Null Byte post, that's a big reason why I wrote it.

It's sad to see a contributor go; but this isn't acceptable behaviour. As a community it's imperative that we don't abuse the trust of newcomers, it's damaging to the growth of our community. Yes, it's frustrating that we get newbies with limited computing experience, but that's a small negative that comes with growth.

Treat the newbies with the respect you received when you came here, it's only fair.


I wouldn't say he "maliciously" gave out the command. It was a harmful code, but I doubt he was malicious about it. More like, annoyed and fed up. Nevertheless, it was harmful, and he definitely wasn't (as Ciuffy put it) "on his A-game."

How exactly do you know the newbie ran the code, or are you taking his word for it? I'm just trying to get both sides of the story.

To the person complaining about "Bashing" him
where only complaining as R and J was one of the best contributors of this forum

Also this is called the "Grey Hat Playground" R and J did troll the user but he SHOULD NOT HAVE runned the command and if he did its his own responsibility to fix it not r and j as he was gullible enough to believe him and run it and face the mallacious concequences

No. R&J wasn't really on his A-game, and it was his fault the code was put on the website.

Although it saddens me to see R&J depart from our beloved hacking community, i understand why this is the correct course of action and what he did should not be tolerated here. As mentioned many times, R&J was given the chance to right his wrong. He refused and so, he will pay for his foolish actions against an innocent newcomer simply seeking guidance from an "expert". I trust Master OCW's judgement on how to assess this situation and am happy to see this community thrive and constantly evolve, despite certain losses.

As far as I see, that guy wasn't bad at all. I think that you should give him a chance.

He was given a chance.

He was given the chance to fix the problem he caused, he didn't take it. There are consequences to actions for a reason.

Don't get me wrong, I think he was a nice guy too and I hope he takes a chance to redeem himself.


"One of the things that makes Null Byte different than all the other hacking web sites is how we treat newbies. While others treat newbies with scorn and derision, we treat them with kindness, patience and openness."

sometimes this a true.on comments section i see some got answers for their questions and some didn't.

It primarly depends on the question.

There's always somebody online on Null Byte, but one just can't know every subject and be an expert in it. Plus, if the question gets buried, the one which is able to answer may not see it. If nobody answer 1) Nobody here know the answer 2) The ones who know how to help just didn't notice it.

Unfortunately, there's no "up" here, like in forums...

Thanks,1st time got a response after commenting web site like this.There are so many of facebook pages about hacking ,but those people never answer to newbies .

Some ask vague questions with a broad answer, and some apparently didn't mind using the search bar.

Taking into account of what both Ciuffy and Kitten said, we don't answer either because we don't know, notice, or the newbie doesn't know how to use the search bar at the top. We generally only help if they can't find the information.

If you think that some places we're bad, you should see V3rmillion. Every newbie there, when asks a question, get answers like "Wow you idiot. Such a f*gg*t" or "Get lost noob. V3rmillion is for the strong."

Didn't want to sound to rude, but I'm not even going to bother about someone asking *put stereotypical question which doesn't deserve an answer here*

i'm sorry to bring this up. i'm new here..

if i hask for help to someone here and they answer me with some bad code to damage my system (even if it was a joke) i'll be very angry and dissapointing, but i will lear from the mistake of not check the code (with google or something)

i hope that new guy recovered his system and R&J come back to this forum to keep helping newbies.
I'M GLAD to be a newbie here.
(guys, sorry for my bad english, i'm from argentina)

Sending bad code is one thing, providing malicious code is another and will not be tolerated here.

R&J was given an opportunity to return is he apologized and helped repair the damage he caused. He refused to do either.

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