Get Paid What You're Worth!

The Hacker's Playbook:

In this free 9-lesson email course, I've condensed 23 years of experience training thousands of cybersecurity professionals into a playbook on developing critical cyber skills for aspiring infosec professionals just like you.

What you’ll Learn

Preparation

You'll learn how to prepare your Windows or Mac computer to enable you to start developing fundamental security skills and building hacking labs, even on a laptop.

Fundamentals

You'll learn essential linux, network, and security skills, develop a hacker's mindset, and understand how to diagnose complex problems and develop innovative solutions. 

Job Skills

You'll learn how to destroy imposter syndrome, grow from your mistakes, and gain confidence in your skills. You'll also learn how to stand out online and ace your job interviews.

I want to help you become the best hacker you can be, so you can get paid top dollar to work your dream job in cybersecurity.

Whether you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, overworked and underpaid – or perhaps you’re afraid to ask for what you’re worth – I've been there! I stumbled in the dark for years until I figured out how to slay those dragons, and I want to help you do the same.

My story

Taylor at the Fire Tower

Hi, I'm Taylor Banks. 👋

I'm a hacker, teacher, mentor, and volunteer firefighter. I am the founder of ACE Hackware and the Atlanta Hacking group, DC404, and have been a speaker and staff member at events including DEF CON, Black Hat, B-Sides, ShmooCon, LayerOne, DerbyCon, NolaCon, and the Cloud Security Alliance, and a board member with the Georgia chapter of the Information Systems Security Association.

Prior to starting ACE Hackware, I spent a huge part of my career hacking and teaching other people to hack.

Since 1997, I’ve been hired to hack into banks, government agencies, and Silicon Valley startups (legally), and I’ve trained cybersecurity engineers from Microsoft, Google, the DOD, FBI, NSA, Secret Service, US Marine Corps (and thousands of others) on firewalls, cryptography, intrusion detection and prevention, hacking, and hacking countermeasures. 🦹‍♂️

Trusted by

What previous students have said about my courses:


Mr. Banks compliments his broad knowledge in computer security with his perfectly mastered skills at communication.

I have learned many great skills from him and hope that he continues to see me as a worthy student.

Scott Moulton

Forensic Computer Expert


Of all the class room training I have received, this was the best I have ever had. Taylor really knows the material, inside and out. He thoroughly answered all my question in class (and there were plenty of them) in depth.

The training I received not only prepared me for my upcoming certification test, but also will help me in doing my job.

Warren Fuss

Sr Network Engineer
Tampa General Hospital


After having been in Information Technology for over 18 years and having attended well over 25 professional classes, I can say without reservation that Taylor's instruction was the best I have ever experienced. I can recommend him with no caveats.

Brian Jefferson

Sr Systems Engineer
US Navy’s Space and Warfare command (SPAWAR)

F.A.Q. (You might be wondering:)

Who is this for?

The Hacker's Playbook isn't for everyone, and that's ok.

Cybersecurity is exciting and rewarding, and it can be incredibly fun, but it's also frequently frustrating and can be overwhelming.

This course IS for those who have some technical background, an interest in exploring technology, and a penchant for taking things apart and putting them back together again. If you like to figure out how things work, or try to figure out how to make them work in unintended ways, you're in the right place!

As a "playbook," this course will show you what you need to know, and hopefully help you understand why you need to know it... but you'll need to actually do the work yourself, and spend some time practicing to fully develop the necessary skills.

Why is it free?

We need more smart people in cybersecurity!

The field of computer, network, and information security is a vast, complex, and rapidly evolving field of study, and as technology improves to make our lives better, we are constantly introducing new attack surfaces that can be exploited by those with malicious (or mischievous) intent.

Further, I love contributing to my community. I've started and run hacking groups (like DC404 and kaos.theory), and I've spoken (and released cool projects like Anonym.OS and S.A.M.A.E.L.) at security and hacking conferences like DEFCON and Shmoocon, but teaching is my passion, and I believe that the fundamental skills that make for a great infosec analyst or engineer can be taught clearly, concisely, and efficiently, for the benefit of all. 

Throughout my career, I've learned as much about cybersecurity teaching it as I ever did practicing it, so I try to spend as much time as I can doing both!

Can't I learn all this on Youtube?

Technically, yes. (Well, maybe?)

There are literally hundreds of thousands of videos on "ethical hacking" and "cybersecurity" on Youtube (and Facebook and Twitch and Tiktok, too). 

And while many of the hacking stunts and party tricks you'll find in those free videos may seem cool, realistically, they just aren't the skills that will make you a good cybersecurity professional -- or get you hired!

Sure, "how to hack wifi" might sound a lot cooler than "how to read server logs" or "how to interpret a packet capture," but if you're interested in becoming a good hacker and a better cybersecurity practitioner -- and want to get hired and paid the big bucks -- watching "10 hacks you need to learn RIGHT NOW!" is nothing but a waste of your valuable time and energy.

How is this different than all the other "hacking" courses?

This is a much tougher question to answer. 

There are some really brilliant cybersecurity courses out there (though they're fewer and farther between), including those taught by some of my smartest friends, and I can easily recommend their courses as an adjunct to my own.

There are also now tons of university programs that claim to teach you "everything you need to know about cybersecurity" (including tons of stuff that isn't practical or immediately useful in the cyber job market).

However, I believe that what I'm trying to do with this course is a bit different.

I've been writing and teaching hacking and cybersecurity courses since 1999, and I've learned as much about what not to teach as I have about what I believe should be taught. Frankly, I think most other courses miss the boat by miles.

I want to teach you the root skills (like linux and networking), the core skills (including diagnostics, detection and prevention, and attack methodologies), and the soft skills (overcoming imposter syndrome, resume writing, and a framework for pitching yourself) that will make you a great security practitioner from day 1 -- and I believe I can do it more efficiently and effectively than any of the other training programs I've seen in more than 25 years in this industry.

In the end, if this course isn't everything you need it to be, I'll be happy to point you to some other awesome courses that may better suit your fancy, no hurt feelings. (Plus, since this course is free, your risk is pretty low. 😉)

When Does The Course Start?

The first lesson drops 10/10/22!

FREE COURSE

How to Get Paid What You're Worth in Cybersecurity (Without a Degree)

In this free 9-lesson email course, I've condensed 23 years of experience training thousands of cybersecurity professionals into a playbook on developing critical cyber skills for aspiring infosec professionals just like you.