… ye gotta know where ye’re just gonna rush in and with what. Ye cannae just rush in anywhere. It looks bad, havin’ to rush oout again straight awa’ … ~ Terry Pratchett
Reconnaissance is the first, most critical, and most time consuming phase of any hack.
Key is to narrow the scope as much as possible:
Gather as much information as possible on the target by using public sources. Create a map of the network to determine what operating systems, applications, and address ranges are being used and to identify any accessible open ports.
Check and double-check. Think about it. Check again. And return here with all new information for updates after doing something else “hacky”.