I have an interesting request from you security guru's out there. I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. :-) security (from here on includes internet/network/computer) has always intrigued me. I'll read anything security related. When I do, I get excited. I get goosebumps. I get a chill. You know what I mean. I've bought and read through (twice) Hacking Exposed 2nd Edition. I read through it once to learn things (i stayed away from novell, unix stuff), then I went through it a second time (not looking at novell or unix chapters) and tried some stuff out on a network. I think I can honestly say I never felt more excitement in my life than when I was "hacking" into that network. I successfully breached the network and installed a GUI remote control program.
Anyway, I am new to this and am not sure where to start. I have a background in Windows based PC's and OS's (I've worked helpdesk and telecommunications). I don't know programming, my tcp/ip is a little rusty (subnetting and such), etc. I'm looking for help in developing a curriculum for me to follow so that I can learn what I need to in order to become a security specialist. I think that's my dream job, I really do. I know that I need to learn some programming, harden my tcp/ip knowledge, and learn OS's very well. I'm just not sure where to start, what order to go in so as to build my knowledgebase effectively. Does that make sense? For instance, what programming languages should I study, what books should I obtain and read (and re-read), what order should I learn these things in, etc.
I appreciate any help you can give me.