No matter what I do I can only use wordpress with 777 permissions.
Unacceptable. If you are using a "nix" based server, either your file ownership, permissions, or httpd-user is mis-configured.
After months of trying I finally figured out how to use my ftp username and password to login
FTP credentials have nothing to do with WordPress credentials. Two totally separate sets of user information.
However it still wont let me upload/update anything from the gui without a 777 file permission
Again, httpd-user account errors, and - or file ownership and permissions scheme errors.
I've been hacked 2 times in the last 2 days, and I know more is coming
"localhost" self installs usually aren't intended to be exposed to the WAN. localhost installs generally imply machines built for development purposes. If you've chosen to open a machine on your local network to the WAN without possessing any knowledge of server administration other than to just "make it work", you're going to have some ill effects.
I've decided this is unsolvable and will just close this topic
You seem to be suffering basic server administration issues, rather than WordPress software issues. You've provided zero information relative to your server environment. There's no way anyone could give you any accurate advice. Mentioning what OS you are using, and what server environment have you installed, would have been great places to start. I suspect the lack of any pertinent information is probably why you got no response.