OSCP Review

Intro:

I have been developing Software for years, However had a great chance to switch my career path to be in security field recently and that’s why I started looking for trainings to gain more skills.
Security for a software developer is writing a good code, running scanners, setting firewall, etc.
but there is still a missing link, how can hackers break into servers, what tools and techniques they use?

Enter OffSec:

In my journey for finding the right trainings, I reached OffSec since I was using Kali Linux as a platform to use scanners.
I was skeptical at first but after reading different reviews I decided to enroll in PWK course since I am a big fan of Linux and I need a training with a hands-on experience to know how hacking happens.

Materials:

Fast forward after registration, I received the e-mail package and start reading…
Well I have to say, this is indeed a 101 course but the topics covered is broad and wide.
OffSec will takes you in a journey to all hacking topics, you will know the How and the Why for each concept in a self-learning way.
as Morpheus said: “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”
I did spend two months reading the materials without rushing to know all the topics and connect the dots before hitting the lab, In the same time I did solve the exercises and skipped the ones required more engaging to do it later on.

Lab:

After finishing materials reading and taking summer vacation for one month, I was ready to hit the lab.
I have to say the Lab is just fantastic! I was overwhelmed and running around like a lost sheep in the first few days, but after that I start enumerating the whole lab network and start hacking the low-hanging fruit boxes first.
I spent approximately 3.5 months hacking the lab machines and was able to hack fantastic boxes like PAIN, Sufferance and gh0st. But personally I like dotty.

Exam:

after hitting 32 boxes, I felt ready to take the exam to test my skills.
my first attempt went bad and failed, the exam is BRUTAL but was an eye-opener and knew my weakness.
I did take multiple exam attempts and with each attempt I was gaining more and more skills, it’s a tough process but the aftermath of it is HUGE and learned/tuned a lot of things.
If you want to take the exam then you have to be 100% ready for it. 80% or 90% will not be enough, you have to Try Harder and Harder.
On Saturday 25-3-2017 I passed the OSCP exam with a BIG smile, it went smoothly and I was able to finish the exam along with writing the report in the 24 hours time slot.

Recommendations:

  • you have to change your mindset, in this course you have to think like a hacker or a breaker because developers expect the code to work in a certain way but the hacker will try to twist the code to get in.
  • study and research, you have to read a lot of information and test it to understand what is happening and why.
  • its simple, sometimes it’s plain simple to hack in and you do not have to go deep in the rabbit hole.
  • set a game-plan, know you target very will and spend time reading the enumeration data to set a proper game plan before start hacking Otherwise you will waste your resources.
  • practice, download images from Vulnhub.com and practice. Also I do find the walk-throughs a great way to learn from other people experience.

Final Toughs:

I do encourage anyone seriously interested in Information Security or Hacking to enroll in PWK course, the learning curve is high and you will learn a lot of things in a short amount of time.
you have to dedicate effort/time for this course, otherwise you can’t learn or pass the exam.
the community and OffSec people are great and you will learn many new things, Definitely I will enroll in other courses and try to engage more in the community.

References:

the below links did help me much when I was studying the course

https://blog.g0tmi1k.com/2011/08/basic-linux-privilege-escalation/

http://www.fuzzysecurity.com/tutorials/16.html

https://pentest.blog/windows-privilege-escalation-methods-for-pentesters/

http://www.primalsecurity.net/0x0-exploit-tutorial-buffer-overflow-vanilla-eip-overwrite-2/

http://www.blackhillsinfosec.com/?p=4645

https://highon.coffee/blog/lfi-cheat-sheet/

http://netsec.ws/?p=331

https://www.netsparker.com/blog/web-security/sql-injection-cheat-sheet/

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