[Article]-Review: Penetration Testing with BackTrack by Offensive Security Part 3

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    • #4348
      Don Donzal

      Part 3 is now here for your reading pleasure. Hope you’re enjoying this series. As always, if this sparks any thoughts or questions for Ryan, please feel free to ask. After all, that’s what a forum is for, right?  😉

      Permanent link: [Article]-Review: Penetration Testing with BackTrack by Offensive Security Part 3


      Ryan Linn continues his insiders look at Offensive Security’s online training in Part 3 of this continuing review of ‘Pentesting with BackTrack.’ As a reminder, PWB is described by Offensive Security as, “An online course designed for network administrators and security professionals who need to get acquainted with the world of offensive security. This penetration testing course introduces the latest hacking tools and techniques, and includes remote live labs for exercising the material presented to the students. This course gives a solid understanding of the penetration testing process, and is equally important for those wanting to either defend or attack their network. The course can be taken from your home, as long as you have a modern computer with high speed internet.”

      Ryan will wrap things up in Part 4 of this new format of reviewing courses. EH-Net normally completes an entire course before publishing any content in a review article. So far, the Community seems to be enjoying it. Maybe this is yet another new trend that shall continue as we head full steam into 2010.


    • #27519

      Like last time, I’m looking forward to the next part.

      I’ve been waffling on whither I want to take this course or not. I doubt my skill set is strong enough (lack the programing), but I’m sold. I’m going to take this course next year. (gives me time to learn some perl and python between now and then).

    • #27520

      I almost done with my MCSA and I will take it. Also I want to learn some basic programming before take it.

    • #27521

      Just as a heads up, you don’t have to be a top notch coder for this course.  Some basic scripting is really all that you need.  If you do one of the in 21 days type book you will probably have all that you need.  The course focuses on short scripts that perform very task oriented things so you won’t need to deal with any of the really complex programming topics, just the basics like network socket creation and basic functions. 

    • #27522

      Which book would you recommend me?

    • #27523

      To be honest, book choice is very personal.  For me, I already know other languages so for the most part I want to reference that tells me functions, parameters, and use cases, but if you don’t have very much experience programming then that may not be ideal for you.  I recommend going to a bookstore and flipping through some books starting with the O’Reilly books and find something that feels like you would enjoy going through it.  There are lots of resources online too, you may want to head over to: http://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide and just see what you think before opting for a book.  It’s all in your learning style.

    • #27524

      Thanks for the third part – looking forward to the last one. (:

    • #27525

      Awesome Work Ryan you are a true asset to EH-Net!



    • #27526

      I am currently attempting to work through the course material (my lab time is nearly up) and I have to say that although programming experience is not needed it does help to have a bit of basic knowledge.

      As to the course, there are many interesting techniques included but there is also a huge amount of frustration. As someone who is used to formal training courses from MS, Cisco and SANS where you are hand held through lab work this is something very different.

      And looking through the posts on the lab forums it seems that many people have been floundering. I’m not saying that the material is not worth the money, just that to get the most out of it, requires a serious investment in time (or a little luck to guess the “tricks” that are hinted at on the forums).

    • #27527

      @sysreq wrote:

      And looking through the posts on the lab forums it seems that many people have been floundering. I’m not saying that the material is not worth the money, just that to get the most out of it, requires a serious investment in time (or a little luck to guess the “tricks” that are hinted at on the forums).

      I contribute this to two things.  As you said, many people are used to being spoon fed material and then being forced to regurgitate that material at a later time.  This course is not about that at all.  This course is about understanding the material, and applying it in context.  So, if people are glancing over the material and then going ok, where in the content can I find out how to hack a redhat box, then they will get very little out of the class.

      The second thing is that while people may have learned some of the material from the course, they aren’t taking the course as a whole into consideration.  This course is great for talking about looking at all of the resources you have at hand.  After having done the exercises in the class, I can say that if you are blindly trying things, you will never get but a small fraction of the content.  If you are approaching things like the course taught, and going through and doing quality enumeration and mapping, and then doing some basic googling/grepping for what you have found, then things become significantly easier. 

      If you are having trouble, I recommend stepping back and re-evaluating your data.  If you don’t have full scans/enumeration of the assets in the environment, you need to have an understanding of what you are working with.  Once you know what you are working with, google and grep should get you the rest of the way towards what you need. 

      I appreciate your post though, as it outlines why I think this is quality material.  This course is about understanding what is going on, how to use all of the tools at hand to interrogate machines, and then once you have the resources, understand how to apply that information.  By the end of this course, you should be understanding how to apply your skills to different situations and deal with everything from scanning and enumeration to escalation.  I think that is a huge endorsement in that if you pass the exam, it shows you do have an understanding of what is going on, not that you have great memorization skills.   

    • #27528

      GREAT reply, Ryan!  I now, more than ever, am ready to actually schedule to take the course.  (Not that I wasn’t before  ;D, but every time I get good feedback, like you’ve been giving, it’s all the more worthwhile!)  I’m just waiting for my approval of funding from work, and I’ll be signing up.  I DO think I could squeeze it in the 30 days or less, if it weren’t for workload from the job, so I’ll happily take the 60-day, and use the extra lab time to really dive deep, anyway.

      Much appreciated.

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