The Book You Should’ve Read Before Taking OSCP

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    • #7607
      DragonGorge
      Participant

      If you could go back and read ONE book before you took the OSCP, what would it be? A book you read that made you slap your head and say, “Ah man, if only I’d read this before the OSCP!”

      My department has some discretionary training budget they need to spend (use it or lose it next year) so when they asked I said: “OSCP.” The catch is that I have less than a month before I have to sign up for and start the course. I’m looking for a book that will give me a leg up on the class such that I can at least look at my wife in the evenings/on weekends. I figure I have time for 1 book.

      I’ve been programming C/C++ using MS Studio for many years and lately working with C#. I’ve done a few basic programs in Python – enough to know that I’ve really been spoiled by MS Studio’s debugging environment. No Ruby, no Perl. A little Linux. My pen testing/hacking/network knowledge is basically a little above what I got from my CEH course.

      So far, I’ve got my eye on:
      Hacking, The Art of Exploitation
      Coding for Penetration Testers
      Backtrack 4
      Practical Packet Analysis (seems to focus heavily on Wireshark and I believe sil used “a step above a For Dummies book” in his review)

      Any suggestions?

    • #47518
      Dark_Knight
      Participant

      I would probably add:
      Counter Hack Reloaded – Ed Skoudis

    • #47519
      dynamik
      Participant

      I’d go for something more general, such as Counter Hack Reloaded like DK mentioned, or maybe Penetration Tester’s Open Source Toolkit. You might want to also check out something like Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming. I think you’re going to struggle unnecessarily if you’re weak on Linux.

    • #47520
      UNIX
      Participant

      I’d also say something towards Linux, as you probably wouldn’t like to spend too much time on Linux basics during the course and focus more on the security stuff. The course materials cover most security topics well enough for the labs and exam, so be sure to understand the basic concepts first.

    • #47521
      DragonGorge
      Participant

      Sounds like Linux gets the nod. I took a look at the Practical Linux book’s TOC and compared it to the more recent The Linux Command Line (NoStarch Press) a coworker loaned me. I believe they’re comparable in content and I have a better shot of making it all the way through the LCL (half the size of PL).

      I was a little hesitant to get a pentesting book since I was afraid it would cover a lot of material I already saw in the CEH, in addition to material I probably wouldn’t see in PWB (e.g. social engineering, wireless, and the ubiquitous warchalking 😉 ).

      Anyway, thanks for the input. I gotta admit, I was surprised there wasn’t more support for Coding For Pentesters as, on the surface at least, it looked to me like the perfect prereq for the coding requirement.

    • #47522
      Darktaurus
      Participant

      Remember that you will find offsec information everywhere.  Search every resource you can including books, blogs, offsec sites, IRC, etc.  It will all help you in the long run.  Good luck on the course!

    • #47523
      dynamik
      Participant

      @DragonGorge wrote:

      Anyway, thanks for the input. I gotta admit, I was surprised there wasn’t more support for Coding For Pentesters as, on the surface at least, it looked to me like the perfect prereq for the coding requirement.

      There really isn’t that much required programming in the course (aside from the Extra Mile exercises, I’ve been using Bash scripting exclusively), and considering you’re weak on Linux and only have time for one resource, there are better options that meet your specific requirements. Your stipulations aside, it’s a great book that you should definitely check out when you’re able to.

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