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Starting from scratch

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Makaveli

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Post Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:42 am

Starting from scratch

Hey guys, I am new here and this look like a neat and clean place to learn!

For starters, I would like to consult with the experienced lot of you :)

I am 24 years old. Until the age of 18 I didn't take the hacking\security world too seriously, and it all boiled down to hacking in very simple ways (WIN NT password cracking, NetBios Hacking etc.) to start FTP servers and some other stuff. Used to scan some ports and see if I can do something with it. Did some social engineering for money sake (regret it till this day, please don't flame me. I am not a bad person), however the experience did me good, I am sure.

I decided a while back that I want to do this as a real thing and have a career. I started a 1-year course to get certified to the following:
Microsoft MCITP 2008 Server Administrator
COMPTIA Linux +
Cisco CCNA
Checkpoint CCSA
Checkpoint CCSE

As of now, I am in the half of the MCITP part.

After that I plan to find a job in this field (hoping someone would hire a guy like me. An enthusiast who likes to learn and learn fast, but with no solid experience). And while working get certified for CEH and after that perhaps go for the EC-Council Certified Security Analyst and the LPT (Licensed Penetration Tester) because the offensive part seems more attractive and appealing to me.

I guess the end goal is to reach a CISSP by the age of, I don't know, 30? 35? 40?

I want to do good in this field and I want to earn money because I plan to have a family sometime :)

Please, go easy on me as I am new not only in this forum, but officially in this Security world.

Thanks for those who read this all the way through.
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don

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Location: Chicago

Post Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:06 am

Re: Starting from scratch

Now that's one helluva first post. Love the attitude at 24. This is very similar to what I suggest in my talk DIY Career in Ethical Hacking. Decide what you want out of life, and plan backwards with long-term AND short-term goals. Sounds like you're on your way to a career and not just a job.

I love the foundation you're setting of doing system admin, network admin, Linux, security, etc. Having that under your belt really helps you to understand some of the deeper security topics as they come up.

As for CEH, if this is what you decide for an entry-level ethical hacking credential, then do self-study. I would recommend many other more advanced hacking certs instead of ECSA/LPT. Look around and let us know if we can help with more specific recommedations as you get closer to taking these.

Welcome to EH-Net!

Hope that helps,
Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME
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venom77

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Post Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:48 am

Re: Starting from scratch

Wow. Welcome to EH-Net :)

Sounds like you've got a great path set in front of you. Continue on that route and you'll likely have your CISSP by 30 (if you don't already have experience you can apply towards it).

Hopefully, you've got a lab setup for your playing around ;-) Don't want to be breaking the law anywhere.

Are you working in the IT field at all right now? If not, start looking now. See if you can hunt one down. The sooner you start gaining some experience, the better.

Overall, looks like you've got a good plan and some goals. Follow Don's advice above and take a look at things from a backwards perspective.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions... we've all been (and some of us still are) where you're at at one point in time.

BillV
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MaXe

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Post Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:39 pm

Re: Starting from scratch

Welcome to EH Makaveli  :)


Very nice goals, and nice to see that you have a good plan. If you want to be one of the best, then you need to have or develop, a passion for information security. Money should always come in 2nd, 3rd or a much later row. (Of course, not all people are like this, but if you don't have a true passion for ethical hacking and penetration testing, it surely will become harder than usual, to learn and understand the true aspects of real penetration testing, and not just automated tools.)  ;D

PS: You probably know IRC already, but check out the various channels on Freenode, like #backtrack-linux, #corelan, etc.
I'm an InterN0T'er
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jimjohnson23

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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:51 am

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:52 pm

Re: Starting from scratch

don wrote:Now that's one helluva first post. Love the attitude at 24. This is very similar to what I suggest in my talk DIY Career in Ethical Hacking. Decide what you want out of life, and plan backwards with long-term AND short-term goals. Sounds like you're on your way to a career and not just a job.

I love the foundation you're setting of doing system admin, network admin, Linux, security, etc. Having that under your belt really helps you to understand some of the deeper security topics as they come up.

As for CEH, if this is what you decide for an entry-level ethical hacking credential, then do self-study. I would recommend many other more advanced hacking certs instead of ECSA/LPT. Look around and let us know if we can help with more specific recommedations as you get closer to taking these.

Welcome to EH-Net!

Hope that helps,
Don


I really do like the idea of working "backwards". It really did help me decide that I'm gonna take "less" pay than what I'd be making as a web developer, and to pursue a security-related job. I honestly don't see myself supervising application developers in the future. I'd rather be in a life-long career of "thinking" of novel ideas to penetrate well-established systems. That sounds awesome, and it's nice to see people like OP on the net - really helps me to believe that I'm not alone.
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Makaveli

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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:21 am

Post Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:02 pm

Re: Starting from scratch

OK, so about 6 months passed by (feels like I started this thread last week, the way time flies by makes me think about how I can manage to do more things with the time I do have right now).

The Microsoft part is out of the way with an MCITP successful certification.

Next week I will be taking the on the heavy duty CCSA (Check Point Certified Security Administrator) and right after that go after the CCSE - We finished the materials on both of them, and starting Cisco's CCNA later this week (Looking back at my starting point, I contemplate on whether Cisco should have been the first certification in my course, since it serves as an entry-level to the networking world).

I haven't started working in the industry yet, as I am waiting to finish all of my studies. Some might say it is a bad choice, as the more experience I get at this young stage, the better I will be off in the long run, taking on more advanced jobs.

During that time I was exposed to several areas which caught my attention and got me interested.

These are:

Exploits, and everything around them, which means I need to pursue knowledge on Assembly language along with some C.

Web Applications Security, which REALLY caught my eyes and I am currently reading "The Web Applications Hacker's Handbook, 2nd Edition" in my spare time, and going to purchase some lab credits soon to practice these skills.

The OSCP and eCPPT look like a great goal for me, and I am thinking to myself it I have the right skill set to take on any of them soon (maybe the CEH, which is very expensive, $500 for that exam should be my entry level).

Any comments will be blessed.

Thank you all for your time and your great replies!

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