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CyberSecurity Laptop

What laptop to get?

Mac Retina 2.7 16GB RAM
5
71%
MacPro 15" 8GB RAM
2
29%
 
Total votes : 7
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tylerver

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Post Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:38 pm

CyberSecurity Laptop

Just started my CyberSecurity BS through a uni in the US. I am currently not in possession of a laptop capable of running most of the programs and such that are discussed here with EH and elsewhere. So obviously I am in search of a new laptop. Now I work for Apple and can get a discount on a new one, but before I sink $3300 into a Retina 15" Pro, I would love the opinion of anyone who thinks this is good or bad. I am currently running an older Mac with unbunto and OSx Lion via parallels.
The Retina has 2.7 i7 with TB to 3.7 and 16GB RAM and 512SSD. I THINK that would make it good for today's computers and well into the future for pen testing and so forth.
Tell me if I am completely off base or on the right track!
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dynamik

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Post Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I'm a huge fan of Sagers, which are essentially unbranded laptops that are the same as the ones sold by the large PC distributors. You can get the same horsepower for a lot less with them, minus Retina and other Apple aesthetics.

http://www.xoticpc.com/custom-gaming-la ... 1_162.html

The 8GB MBP will be sufficient for nearly everything you want to do. You may want to go above that if you plan on running a lot of memory-hungry VM Servers, such as Exchange, SQL Server, etc. simultaneously though. You certainly don't need a maxed-out Retina system to get started with pen testing.
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Triban

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Post Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:20 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I've seen people use things as low end as an Asus Eee PC.  Granted it may not support VMs but it can support a bootable backtrack DVD/USB.  Standard MBP should suffice though if our stuck on that.  I am running on the MBP 13" i7 early 2011 model with maxed RAM.  It runs a couple VMs on Fusion without so much as a hiccup.

get something to get you through school then when you get your first job out, look at investing in something beefier, unless the employer will supply it for you.

Good luck!
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jjwinter

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Post Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:28 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I'm not a pen tester yet, still learning. I run Backtrack 5 on a crappy old HP hand-me-down from client who didn't want to pay to replace the drive, probably worth about $250. Nothing near your specs. If money is not an issue, go for it. Otherwise, I'd stuff a bunch of RAM into an older model and live with it.
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DataDwarf

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Post Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:12 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I'm with jjwinter on this. You don't need a really beefy system for pentesting. Unless you plan on doing some serious brute force attacks older hardware will do just fine. I've been on an old acer aspire 5610 for years and it is still going strong.
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tylerver

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Post Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:59 am

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

Thanks all! Those are some good insights!
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Jamie.R

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Post Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:24 am

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

Yah anything that does the job is good but knowing one programming lan is good idea.

Securitytube offer pyton course
also there a website think its called codeacademy where you can learn python too
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easton85

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Post Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:37 am

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I'm in the same boat. I currently have a 2007 Mac Book pro but when ever I try and load Linux distros (Ubuntu, Arch Linux) on it they do not work with my video card. I'm actually thinking about getting a sager or a eurocom laptop as well, but I'm not sure if they will work flawlessly with Linux, primarily Back Track 5R3 and Arch Linux? Honestly Mac's are nice, I love mine but they need so many work a rounds and hassle to run certain distro's that it is turning me off, especially since I would like to learn the command line more for my  desired profession as a pen tester. So if I were you I would looking into one of those laptops, plus I know you can get a Killer wifi nic that is Atheros chipset, that may work with out the need of a ext. Alfa nic. Good Luck! and if anyone knows about those laptops being great for Linux, please let me know.
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Eleven

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Post Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I would definitely recommend getting something capable of running VMs.  Security is something that you can't just learn by reading books, you have to actually do it.  So I'd say being able to have a virtual lab is important.
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dynamik

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Post Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:53 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

So, to quote tturner, I ate my own dog food. I just picked up one of these: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9150-cle ... figure=yes

I did a few upgrades, such as display, memory, and disk, but it's still a pretty kick-ass machine with the standard config. I'm dual-booting Windows 7 and Linux Mint (Cinnamon), and both are running as smooth as can be.

I had spend a few minutes messing around with the Linux wireless driver, but all the other major hardware was instantly recognized and configured. I haven't tested everything yet. There may be other issues with random hardware, such as the fingerprint reader or card reader, but I'm really not concerned with those items.
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rattis

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Post Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:03 am

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I'm running an old Thinkpad T60 (when I say old, it's still branded IBM). I've done some minor tweeks (new processor, and extra memory). It can't do 64-bit, which makes running Pentoo impossible, but is strong enough to run the lab I used for my DerbyCON talk (Host (debian), BT5r2, Ubunut Desktop, and CentOS 5 or 6 server) .
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tturner

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Post Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:37 am

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

ajohnson wrote:So, to quote tturner, I ate my own dog food. I just picked up one of these: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9150-cle ... figure=yes



That's a nice rig. I'm in the market for a new laptop myself as my aging 17 inch brick is no longer beefy enough and far too heavy. I've always liked the Sagers and may have to pick one up. I have a core i5 Windows slate now, but nothing like a real keyboard/laptop format.
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HMgoneIT

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Post Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

I am glad somebody posted something current about this topic. I will be IT Secuirty grad in Dec. and was trying to figure out the same thing. I have a 2011 MacBook Pro 15in 8gRAM w/120G SSD. I really didn't plan on using this for pen testing but wasn't sure if I should get another Mac or a PC laptop. Sager does look pretty good so I think I will go with them.
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MallettJames

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Post Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:19 am

Re: CyberSecurity Laptop

Thanks all for posting this valuable information basically good for GK.
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