The past few years were a sort of lull for me. While I’ve continued to read and review books, watch and listen to webcasts and podcasts and do my best to stay ‘fresh’ on the pentesting front, I’ve not had a good opportunity to squeeze in any more ‘structured’ training courses. Ever since completing the OSCE course by Offensive Security (OffSec), I’d been feeling good about much of my repertoire but had been itching to get some solid web courses under my belt. I had contemplated OffSec’s OSWE, but as it’s only offered at BlackHat, has no self-study options and because my work and personal life haven’t offered me time to go down that road, I’d been itching for other options. Enter the eLearnSecurity WAPTX online course.
Rewind the clock to a couple of months ago. I’ve long been familiar with eLearnSecurity, having previously reviewed the eCPPT certification training here at The Ethical Hacker Network (EH-Net) and discussing their various offerings with CEO and Founder, Armando Romeo. Each time I’ve looked at their materials in the past, I’ve been pleased with both the materials presented and the overall ‘bang for the buck’ that they’ve provided. Most recently, I’d been looking at the web application courses they offer, specifically Web Application Penetration Testing – WAPT and Web Application Penetration Testing Extreme – WAPTX. On the one hand I knew that eLearnSecurity was soon to be releasing an updated version of the WAPT course. But the subject matter and descriptions of the WAPTX were really intriguing to me, so I decided to go to the extreme (pun intended). Suffice it to say, I have been very happy with that decision. This course has been outstanding, and I’ve learned a TON from the material in these past two months! Let’s take an in-depth look.
Earlier this year, I wrote of my long love affair with Ruby coming to an end and my desire to get back to python in order to build additional skills for the purposes of defense and response. That first step back into python resulted in the article, Book Review: Gray Hat Python by Justin Seitz. That book was one of the more interesting ones that I’ve reviewed, so when I had the opportunity to look at his latest work, Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters, I was really excited.
Python has been the language of choice in the pen testing universe for a while now, and so having a good reference for building attack and analysis tools for use during attack exercises is really important. The back cover of the book ponders the question of how the magic of creating these tools happens and offers that, “…you’ll explore the darker side of Python’s capabilities—writing network sniffers, manipulating packets, infecting virtual machines, creating stealthy trojans, and more.” Sounds perfect. Let’s take a closer look and see if it delivers.
Have you ever seen a speaker at a security conference, an expert being interviewed on television about the latest cyber attack or an instructor at a whiteboard with the breadth of knowledge one should have when putting your career in their hands? Have you ever wondered what it took for those people to get where they are? Now just imagine all of those people wrapped up into a single individual, add into the mix the extra duties of business owner and husband, and you start to get a picture of Dave Chronister of Parameter Security, HackerU and ShowMeCon.
Covering everything from his first programming project as a child and his BBS days through his first ‘real’ IT job and into how he became who he is today, read on for a fascinating interview. Dave also shares his thoughts on helping you get that job in InfoSec, hiring someone for your next security project and some great general advice. In anticipation of ShowMeCon 2015 June 8 – 9, get to know a little more about the man (and woman) behind St. Louis’ ONLY Premier Hacking & Offensive Cyber Security Conference.
eLearnSecurity has long been a trusted training provider with multiple courses on offer. They recently updated their Penetration Testing – Student (PTS) course. The eLearnSecurity PTSv3 course is tailored for beginners. In addition to a brand new version, they also made available a new pricing structure that includes an Elite Edition, a Standard Edition and a free Bare Bones Edition. The Bare Bones Edition includes lifetime access to the training materials as well as email tech support. For a full rundown of the difference between the editions, click here.
Unfortunately, this is available only to those with an invitation. Luckily, we scored 100 seats in the invite-only free version of the eLearnSecurity PTSv3 Course. And this time there are no gimmicks, no contests, no requirements. It is simply a first come, first served deal for EH-Netters. Read on for the code that gives you access as well as some more details on the new pentesting course. This is for a limited time, so HURRY!!
“Hacking and Penetration Testing with Low Power Devices” by Philip Polstra is an excellent read. The author bases this book on his experiences in both hardware, software and penetration testing and combines the various disciplines to both educate and enlighten the reader. Ultimately, the subject matter revolves around using the BeagleBone Black and a customized ARM penetration testing Linux distro, which Polstra’s dubbed ‘The Deck,’ to perform various types of hacking activities. It’s described as, “A practical guide to performing penetration tests from a distance with low-cost, battery-powered devices.” Oh yeah… just what the doctor ordered.
Let me open by saying that this book struck my “techie geek” nerve. Years and years ago, not too long after I became a computer guy, but far before becoming a professional penetration tester, I managed a Radio Shack store (sad to see they’re going away). I guess you could say I was a maker before it was called that. This book, while discussing pentesting, code, automation and stealth, offers the reader a great experience as he brings them into a world of hardware manipulation, discussions of power consumption, radio communication, and other really cool topics. It truly embraces the mindset of the hacker in a cross-disciplinary way and acts like a perfect bridge for those currently in the computer hacking arena into the exciting wider world of the maker movement. I’m excited to share this experience with you, so let’s get to it.
“Georgia, Georgia…” The tune “Georgia on My Mind” was spinning through my head when I was given the chance to review “Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking,” a book by Georgia Weidman from No Starch Press. Having watched some of her conference presentations online and knowing the work she’s put into the Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF), I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to dive into the book for a while now, and her enthusiasm and efforts made it a worthwhile wait. Amazon’s book description includes the following:
“In Penetration Testing, security expert, researcher, and trainer Georgia Weidman introduces you to the core skills and techniques that every pentester needs. Using a virtual machine-based lab that includes Kali Linux and vulnerable operating systems, you’ll run through a series of practical lessons with tools like Wireshark, Nmap, and Burp Suite. As you follow along with the labs and launch attacks, you’ll experience the key stages of an actual assessment – including information gathering, finding exploitable vulnerabilities, gaining access to systems, post exploitation, and more.”
So with the new year upon us, this gives everyone the opportunity to dive into a topic whether it be for advancing your current career, jumping into a new one or simply to amaze your friends and families. Hacking news both good and bad are everywhere these days. It’s time for you to get into the game. Find out how Ms. Weidman can help.
Dark Side Ops: Custom Penetration Testing enables participants to “break through” to the next level by removing their dependence on 3rd-party penetration testing tools, allowing for outside-the-box thinking and custom tool development designed specifically for the target environment.
Dark Side Ops (DSO) is a course on targeted attacks, evasion, and advanced post exploitation… with a twist. The thesis of DSO is this: if you want to credibly simulate a real world attacker, you need advanced capability. You can’t do this with unmodified open source tools. This course teaches students how to build and modify advanced capabilities. Let’s take a closer look.
When asked by CRC Press to review a recently released book, Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Guide by Rafay Baloch, a closer look was in order before agreeing. The book description reads, “Requiring no prior hacking experience, Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Guide supplies a complete introduction to the steps required to complete a penetration test, or ethical hack, from beginning to end. You will learn how to properly utilize and interpret the results of modern-day hacking tools, which are required to complete a penetration test.” A brief review of the Table of Contents and Description from Amazon piqued my interest, so I accepted the request and got to reading.
The book was written to take people with some technical but little to no ‘hacking’ background, and introduce them to tools, techniques and methodology in order to familiarize them with pentesting. As there are quite a few books on the subject, I was a bit skeptical at first, as I’m always looking for something ‘groundbreakingly new’ or with some extra insights that other books may not have. I can say, with certainty, that while this wasn’t an overhaul of other books on the market, it was well organized and contained plenty of good information for a newcomer to get started into their learning.