After months of consideration over whether to take part in the OSCP or not, I finally took the plunge and have signed up. The course is due to start this coming Sunday – just 3 days away. I have opted for the 90 day labs as that is what the vast majority of people seem to recommend. Also it should allow a little more time and breathing space considering I work full time and also want to have some kind of life other than just work/study.
Previous Experience & Preparation
I have a strong background in Unix, particularly on the command line having configured many machines remotely. I’ve hacked and partially hacked some of the machines from vulnhub and I’ve started to get a better idea of the privilege escalation strategy.
Many of the blogs and advice I’ve seen relates to learning to script – thankfully I’m fairly strong in the area of PHP and Python. I’ve started to brush up on my Shell Scripting and have created several scripts which may help me along the way – things like automatically running through a series of enumeration commands and saving into files.
As an ex web developer and with some hacking experience my ability to target web applications has improved a lot over the past few months. This is one of my stronger areas – although I’m sure there is still a lot to learn.
One of my wearker areas is in Windows based hacking and things like buffer overflow. This is where I will probably need to focus around 70% of my study and lab time.
Some of the blogs and guides I’ve read have said to not rush into the labs, but to spend the time reading the large PDF provided and watching the videos. This is going to be my plan. 3-4 weeks of reading, making some notes, getting really comfortable with the theory and overall content of the course.
I work full time Monday-Friday but thankfully have around 2 hours each night (most of the time) to read and study. I won’t do it everynight, but maybe 3 times in the week and more on the weekend.
After reading the PDF and watching the videos I will then start some of the lab machines. (this is all subject to change and I’ll probably know more once I start).
Some of the advice I’ve read
I’ve read countless write ups and guides, some of which do have different approaches – for example, don’t rush into the labs vs don’t wait too long. The general things that all seem to come through include:
- Try Harder
- Time Management – if you get stuck on a machine don’t waste days and days on it, move on and come back to it later
- Automate repeatable tasks
- Enumeration is key
- The use of google and the ability to search effectively
- Get used to documentation and taking screenshots
These are two links which I’ve seen repeatedly on so many sites and guides now:
Linux Privilege Escalation: https://blog.g0tmi1k.com/2011/08/basic-linux-privilege-escalation/
Windows Privilege Escalation: http://www.fuzzysecurity.com/tutorials/16.html