Coming soon…

Coming soon whenever it’s ready. At the moment, my main focus is my job, first vacation in a while (and already working on the next cert in this „vacation“). But, there’s something in the making. When I released my x86 / x64 syscall tables I made a few promisses on these pages. I bet you thought: Not gonna happen. But it will.

First things first, here’s a quick outliner:

Did 6 months pwn.college intensively, started in fall 2021, fell in love with assembly and binary. University-grade, still mostly self-taught, course. Made it to the top 10% of the highscore and finished about 95% of all challenges. For the onsite students that’s already enough for a „B“ or „C“ grade, if I’m not mistaken. But I wasn’t an onsite student, for us internet students there were only the belts, I got the yellow one, not the blue – cause I quit. It just became too time- and nerve-intensive on the last mile and I did it for the skill, not the belt. On top I had my eCXD coming closer to due date (more below). The course is probably the best reverse engineering and binary exploitation course out there, again from a „skill“ perspective, it’s completely up-to-date, the last years there wasn’t even 32bit on the menu anymore.

Without much thinking I had bought eCXD – eLearnSecurity Certified Exploit Developer + 1 year of INE learning plattform subscription, also around fall 2021, cause it was on sale. Still payed about 1 grant, if I remember correctly. I had underestimated pwn.college time-wise, as well as the challenges of my new job, which focuses on Azure, Kubernetes and a few more technologies that at the time hardly made it to my skill list – so lots of learning there, too. On top, of that, eCXD is rather old material, lots of 32bit and Windows binary exploitation. Python2, no pwntools, basically all the old stuff that had been taken off the pwn.college menu years ago. And oh, boy, things were different back in the days when this material was up-to-date, which must have been around the Ubuntu 12.04  and even WindowsXP era (made me face a few more challenges like setting up these old environments). I say it straight: The course is bad. The material is dated, has lots of mistakes, it’s not like the basics you still need, but rather some quickly patched together course (using third party material like vulnserver and other people’s writeups) and it’s not even that easy.  I spend a good 8h on a single section, being thorough and fixing the issues the course material got wrong (or just no longer works, cause newer kernels got new security features implemented for example).  As if that wasn’t enough, the week before I wanted to jump into the certification, INE had a massive blackout on their Labs: INE on Twitter: „Complex hardware issues…“

That „small percentage“ they talk about is for me all of my eCXD labs are down until the date of this blog post and beyond. The eCXD course is like 50% labs. Great. I asked via Email if they could at least extend the due date of my eLearn Cert (which was first of March 22) for another 6 months, cause, I explained to them, I won’t be able to take another vacation from work right away – and the exam is officially rated at „takes 5 days to complete“. They responded much quicker than usual – and gave me 1 more month instead of 6. Wow. How nice they can be, once they have your money. Don’t go INE or eLearnSecurity, so far it’s been a horrible experience on every level. Well, to be fair, the more recent Cloud & Network courses are good, but in terms of IT Security – nope. Then they also had a huge anouncement of „Joining Pentesters Labs“ but either I’m too stupid or that joint is nothing but advertising and some rebates: meaning you can buy Pentester’s Labs subscription in addition to your INE subscription at a reduced price. Can’t tell what I’m gonna do, my vacation already started, so either I take the one extra month, and use this week to fill up my personal battery, then try to get a few days off again at the end of March. Or I’ll just jump right in and hope the time is enought to solve it, even though I haven’t been able to learn half of the material.

Next: There’s something in the making, as I mentionend earlier. Docs are coming. Lots of docs. I  learned Markdown bit more seriously and started to take notes on everything I know. It will be a repository, Pentest-Monkeys on Steroids. Yeah, maybe not exactly – cause I don’t think there’s the need for another Pentest-Monkeys. What’s there, along with Hacktricks and the few others, is fine and well done. Mine are a bit more detailed, focus on specific topics, e.g. Reversing, Windows Security Bypasses, OSINT for Pentesters, just to name a few.  I guess it’s in between a very good CTF writeup  and Hacktricks. I’m not sure how I managed to produce that much material in such a short time frame (I actually started before XMAS holidays), but it’s a lot and I think it’s good. Yet it needs to ripe a bit longer. Also, to make it clear: Even so it may have sounded like that, I don’t want to imply that my material is as good as these defacto standard works. But I hope that it’s still very good and usefull to you. When? Could be tomorrow, could be in 9 months. Can’t tell right now.

That’s how I spent my first day of vacation, basically working 10h, watched like 1 movie and played half an hour Forza Horizon. Now it’s 1 a.m. Way too much grinding for my taste, things gotta get better.

 

Manuel Geissinger, zertifizierter IT-Sicherheitsexperte, Webedesigner aus Freiburg, Webentwickler, Administrator und Digitalkünstler.
Ihr freiburger Webentwickler Nr. 1 auf LinkedIn Zertifizierter IT Sicherheits-Experte & Webdesigner auf Xing