In recent weeks I have been reading comments online about the Penetration Testing with Kali Linux (PWK) course and OSCP exam taking a lot of flak for being “tool old” and using “outdated exploits that don’t even work anymore.”
I believe most of these comments are directed at the lab environment and course materials. It is true that you won’t find many systems in modern pentesting engagements that are exploitable with older things such as EternalBlue (MS17-010).
But that is beside the point.
The PWK and OSCP exam are all about teaching you how to think, solve problems, persevere, and develop a pentesting methodology that works for you.
It is true that Hack The Box (HTB) and other modern online capture-the-flag frameworks are more leading-edge in that regard, which is great, and they can certainly be an excellent way to augment and prepare for the PWK/OSCP journey.
But the point is that it really doesn’t matter if you drive a 2019 Ferrari 488 Spider or a 1996 Honda Accord, it is whether or not you figure out how to get to the destination.
When I did a short work stint at Secure Decisions in 2018, one of the projects I got to work on was helping to create the Attack Surface Detector plugin for ZAP and Burp Suite. I left that position before the project got published, but I am happy to see that it was a success.
The Attack Surface Detector tool uncovers the endpoints of a web application, the parameters these endpoints accept, and the data type of those parameters. This includes the unlinked endpoints a spider won’t find in client-side code, or optional parameters totally unused in client-side code. It also has the capability to calculate the changes in attack surface between two versions of an application.
There is a video that demonstrates the plugin, and yes, that is me doing the voice-over.
Since recently discovering there is now an official Kali Linux docker image, I’ve been fiddling with it and tweaking my own setup to get it to how I like it for the things I use it for. I have a work version and a personal version. What follows is my personal version, used mostly for R&D, CTF challenges, and bug hunting in my free time.
My Kali Dockerfile (for Mac)
# The Kali linux base image
# Update all the things, then install my personal faves
RUN apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y && apt-get dist-upgrade -y && apt-get install -y \
# Create known_hosts for git cloning things I want
RUN mkdir /root/.ssh
RUN touch /root/.ssh/known_hosts
# Add host keys
RUN ssh-keyscan bitbucket.org >> /root/.ssh/known_hosts
RUN ssh-keyscan github.com >> /root/.ssh/known_hosts
# Clone git repos
RUN git clone https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists.git /opt/seclists
RUN git clone https://github.com/PowerShellMafia/PowerSploit.git /opt/powersploit
RUN git clone https://github.com/hashcat/hashcat /opt/hashcat
RUN git clone https://github.com/rebootuser/LinEnum /opt/linenum
RUN git clone https://github.com/maurosoria/dirsearch /opt/dirsearch
RUN git clone https://github.com/sdushantha/sherlock.git /opt/sherlock
# Other installs of things I need
RUN apt-get install -y \
RUN pip install pwntools
# Update ENV
# Set entrypoint and working directory (Mac specific)
# Expose ports 80 and 443
EXPOSE 80/tcp 443/tcp
Each generation of parents has something different to worry about — something that has changed since they were young. You might have had internet access when you were a teenager. It might have been an invaluable source when it came to tackling big homework projects, and you might have even made friends in the odd teen-friendly chat room. But, times have changed, and most of us look back glad that social media wasn’t a big deal when we were younger.
You might have had a Facebook page. But, the internet wasn’t like it is now. Nowadays, it’s a massive part of everyday lives. We’ve all heard horror stories about children and teenagers being bullied online and about the darker parts of the internet we’re all keen to avoid. As a parent today, the internet is one of our biggest concerns as our children grow. Even very young children have tablets and some level of internet access, which only grows as they do. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you to keep your family safe online.
Remember, it’s better that your children learn about the internet with you, instead of picking up bits and bobs here and there. When they are young, and first getting online, do it together. Show them some websites and apps that you think they’d enjoy and give them a little freedom to explore with you.
Put Safety Measures in Place
However much you trust your children, it’s never a good idea to let them out on the web alone without putting any safety measures in place. Set parental controls on younger children’s devices. Turn off in-app chat and location settings and use your own app to monitor their usage, these are inexpensive and widely available. For older kids, you might want to speak to them about setting their own safety and explain the importance of keeping some things private and hidden.
Talk About the Risks
You won’t want to tell very young children the worst horror stories out there. But, you can explain to slightly older children that the internet can be dangerous. You can tell them about people trying to contact them online and explain some of the risks. Tell them what they need to watch out for, and teach them how to report any suspicious activity.
Don’t Be Too Critical
If you are too critical, or too overprotective, it will become a secret. They’ll start to hide their internet usage from you. They’ll spend their time online behind closed doors. They won’t want to speak to you about it, and they won’t be comfortable coming to you if they are worried. Remember, children are curious, and that’s fine. Try to be understanding and supportive, even if you are worried or don’t approve.
Encourage them to Trust Their Instincts
Instinct is essential when it comes to safety. If someone started talking to you online, you’d get a feel for the situation straight away, and it’s essential that your children learn to do the same.
Chat With Them
Take an interest in their usage. Ask about games they play and the sites they use. Let them tell you about the things that they enjoy, and take an active interest, even if it means you have to listen to too many Minecraft tales. It’ll help to keep your relationship open and honest.
Welcome to 2019, everyone! The future is bright, and I am sure we will all experience a lot of fun and unexpected things in the world of security. So far this year, we haven’t see anything along the lines of Specre/Meltdown, which helped usher in 2018.
One thing I did realize is that the turning of the calendar to this new year, remarkably, means that there is less than one year until Python 2.7 is officially “unsupported.”
Just check the Python 2.7 Countdown clock if you don’t believe me. Everything should be well on the way to Python 3 by now. Or so you would hope.
I find it somewhat humorous (mildly) that the infosec community still relies so heavily on Python 2.7, given its impending doom. I still see new tools being actively developed in this version of Python crossing my news feed almost daily. So many things on Kali Linux rely on Python 2.7.
I have oberved that longstanding, popular open source stalwarts of the trade have shown little interest in moving to 3.x.
I really have no idea what to do about this, other than encourage contributors to migrate, and to lend a hand if and where possible. But it’s getting really late, and I still have to use python2.7 far too much in my day-to-day pentesting and security research life.
Aah, the joys of social media. When you have a professional role, there are lots of things to think about, and your image across various platforms is one of them. No, we’re not talking about your actual image (although sure, you may want to get a haircut once in a while) we’re talking about how you’re perceived online, and as a result, within your community and profession. When it comes to protecting your reputation on the web, you need to follow a few steps, to make sure that you don’t cause yourself any trouble, and we’ve noted down a few easy ways that you can do this here.
Be careful what you tweet
Oh, Twitter. How we all love to have a little rant here and there, and how heated it can sometimes get when a disagreement arises. But as many professionals (and famous people) will tell you, those old tweets can come back around and haunt you. If you want to keep your reputation as clean as a whistle, make sure you’re not tweeting about anything that you wouldn’t say in a professional environment. Sure, you can tweet about how much you love eating cheese over the Christmas period, and nobody will hold it against you, but don’t tweet about how much you want to hit your neighbor with a baseball bat because of his loud music. It doesn’t look good.
On sites such as Facebook and Instagram, your friends have the ability to tag you in pictures, which isn’t great news for your privacy. The issue here is that they probably find it hilarious that you got your arm stuck in a vending machine whilst you were steaming drunk, but your potential clients probably won’t. In fact, they will be quite worried about giving you their money if they see that you’re an off-the-rails individual where Instagram is concerned. Do yourself a favor, and keep these pictures between you and your buddies. The last thing that you want is for everybody to be asking you what happened on that night, especially when you can’t even remember.
Google yourself, and remove what isn’t too good
Ok, so it may sound like Googling yourself is a strange concept, especially if you’re not exactly, you know, Britney Spears. However, if you’re part of a big business or you have a large social media following, you’re going to have to say goodbye to anything that may not bode too well when it comes to your reputation, and Google is a good place to start. Whilst many images on the search engine don’t belong to them (as they don’t own the sites), there are still ways that you can get around it if Google won’t remove an image. You can get in touch with whoever runs the website, or you can try a method like suppression if they’re not willing to budge and Google won’t help.
Keep things set to private
Sure, you may feel like you should share some of your personal life online, but make a distinction between the personal and professional where you can. If there are some things you’d rather share with close friends and family, then have a Facebook account set to private, and separate it from all of your other public accounts. You don’t have to use your company accounts to share your own private thoughts (keep them business), and you can even use a different name for your personal ones if you only want to keep things between you and your loved ones. Take some time to secure your social media, and your other online profiles, too. You won’t regret it when you’ve saved your reputation.
There are many ways to protect your reputation online, and one of them is being careful about what you tweet. Instead of going all out and writing what first comes to mind, take a moment to reflect on whether it is necessary, and whether it will damage your reputation. You can also untag yourself from any unprofessional photos, and remove pictures from Google if you don’t want them to be the first thing that people see. Lastly, set some accounts to private, and keep the information there between friends. This will help you to separate the personal and the professional.
Whatever you decide to do, your reputation is greatly important as a professional, and is something that you should take seriously if you want to be successful. Follow these simple tips if you want to make sure that it’s the best it can be, and that you have a reputation that precedes you (a good one, that is…).