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Thread: backtrack and oscp question/advice

  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Hi all,

    I realize this may not be the ideal place to ask this, but any suggestion/advice is appreciated, especially since some members have had such positive reviews/have taken the oscp course.

    I'm interested in the OSCP course and an implied knowledge of computer science is obviously needed. I'm curious as to what level of linux/programming/etc... level of knowledge one should have before attempting to pursue this course.

    At the moment, I'm not at all confident in my abilities for this course, please advise on areas where I should work on before attempting it.

    I'm a fourth year computer science student (currently doing internships) and I'm interested in completing the OSCP within the next two years.
    -Programming experience: Java/C/C++ including networking TCP/IP knowledge
    --I'm working on some Bash/Perl scripting at the moment
    -New to using BackTrack.
    --Advise on what tools in BackTrack I should be comfortable using? Ex: as a part of my education in networking, I'm comfortable with Wireshark/Packet sniffers, what else should I focus on?

    Any suggestions at all will be appreciated! This is something I would be interested in pursuing after graduation.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Moderator KMDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Glad that you are thinking about the course.

    It is the best way to get a good overview of the penetration testing world, which tools are used and how to find your way around.

    If you know one programming language you shouldn't have a too hard time to adopt to a new language. Especially Python isn't too heard to learn if you already know Perl,C,Java.

    One thing you definately need is a strong will to learn and to not give up if you hit a roadblock. You will not be entirely spoonfed and have to do some research on your own which is pretty good.

    So I think it wouldn't hurt to start taking the course.
    Tiocfaidh ár lá

  3. #3
    Super Moderator lupin's Avatar
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Heres a list of what Id suggest would be required knowledge for the course as well as a test of your abilities to determine if you will be able to handle the course:

    • Get comfortable with using Linux (check out Archangel.Amaels new to Linux sticky)
    • Read up on TCP/IP (try "TCP/IP Illustrated" or the official Cisco CCNA Study Guide) and actually watch various types of network traffic using Wireshark and generate using tools like nmap (and check out the nmap book)
    • Have a go at Metasploit Unleashed (it's free)
    • Try some of these buffer overflow tutorials


    If none of that stuff poses any problems you should be able to handle PWB just fine.
    Capitalisation is important. It's the difference between "Helping your brother Jack off a horse" and "Helping your brother jack off a horse".

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Looks like to me you are good to go! The only thing I would do extra is start playing around with some of the tools a little and after a week or two take the course.
    pureh@te said: Our goal is to be a fearsome pentest distro not a windows replacement OS where we are trying to convert the world to Linux.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Archangel-Amael's Avatar
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    OP you mentioned working on some bash/perl scripting. While the which language should I learn or which is better is like the Chevy versus Ford debate, and I want to avoid that. I will stress looking into python as well. Many tools are written in it, such as SET (Social Engineering Toolkit) and others. I would also mention ruby since Metasploit is Ruby. Now I don't say that you need these skills or abilities for the courses but in general. The lists of information from the course outlines on the OFF-SEC site as well as the above mentioned is covering things pretty well.
    Just my two cents worth.
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  6. #6
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the replies! I'll definitely take a look at python and play around with some of the tools before I take the course.

    I had one more question - and I realize the answer would be "depends on how quickly I understand/work" but how much time per day should I be expected to put into this course?

    I ask because I'm currently doing internships for the next 12 months, my available time is limited to a 2-3 hours at night on weekdays and the weekends only.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by automagically View Post
    Hi everyone,
    ... my available time is limited to a 2-3 hours at night on weekdays and the weekends only.
    I started the course on this basis and found that it needed a much greater commitment from me. Actually it took over my life in the end! That's a good thing though

  8. #8
    Super Moderator lupin's Avatar
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    Default Re: backtrack and oscp question/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by automagically View Post
    I ask because I'm currently doing internships for the next 12 months, my available time is limited to a 2-3 hours at night on weekdays and the weekends only.
    That may not be enough time, especially if you're not already familiar with the subject matter. I have heard estimates of requiring between 40 to 60 hours for the course. I didn't really keep track of how much time I spent, but I think it was close to that - especially when all the extra credit questions were taken into account (and while you don't have to do these, they are great fun and an excellent learning opportunity, and its good to do them to get the best value out of the course). I also did the previous version of the course (the one designed for BT3) and I believe they have added more content in the BT4 version.

    Also, the exam is done over a straight 24 hour period.
    Capitalisation is important. It's the difference between "Helping your brother Jack off a horse" and "Helping your brother jack off a horse".

    The Forum Rules, Forum FAQ and the BackTrack Wiki... learn them, love them, live them.

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