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39

IT in general, IT security in particular, is an area where you should always learn. When you do not want to learn any further, then it is time to retire. Therefore, you should already be eager to learn TCP/IP, and your question should be: "do I learn TCP/IP first, or is there something more urgent ?" Knowing the internals of TCP/IP is an invaluable tool for ...


25

There is quite a lot of them: Metasploitable: Currently there are 2 versions. Kioptrix: Currently 4 challenges. Hackademic: Apparently 2 VM, check 1 and 2. pWnOS: Currently 2 challenges. Standalone which you can install directly without VM, this is to hone your Webattack-Fu: OWASP WebGoat Damn Vulnerable Web Application Mutillidae


25

Consider the usual risk management statement: Don't spend 1000$ to protect 100$ Now, it might just be a situation that the execs are not aware that what they want will cost 1000$; more likely that they just don't realize that they're only protecting 100$ worth. If that is the case, you could consider trying to implement methodology that will ...


20

None. Generally speaking, certifications in the security field, much like most other tech areas, are required only for entry-level positions (when you have no experience to speak of), senior positions (when you need the long signature), and government jobs (when you need to answer an RFP to work there). By themselves, none of these are a replacement for good ...


20

Interesting question. My thoughts on this are that obscuring information is helpful to security in many cases as it can force an attacker to generate more "noise" which can be detected. Where obscurity is a "bad thing" can be where the defender is relying on that obscurity as a critical control, and without that obscurity, the control fails. So in ...


20

Free options are few, but there are tons of videos and tutorials on specific attack vectors or products/tools. They will NOT make you a Penetration Tester, but they are free learning resources. Some decent options to start you off: MetaSploit Unleashed: Learn an exploitation framework SecurityTube: various videos covering a multitude of topics NMap: The ...


16

One of the things I've been most impressed by in the last few years is the new focus on security as being a balance between cost and risk. A security solution should not be implemented if the cost exceeds the risk of exploit, and both costs and risks can be hard to diagnose. The thing I like most about this core concept is that it basically mandates the ...


16

You could check out www.cccure.org - it was always the one I recommended folks go to when I used to teach CISSP. I have just checked it out and it has even more material than it did 5 years ago. It requires free registration, but then you have access to documentation and practice tests. (and good luck!)


15

As someone who spends a lot of time listening to podcasts I'll rattle off a few I've found to be very enjoyable. Eurotrash Security Podcast Probably my favourite podcast as it's European albeit a bit light on technical content. News and chat based mainly. They cover a lot of the conferences which is good if you can't get to many (like me). The European ...


15

This is great that you are doing so much learning on your own. You are on the right track. Your enthusiasm to learn on your own will put you a step above a lot of your competition. Kudos. My main advice would be: don't worry too much about planning out a path through all the material you want to learn. You don't need a carefully thought-out plan. ...


15

Yes, math is a tool and it can be useful in the realm of computer security. A fair amount of math is required to obtain a degree in Computer Science, and hackers prey on software developed by computer scientists. Algebra can be used to fool GPS, and detect doctored photographs. Computer Science theory is a branch of math and has applications to ...


14

There's a couple of good ones in addition to DVL, that I've come across Metasploitable is designed for testing out some of Metasploits functionality. There's some good information on using it in the free Metasploit Unleashed course. There's also DVWA from a web applications perspective EDIT: Another good list I came across on a blog recently, has quite ...


14

For Reverse Engineering: The University of Helsinki in collaboration with F-Secure offer a course titled Malware Analysis and Antivirus Technologies which has the curriculum available online. For Secure Coding: CERT is always a good reference, especially for C & C++. They have a Secure Coding in C and C++ course at SEI @ CMU.


14

There is no defined blueprint on what is the best language to learn. Therefor I would like to mention two good alternatives that I (and many otheres) think is a good languages to learn in computer security. LUA Explanation of Lua from wikipedia: Lua is a lightweight multi-paradigm programming language designed as a scripting language with "extensible ...


12

A typcial example of non-trivial buffer handling is the parsing of binary files (or network packets) that can contain arbitrary-length strings. (Is there any ASN.1 parser that didn't have buffer overflows bugs at some time?) For example, consider the format of textual data chunks in PNG files: The keyword and text string are separated by a zero byte ...


11

I am partial to the appsec side of penetration-testing. Hunting Security Bugs The Art of Software Security Assessment Secure Programming with Static Analysis Open-Source Fuzzing Tools Fuzzing for Software Security Testing and Quality Assurance Gray Hat Hacking, 3rd Edition Advanced Windows Debugging How to Break Software Seven Deadliest Web Application ...


11

Sans has a Web Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking: Capture the Flag class you might be interested at https://www.sans.org/security-training/web-penetration-testing-ethical-hacking-capture-flag-day-6-13632-cid There are some capture the flag sites that you might learn from using http://hax.tor.hu/ https://pwn0.com/ http://www.smashthestack.org/ ...


11

While it may not be the hardcore technical pentesting you are used to, it will definitely aid you in understanding processes and security controls within a company. This may help you to bring your findings in an understandable way to the business and IT management. Obviously it also means you could do more than just pentesting as you could also write a ...


10

I really enjoyed Erickson's Hacking: The Art of Exploitation Fyodor's own Nmap Network Scanning I have also heard heard great things about, but haven't read yet, The Web Application Hacker's Handbook A Guide to Kernel Exploitation


10

In general, the three most valuable layers of penetration test reporting are: Technical - What the problem is, how to repeat it, and how to fix: this is what the IT/Dev team will require and should be in technical language Business - What does each vulnerability mean to the organisation in terms of business risk, impact, loss etc. - this needs to be in ...


10

Get a job in the IT industry - any job. Work a help desk if you have to because that still counts as experience and experience is what employers really want to see on a resume. Get your foot in the door. I know a lot of people (myself included) who got to where they are because of entry level jobs and working hard to prove their worth. Get involved in the ...


10

I honestly can't think of any. Crypto is the obvious maths domain. Routing protocols and certain security tools use a little maths but that is focused on performance. Forensic analysis can make use of mathematical tools but again, you don't need the maths expertise to use them. Wireless analysis makes use of Fourier transforms to extract data from the ...


9

That's a tough question to answer, because "Computer Security" is a very broad field-- If you are looking for just general computer security stuff, I would start following Richard Bejtlich, who has authored a couple very good network security & forensic books--But he also deals with the philosophical mindset of computer security--For instance, from the ...


9

I’m guessing since you asked this question you find it frequently mind-numbing to locate good vulnerability descriptions. I hate it when I get stuck chasing down the details of a single vuln when there are 100s or 1000s of additional vulns in play. My favorite sources are the vendors that run decent advisory sites, like: Red Hat: ...


9

No matter what size the business, in my experience the only three ways to get a provider to move on this are: Financial: Tell them you'll take your business elsewhere - I understand this isn't possible here. Regulatory: If they are dealing with personal information they must provide appropriate protection in most jurisdictions (eg DPA in the UK - so the ...


9

I can identify with your situation :-) I've been buzzing around the infosec community for a while now, basically trying to get going with the things you want to do as well. These are some of the pointers I've picked up on how to get your hands dirty. eLearnSecurity For me personally, I've decided to go ahead with the course at eLearnSecurity. ...


8

I'll agree with @AviD there aren't really any must have certifications in Security. That said CISSP/CISM can be very useful in the hiring process for getting past Agency/HR screening. A couple of additional ones that I've not seen mentioned so far for the penetration testing side of things OSCP - I've not taken it but from what I've read it seems quite ...


8

Computer-Related Risks by Peter G. Neumann classes preplay attacks as part of the "Playback attacks" category of risks and defines it as "preplay of a not-yet used message", to help understand this a little more I have included two real world examples. Web Application example; I would argue that a CSFR (Cross-site request forgery) attack is a form of ...


8

I use primarly Exploit-DB - Usually I use this for web exploits (like a fresh Joomla hack, or something similar) Open-Source vulnerability database - Excellent for all kinds of products. I've found some old. but excellent hacks on this page Secunia - For searching Microsoft Technet - For some extra reading about the latest Microsoft issues Google Reader - ...


8

Well I certainly can tell my share of the "student ethos" because I too did not care (or did not care enough) about security. Add the fact that I was a bit more involved into security than my student friends, you can tell where this is going. The main problem I had was simply that at school, you are told how stuff works and how you ought to do it ...



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