OSCP Week 9: Easing Back into It

Course content: 18/18
Lab machines: 21.5/55
Days: 63/90

After taking a few days to recover from jet-lag and general post holiday blues, I’m finally back into the swing of things and am ready to pick up where I left off at the end of last year.

I’ll admit that it wasn’t actually that easy to dive back into the OSCP study environment, after such a long and relaxing holiday it was (and still is!) tough to find the motivation to put in a similar amount of hours that I had been previously. I’m hoping that when my routine settles down some more, struggling my way through the labs will come more naturally to me again. I also decided to purchase a 30 day lab extension, as there was no way I was going to be ready to pass the exam without it. In terms of the amount of days spent on the course, it’s basically the same as what I would have gotten had I not been interrupted by said holiday anyway.

In saying all that, I actually made some solid progress and managed to achieve root on 3 lab machines, launching myself over that little pre-holiday rut I was in and comfortably past the 20 machine landmark. Maybe a vacation did do me some good after all!

Weekly High:

My weekly high isn’t really any specific moment, but can be better described as the relief I felt after being able to successfully root lab machines again. I was a touch worried that after so long ‘out of the game’ I would have regressed, but it appears that those concerns were unfounded and I didn’t notice any significant loss in skill (other than blanking on some basic syntax). In a way, this proved to me that I have not only been learning, but also cementing the vast majority of what I’ve done so far. I’ve come a long way from when I first started on this journey, but there’s still a long way to go yet…

Weekly Low:

OffSec threw a curve ball at me on one of the lab machines, where the operating system was running FreeBSD. I had no experience with FreeBSD before, and didn’t realize that commands and syntax would be different to the standard Linux ones I have become accustomed to. In particular, I spent a long time struggling to make wget work, only to find out FreeBSD doesn’t use wget at all! The lack of error messages when trying to make use of a vulnerability meant I had no idea that the command was not recognized and spent a frustratingly long time trying to make it work. Business as usual when it comes to the OSCP I suppose.

It’s also worth noting that I’ve finally booked my exam date for the 15th of March, starting from 9:00 am. I’ve hesitated to book this for a while now, but decided I needed to set myself a deadline and just give the exam a go. Although I’m not expecting to pass on this first attempt, I’ll give it my best effort and treat it as a learning experience should I fail. There’s still plenty of time to go before then though, in which I’ll do my best to hone my skills as much as I possibly can.

That’s all for this week,

Kento

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