Getting Back up to Speed – Return to HackTheBox

It has now been about a month since I moved cities and changed jobs. Although I still have a ways to go before I am fully settled in, I have been able to get into somewhat of a routine and find my feet. More on that in another upcoming blog post. More importantly, I jumped back onto the HackTheBox platform these past couple of weeks to pick up where I left off in early May. Through considerable effort, I owned 5 machines and elevated myself to the Hacker title. This is a real milestone for me, as achieving the Hacker title has been a goal of mine since the day I joined this platform nearly a year ago. Even better than the title, I broke into the top 500 members across the entire HackTheBox platform! For a site that has 147,452 members (and counting), I’m proud to be in the top 500 club. I plan to continue improving my skills and my title/rank on HackTheBox, so I’m confident that this is not the peak of my HackTheBox journey just yet.

My HTB badge, displaying some stats along with the “Hacker” title
Top 500 on HTB! A pretty decent rank considering the amount of total users this site has.

Coming back to penetration testing, Kali Linux and HackTheBox was far from easy. I had become noticeably rusty and I was struggling to recall even the simplest of commands. Much of what had become muscle memory was gone, and I had to rebuild my speed, skill and confidence back up again. Even now, I’m not convinced that I am as good as I was immediately before my first OSCP attempt.
Another thing I struggled with, was finding the motivation to commit the amount of time to practice that I had been previously. Simply getting back on the metaphorical horse was a lot more difficult than expected. I had to gradually spend more and more time each night practicing, until I reached the point where I can happily spend multiple hours per night on penetration testing practice.

I’m aware that this is only a short post. Because I’ve spent the past two weeks practicing on active HackTheBox machines, I’m unable to write about what I actually did on this blog until after they are retired. I’m still committed to learning and progressing towards the OSCP exam – hopefully I can have more in depth content soon!


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