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musings from the brainpan

The Offensive Security Playground: A Review

A couple of years ago I successfully completed the Offensive Security Pentesting with Backtrack (PWB) course, and a year after that, the Cracking the Perimeter (CTP) course. Having a huge lab made up of different machines in different subnets to break into is just a great challenge. When I completed the courses, I was a little sadenned that I’d no longer get a chance to poke at the labs. So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked if I’d like to beta test Offensive Security’s latest offering; The Playground.

Knock-Knock Hacking Challenge

For the last few weeks I had immersed myself in several CTFs with team VulnHub. It was a nice change to return to boot2roots after tackling small and difficult challenges. This time round, it’s Knock-Knock by zer0w1re. Much like other boot2roots, the goal is to get root, and find the flag. As always, head over to VulnHub to download it and have a go.

OwlNest Hacking Challenge

It seems like more and more boot2roots are being submitted to VulnHub as of late. OwlNest by Swappage is one of the more recent ones that packs a good challenge. Grab it over at VulnHub if you’re interested in giving it a go. This was debuted at ESC 2014 CTF where no one was able to solve it. It took me several days to finish off this beast after getting stuck in a tarpit, but this was a whole lot of fun.

Flick Hacking Challenge

Flick by leonjza is a new boot2root available for download at VulnHub. I had quite a bit of fun with this one, and learned a couple of new things as well; like how I like to do some things the hard way. So without further ado, I’ll jump right in and describe how I completed the challenge.

Xerxes 2 Hacking Challenge

Another month, another hacking challenge! This time it’s Xerxes 2 by barrebas. This boot2root promised some challenges and it definitely delivered. Xerxes 1 was a lot of fun, and when Xerxes 2 was announced, I was looking forward to getting my hands dirty. As with other boot2roots, you can download a copy of Xerxes 2 at VulnHub

Hell Hacking Challenge

One of the latest and more challenging boot2roots released on VulnHub as of late is Hell. This boot2root by Peleus has appeared to cause quite a bit of hair pulling and teeth gnashing whenever it’s mentioned on IRC. I initially started off with his beta version but had to put it away when I got too busy with work. When I was finally ready to try again, the official version had been released, so I downloaded it and started over.

Hades Hacking Challenge

A few weeks ago, VulnHub hosted the Hades competition; a capture the flag challenge created by Lok_Sigma. Hades is touted as a difficult boot2root, requiring some experience in exploit writing and reverse engineering. The competition ran for a good 4 weeks, and with submissions now closed, I’ve decided to go ahead post my solution.

From Fuzzing to 0-day

A couple of days ago, I found an interesting bug during a fuzzing session that led to me creating a 0-day exploit for it. I’ve been asked a few times about the methods I use to find bugs and write exploits, so I’ve decided to take this opportunity to describe one particular workflow I use. In this post, I’ll take you through finding a bug, analzying it, and creating a functional exploit.

Multi-Factor Authentication With SSH on OS X

This is a quick guide on how to setup multi-factor authentication with SSH using Google Authenticator. The goal is to require three items from the user in order to complete the authentication: SSH authentication keys, the user’s password, and a one-time password using Google Authenticator.

Leaving Blogger and Moving to GitHub Pages

My first post on Blogger was on October 9, 2009. It’s been a good run, and I’ve enjoyed using Blogger for quickly sharing things with the Internet. For various reason, I’ve grown tired of Blogger, and I’ve decided to migrate over to GitHub Pages. Making the transfer took a bit of time and trial and error. Octopress made the migration relatively simple and so far, I’m pretty happy with the results.