General, Security, Privacy, Technical

An OSCP Retrospective

On May 1, 2020 I started Offensive Security’s Penetration Testing with Kali (PWK) course and the path to gain my OSCP certification. Long had it lingered in my mind, and long had I toyed with the idea of starting the journey — only to think myself unprepared and slink back to practicing against vulnerable VMs — until Covid-19 hit, and we were forced to shutter ourselves away. Social gatherings were banned. “Bubbles” became a household term that took on a whole new meaning. And I was suddenly presented with the conditions necessary to entirely devote myself to the effort. In all that has happened this year, I am fortunate.

Penetration Testing with Kali” is the course element of the OSCP certification. The OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) is a highly-regarded ethical hacking certification. It includes a 24-hour proctored exam where the student is required to attack a series of machines and gain privileged access to them. It is a practical exam, and, in an industry known for much talk, a practical exam cuts through the BS.

In keeping with tradition the following article outlines my experience after successfully gaining my OSCP certification, and it provides a few tips for those wishing to do the same.

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