Week 3 – Enumeration and Cracking
Week 3 is done and it was the best yet! In this course, I have a feeling that every week will be better than the one before it. I studied for 10 hours after work and on the weekend and still managed to do a little painting!
In my original post, Investing a Year in Ethical Hacking, I detail my plan to invest 416 hours in 2017 to learn ethical hacking. Current progress: 30 / 416.
The end of the month is dangerously close. The year is almost 1/12th of the way over. Are you almost 1/12th of the way to your goal for the year?
Enumerating SMTP was…. a disappointment actually.
Keep reading and I’ll explain what I found along with how I cracked some passwords!
Week 2 – Scanning, Enumeration, and Back to Basics
The second week in my quest to become an ethical hacker is complete! With 11 hours of study time logged, this was a very productive week that touched a lot of different areas.
If you’re not sure why I’m posting this, take a look back at my original post, Investing a Year in Ethical Hacking where I detail my plan to invest 416 hours in 2017 to learn ethical hacking. Current progress: 20 / 416.
The hours are starting to add up and this is only week 2 of 52. I can’t wait to keep going and I hope you will join me!
As you know by now, I am a big fan of going SLOWLY through this content to really understand it. That is why I am still working on scanning here in week 2.
Some of the scans like the Null scan and Xmas scan don’t work against Windows systems. I tried scanning my Kali Linux system but since it is a locked-down OS for penetration testing, it doesn’t respond to anything. I don’t want to just skip this part and memorize the information without ever using it!
So I researched different Linux distributions and decided to download and build a CentOS 7 system since it is basically the same OS as Red Hat, only CentOS is free. After getting it installed, I got to run some scans against it and watch the magic happen. An interesting result I found is the difference in default ports that are open for Windows (firewall off) vs. Linux. Linux only has SSH open while Windows has ports for SMB and NetBIOS open.
I also ventured outside my isolated lab to do some careful testing on the real internet. HackThisSite.org is a wonderful resource which gives anybody a free pass to try basically anything as long as it is non-destructive. Keep reading to see what I found this week…
Week 1 – Google Hacking and Port Scanning
My first week of ethical hacking is done and it was a great week! I spent 9 hours working on scanning and reconnaissance. As I mentioned in my post, Investing a Year in Ethical Hacking, my goal is to spend 416 hours learning ethical hacking this year. Current progress: 9 / 416.
For anybody else studying CEH (or anything else), I hope this shows you that even little investments of time can result in huge improvements when done consistently over time.
Google “hacking” is a great starting point even though it isn’t actually hacking at all. It is amazing how much OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) is out there. I searched myself to start off and even found some old forum posts of mine from years ago that I had forgotten about!
Catching Phishers with Google?
Here is just one example of the fun you can have while learning search terms. I was really excited when I stumbled on what looked like a phishing page. Keep reading to see what happened.
Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker, Day 1
OK…I cheated. I started early on CEH by reading a little and skimming some videos, but my 416-hour goal stands.
Current progress: 0 of 416 hours.
What should I do first?
Every goal has to start with a plan right? I explained in my first post of this series that the goal is to Earn the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. I also explained why I think it is important. In the second post of this series, I detailed the tools that I think will contribute to success in becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker. Now I have to get a strategy together to actually work through this material in some orderly way. Detours are fine but, without a plan, I’ll waste a lot of time just trying to decide what to do next.
This is my typical 5-step approach.
- Run through all the material quickly via video training to get a broad understanding of the entire scope of the course.
- Edit: I am going deep with the videos rather than moving quickly this time to get the maximum hands-on experience.
- Read a book cover-to-cover while taking notes and practicing in the lab.
- Detour and repeat as needed to get comfortable.
- Take practice tests and focus on memorization.
- Earn CEH! Take & pass the exam and become a Certified Ethical Hacker.
That’s it. Time to stop posting and get to work!
Follow my progress here, on Twitter @Dconsec, or on Facebook @Dconsec
Are you working on CEH with me? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
The Tools You Need to Learn Ethical Hacking and Get CEH Certified
This is post number two in my quest to become a Certified Ethical Hacker.
In my last post, I talked about why I am Investing a Year in Ethical Hacking.
Now, I’m going to share the resources I plan to use over the next year.
My general recipe for all certifications is the following:
- Video Training
- Practice Test
- Practice Lab
- Other Websites
Keep reading and I’ll go into detail about each one.
There are a lot of security topics that are absolutely fascinating but patch management is not one of them. Even more horrific is patch management remediation. Deploying patches isn’t so bad but getting that last 10% out of your compliance efforts is just a never ending brutal slog through the mud.
I wrote a quick script to take a list of non-compliant computers and give some basic information about their health and status so action can be taken. Unfortunately, this script can’t make phone calls to find out why a computer is off or unplugged but it can at least get you started.
Computer List – To start, export a list of computers that need to be evaluated to ComputerList.txt and place in the same directory as the script.
Ping – The script will ping a computer and return a response. This tells you whether or not the computer is on and responding.
DNS – Next, the script will query DNS for the computer. This tells you if the computer is off temporarily or if it has been off long enough that the DNS record has been scavenged. Check your local DNS aging and scavenging settings to learn what this means in your environment. The default setting are around 2 weeks I think.
Active Directory – Finally, the script checks to see if the computer exists in Active Directory or if it has been deleted.
Output – All the results are written to a new line in ComputerTestResult.CSV file for easy use and filtering in Excel.
Here’s the script…