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Re: Starting Out
From: "Drew Simonis" <simonis () myself com>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 22:31:53 -0500

Lyndon,
Your course has two possible paths.  I'm not sure which one you want to take, maybe both.  You mention keeping a 
network safe.  From this, might the reader assume that you are insterested in intrusion detection/prevention 
(techniques, not technoloy) and incident response, or are you interested in learning to do penetration tests to 
facilitate this saftey?

If the latter, I would say, IMO, a penetration test might be a nice thing to do, but it isn't the best way to make a 
network safe.  As an "insider", you have all the access you need to discover security vulnerabilities using traditional 
audit and vulnerability assessment methods.  Tools to aid this include benchmark applications, such as those offered by 
CIS, as well as inumerable best practices guides for the various technologies you employ.  

I'd start with these basics, and use a penetration test as a capstone.  But, I don't think you can pen test your own 
network, that's cheating =)

If you want to learn the tools of the opposition to better detect their signatures if one were used against you in 
anger, the best place to start is with a packet analyzer and something like metasploit.  Look at the trace left by 
exploit attempts.  This will help you notice their structure and spot false positive matches, which will be far more 
common in practice.  Look at the results of an attack on a system using some of the analytical tools offered by 
Sysinternals, they can help you see what a rootkit, backdoor, trojan horse or keylogger looks like when it gets 
installed.  

Some tools used commonly by penetration testers might not be used commonly by attackers, so keep that in mind.  But, 
learn the methodology by reading things like the OSSTM.  Time tested tools like Nmap and Hping are good tools to test 
with.  Once you get above the network layer and into the application space, tools like webgoat will help you learn what 
can go wrong.  Also learn about things like SQL injection, a fan favorite.  

It is a big world to learn about, and takes patience and practice.  Google will be your friend.  

-ds

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lyndon Barry" <lyndon.barry () d-a-p net>
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Starting Out
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 22:22:57 +0100



Hi,

First post, so please be gentle.

I'm a support engineer for a firewall developer, and part of my role
involves keeping the network safe.  The problem is, I don't know enough
about penetration attacks to know what I should look for.  I do have
access to testbeds & test networks with which to practice, but I was
hoping someone on here could point me to a good source of ethical
information/tools in order to start getting the right knowledge.

Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

Lyndon

      



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