Touch All The Bases
Let’s Round Some Bases
Here’s the latest update to my skills and knowledge since my last post, and boy these have been fun!
So far I’ve completed six college classes, 2 more to go before the semester ends and I am extremely satisfied with the spread of classes I took this year.
On the side, I’ve also worked to improve my knowledge in various areas including Python, virtualization, and web application penetration testing.
New Important Skills
- More advanced Python
- Windows Server 2012
- Ubuntu Server
- Advanced Virtualization setups
Windows and Linux Basics
The last three classes I’ve taken have been very highly focused on getting a solid foot in on the IT industry, specifically into server management. I figure the best place for me to be when I start out in security is behind the servers that I intend to secure so I can learn the ins and outs of all of them. Before the summer semester is over, I will have completed my Systems Administration certificate and will be ready to jump behind the “wheel” of any Linux or Windows server.
Check out the quote in the left column, from my now favorite instructor of all time, Prof. Brown. In this assignment we ran into a know error in Windows Server 2012 and were forced to work around it. Because this error was non-existent in the Powershell method of creating Namespaces, I decided to do a quick Powershell crash course and write my own script to do the work. It was a terrible and incredibly rough script, but it worked. And I have to be completely honest, if I wasn’t taking this class from this awesome, involved instructor, I probably wouldn’t have gone the extra mile to work things out on my own — thanks Professor Brown!
Taking on the broad field of SQL injection
I’ve decided that a good place to start learning basic and relevant ethical hacking skills is with web applications. And as anyone who is even remotely familiar with web application pentesting knows, SQL injection is the place to start.
I’ve set up a Kali box and Metasploitable 2 in my Windows machine in order to begin testing this and I’ve completed a number of basic login bypasses and XSS exploits, but nothing too advanced yet.
I’ve also begun to integrate my SQL learning path with my growing Python skills in a method of “dual learning” in a way.
Creating Useful Python Programs
Once my Python knowledge grew to the point of creating more advanced programs beyond math games, I decided it would be a good idea to create programs that I might use. And even better, this would give me an opportunity to expand my knowledge of web applications.
First I started work on a port scanner and basic web crawler that would index all pages and ports of a website into a file. I then expanded that program to check each of the pages saved in the list for error-based SQL injection vulnerabilities. Currently I’m stuck at my attempt to add a XSS vulnerability checker, but it’s not like I can’t keep it on the wayside for a while until I understand the language more. Until then I’ve dubbed the program ‘pyder’ and saved it on Github: https://github.com/z3r0id
Right now I’m working on a program I’m calling zSQL-search, which allows the user to search with different parameters for SQL injection strings that might be useful. You can search for strings that start with certain characters, strings that apply to different SQL server types, or keywords such as ‘UNION.’
By working this way, I believe I’ll be learning both Python and SQL at twice the pace I would normally.