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Introduction to Active Directory

Active Directory (AD) is present in the majority of corporate environments. Due to its many features and complexity, it presents a vast attack surface. To be successful as penetration testers and information security professionals, we must have a firm understanding of Active Directory fundamentals, AD structures, functionality, common AD flaws, misconfigurations, and defensive measures.

4.65

Created by mrb3n
Co-Authors: TreyCraf7

Fundamental General

Summary

Understanding Active Directory (AD) functionality, schema, and protocols used to ensure authentication, authorization, and accounting within a domain is key to ensuring the proper operation and security of our domains. This module will cover many different terms, objects, protocols, and security implementations about Active Directory, focusing on the core concepts needed to move into later modules focused on enumerating and attacking AD environments.

In this module, we will:

  • Examine the history of Active Directory
  • Define commonly used terms
  • Examine AD objects and structures
  • Discuss the authentication protocols used
  • Gain an understanding of the difference between rights and privileges
  • Practice executing common AD management tasks

CREST CPSA/CRT-related Sections:

  • All sections

CREST CCT APP-related Sections:

  • All sections

CREST CCT INF-related Sections:

  • All sections

This module is broken into sections with accompanying hands-on exercises to practice each of the tactics and techniques we cover. The module ends with a practical hands-on guided lab to reinforce your understanding of the various topic areas.

As you work through the module, you will see example commands and command output for the various topics introduced. It is worth reproducing as many of these examples as possible to reinforce further the concepts presented in each section. You can do this in the target host provided in the interactive sections or your virtual machine.

You can start and stop the module at any time and pick up where you left off. There is no time limit or "grading," but you must complete all of the exercises and the skills assessment to receive the maximum number of cubes and have this module marked as complete in any paths you have chosen.

The module is classified as "Fundamental" in skill level. It assumes a basic knowledge of the Windows command line and operating system fundamentals and a fundamental understanding of information security principles.

A firm grasp of the following modules can be considered prerequisites for successful completion of this module:

  • Introduction to Academy
  • Getting Started
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Windows Fundamentals

Why Active Directory?


Active Directory (AD) is a directory service for Windows network environments. It is a distributed, hierarchical structure that allows for centralized management of an organization's resources, including users, computers, groups, network devices, file shares, group policies, devices, and trusts. AD provides authentication and authorization functions within a Windows domain environment. It has come under increasing attack in recent years. It is designed to be backward-compatible, and many features are arguably not "secure by default," and it can be easily misconfigured. This weakness can be leveraged to move laterally and vertically within a network and gain unauthorized access. AD is essentially a sizeable read-only database accessible to all users within the domain, regardless of their privilege level. A basic AD user account with no added privileges can enumerate most objects within AD. This fact makes it extremely important to properly secure an AD implementation because ANY user account, regardless of their privilege level, can be used to enumerate the domain and hunt for misconfigurations and flaws thoroughly. Also, multiple attacks can be performed with only a standard domain user account, showing the importance of a defense-in-depth strategy and careful planning focusing on security and hardening AD, network segmentation, and least privilege. One example is the noPac attack that was first released in December of 2021.

Active Directory makes information easy to find and use for administrators and users. AD is highly scalable, supports millions of objects per domain, and allows the creation of additional domains as an organization grows.

image Source

It is estimated that around 95% of Fortune 500 companies run Active Directory, making AD a key focus for attackers. A successful attack such as a phish that lands an attacker within the AD environment as a standard domain user would give them enough access to begin mapping out the domain and looking for avenues of attack. As security professionals, we will encounter AD environments of all sizes throughout our careers. It is essential to understand the structure and function of AD to become better informed as both an attacker and a defender.

Ransomware operators have been increasingly targeting Active Directory as a key part of their attack paths. The Conti Ransomware which has been used in more than 400 attacks around the world has been shown to leverage recent critical Active Directory flaws such as PrintNightmare (CVE-2021-34527) and Zerologon (CVE-2020-1472) to escalate privileges and move laterally in a target network. Understanding the structure and function of Active Directory is the first step in a career path to find and prevent these types of flaws before attackers do. Researchers are continually finding new, extremely high-risk attacks that affect Active Directory environments that often require no more than a standard domain user to obtain complete administrative control over the entire domain. There are many great open-source tools for penetration testers to enumerate and attack Active Directory. Still, to use these most effectively, we must understand how Active Directory works to identify obvious and nuanced flaws. Tools are only as effective as their operator is knowledgeable. So let's take the time to understand the structure and function of Active Directory before moving into later modules that will focus on in-depth manual and tool-based enumeration, attacks, lateral movement, post-exploitation, and persistence.

This module will lay the foundations for starting down the path of enumerating and attacking Active Directory. We will cover, in-depth, the structure and function of AD, discuss the various AD objects, discuss user rights and privileges, tools, and processes for managing AD, and even walk through examples of setting up a small AD environment.


History of Active Directory

LDAP, the foundation of Active Directory, was first introduced in RFCs as early as 1971. Active Directory was predated by the X.500 organizational unit concept, which was the earliest version of all directory systems created by Novell and Lotus and released in 1993 as Novell Directory Services.

Active Directory was first introduced in the mid-'90s but did not become part of the Windows operating system until the release of Windows Server 2000. Microsoft first attempted to provide directory services in 1990 with the release of Windows NT 3.0. This operating system combined features of the LAN Manager protocol and the OS/2 operating systems, which Microsoft created initially along with IBM lead by Ed Iacobucci who also led the design of IBM DOS and later co-founded Citrix Systems. The NT operating system evolved throughout the 90s, adapting protocols such as LDAP and Kerberos with Microsoft's proprietary elements. The first beta release of Active Directory was in 1997.

The release of Windows Server 2003 saw extended functionality and improved administration and added the Forest feature, which allows sysadmins to create "containers" of separate domains, users, computers, and other objects all under the same umbrella. Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) was introduced in Server 2008 to provide Single Sign-On (SSO) to systems and applications for users on Windows Server operating systems. ADFS made it simpler and more streamlined for users to sign into applications and systems, not on their same LAN.

ADFS enables users to access applications across organizational boundaries using a single set of credentials. ADFS uses the claims-based Access Control Authorization model, which attempts to ensure security across applications by identifying users by a set of claims related to their identity, which are packaged into a security token by the identity provider.

The release of Server 2016 brought even more changes to Active Directory, such as the ability to migrate AD environments to the cloud and additional security enhancements such as user access monitoring and Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA). gMSA offers a more secure way to run specific automated tasks, applications, and services and is often a recommended mitigation against the infamous Kerberoasting attack.

2016 saw a more significant push towards the cloud with the release of Azure AD Connect, which was designed as a single sign-on method for users being migrated to the Microsoft Office 365 environment.

Active Directory has suffered from various misconfigurations from 2000 to the present day. New vulnerabilities are discovered regularly that affect Active Directory and other technologies that interface with AD, such as Microsoft Exchange. As security researchers continue to uncover new flaws, organizations that run Active Directory need to remain on top of patching and implementing fixes. As penetration testers, we are tasked with finding these flaws for our clients before attackers.

For this reason, we must have a solid foundation in Active Directory fundamentals and understand its structure, function, the various protocols that it uses to operate, how user rights and privileges are managed, how sysadmins administer AD and the multitude of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that can be present in an AD environment. Managing AD is no easy task. One change/fix can introduce additional issues elsewhere. Before beginning to enumerate and then attack Active Directory, let's cover foundational concepts that will follow us throughout our infosec careers.

As said before, 95% of Fortune 500 companies run Active Directory, and Microsoft has a near-complete monopoly in the directory services space. Even though many companies are transitioning to cloud and hybrid environments, on-prem AD is not going away for many companies. If you are performing network penetration testing engagements, you can be nearly sure to encounter AD in some way on almost all of them.

This fundamental knowledge will make us better attackers and give us insight into AD that will be extremely useful when providing remediation advice to our clients. A deep understanding of AD will make peeling back the layers less daunting, and we will have the same confidence when approaching an environment with 10,000 hosts as we do with one with 20.

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Relevant Paths

This module progresses you towards the following Paths

CREST CPSA/CRT Preparation

This is a skill path to prepare you for CREST's CPSA and CRT exams. The following CPSA/CRT syllabus areas (IDs) are covered: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, B4, B5, B6, B8, B9, B13, B14, C1, C2, C3, C4, D1, D2, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E9, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, G1, G2, G4, G5, G6, G7, G8, G9, H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H8, H9, H10, H11, H12, H13, I1, I2, I3, I6, J1, J2, J3. Take your time to complete all related sections and when you are ready you can book your CREST exam through the following links. CREST CPSA: https://www.crest-approved.org/certification-careers/crest-certifications/crest-practitioner-security-analyst/. CREST CRT: https://www.crest-approved.org/certification-careers/crest-certifications/crest-registered-penetration-tester/.

Medium Path Sections 837 Sections
Required: 7300
Reward: +1580
Path Modules
Fundamental
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +10
As an information security professional, a firm grasp of networking fundamentals and the required components is necessary. Without a strong foundation in networking, it will be tough to progress in any area of information security. Understanding how a network is structured and how the communication between the individual hosts and servers takes place using the various protocols allows us to understand the entire network structure and its network traffic in detail and how different communication standards are handled. This knowledge is essential to create our tools and to interact with the protocols.
Fundamental
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the topic of HTTP web requests and how different web applications utilize them to communicate with their backends.
Fundamental
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
In the Introduction to Web Applications module, you will learn all of the basics of how web applications work and begin to look at them from an information security perspective.
Fundamental
Path Sections 30 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Linux operating system and shell.
Fundamental
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Windows operating system.
Easy
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +10
As administrators and Pentesters, we may not always be able to utilize a graphical user interface for the actions we need to perform. Introduction to Windows Command Line aims to introduce students to the wide range of uses for Command Prompt and PowerShell within a Windows environment. We will cover basic usage of both key executables for administration, useful PowerShell cmdlets and modules, and different ways to leverage these tools to our benefit.
Medium
Path Sections 6 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers the exploration of Windows Event Logs and their significance in uncovering suspicious activities. Throughout the course, we delve into the anatomy of Windows Event Logs and highlight the logs that hold the most valuable information for investigations. The module also focuses on utilizing Sysmon and Event Logs for detecting and analyzing malicious behavior. Additionally, we delve into Event Tracing for Windows (ETW), explaining its architecture and components, and provide ETW-based detection examples. To streamline the analysis process, we introduce the powerful Get-WinEvent cmdlet.
Hard
Path Sections 9 Sections
Reward: +20
This module offers an exploration of malware analysis, specifically targeting Windows-based threats. The module covers Static Analysis utilizing Linux and Windows tools, Malware Unpacking, Dynamic Analysis (including malware traffic analysis), Reverse Engineering for Code Analysis, and Debugging using x64dbg. Real-world malware examples such as WannaCry, DoomJuice, Brbbot, Dharma, and Meterpreter are analyzed to provide practical experience.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
Network traffic analysis is used by security teams to monitor network activity and look for anomalies that could indicate security and operational issues. Offensive security practitioners can use network traffic analysis to search for sensitive data such as credentials, hidden applications, reachable network segments, or other potentially sensitive information "on the wire." Network traffic analysis has many uses for attackers and defenders alike.
Easy
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
Through network traffic analysis, this module sharpens skills in detecting link layer attacks such as ARP anomalies and rogue access points, identifying network abnormalities like IP spoofing and TCP handshake irregularities, and uncovering application layer threats from web-based vulnerabilities to peculiar DNS activities.
Fundamental
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
This module teaches the penetration testing process broken down into each stage and discussed in detail. We will cover many aspects of the role of a penetration tester during a penetration test, explained and illustrated with detailed examples. The module also covers pre-engagement steps like the criteria for establishing a contract with a client for a penetration testing engagement.
Easy
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +10
Nmap is one of the most used networking mapping and discovery tools because of its accurate results and efficiency. The tool is widely used by both offensive and defensive security practitioners. This module covers fundamentals that will be needed to use the Nmap tool for performing effective network enumeration.
Medium
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers techniques for footprinting the most commonly used services in almost all enterprise and business IT infrastructures. Footprinting is an essential phase of any penetration test or security audit to identify and prevent information disclosure. Using this process, we examine the individual services and attempt to obtain as much information from them as possible.
Easy
Path Sections 19 Sections
Reward: +20 NEW
This module equips learners with essential web reconnaissance skills, crucial for ethical hacking and penetration testing. It explores both active and passive techniques, including DNS enumeration, web crawling, analysis of web archives and HTTP headers, and fingerprinting web technologies.
Easy
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the concept of Vulnerability Assessments. We will review the differences between vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, how to carry out a vulnerability assessment, how to interpret the assessment results, and how to deliver an effective vulnerability assessment report.
Medium
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +10
During an assessment, it is very common for us to transfer files to and from a target system. This module covers file transfer techniques leveraging tools commonly available across all versions of Windows and Linux systems.
Medium
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
Gain the knowledge and skills to identify and use shells & payloads to establish a foothold on vulnerable Windows & Linux systems. This module utilizes a fictitious scenario where the learner will place themselves in the perspective of a sysadmin trying out for a position on CAT5 Security's network penetration testing team.
Easy
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
The Metasploit Framework is an open-source set of tools used for network enumeration, attacks, testing security vulnerabilities, evading detection, performing privilege escalation attacks, and performing post-exploitation.
Medium
Path Sections 22 Sections
Reward: +10
Passwords are still the primary method of authentication in corporate networks. If strong password policies are not in place, users will often opt for weak, easy-to-remember passwords that can often be cracked offline and used to further our access. We will encounter passwords in many forms during our assessments. We must understand the various ways they are stored, how they can be retrieved, methods to crack weak passwords, ways to use hashes that cannot be cracked, and hunting for weak/default password usage.
Medium
Path Sections 19 Sections
Reward: +20
Organizations regularly use a standard set of services for different purposes. It is vital to conduct penetration testing activities on each service internally and externally to ensure that they are not introducing security threats. This module will cover how to enumerate each service and test it against known vulnerabilities and exploits with a standard set of tools.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers the fundamentals of password cracking using the Hashcat tool.
Fundamental
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +10
Active Directory (AD) is present in the majority of corporate environments. Due to its many features and complexity, it presents a vast attack surface. To be successful as penetration testers and information security professionals, we must have a firm understanding of Active Directory fundamentals, AD structures, functionality, common AD flaws, misconfigurations, and defensive measures.
Medium
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
Once a foothold is gained during an assessment, it may be in scope to move laterally and vertically within a target network. Using one compromised machine to access another is called pivoting and allows us to access networks and resources that are not directly accessible to us through the compromised host. Port forwarding accepts the traffic on a given IP address and port and redirects it to a different IP address and port combination. Tunneling is a technique that allows us to encapsulate traffic within another protocol so that it looks like a benign traffic stream.
Medium
Path Sections 9 Sections
Reward: +200
This module covers AD enumeration focusing on the PowerView and SharpView tools. We will cover various techniques for enumerating key AD objects that will inform our attacks in later modules.
Medium
Path Sections 36 Sections
Reward: +20
Active Directory (AD) is the leading enterprise domain management suite, providing identity and access management, centralized domain administration, authentication, and much more. Due to the many features and complexity of AD, it presents a large attack surface that is difficult to secure properly. To be successful as infosec professionals, we must understand AD architectures and how to secure our enterprise environments. As Penetration testers, having a firm grasp of what tools, techniques, and procedures are available to us for enumerating and attacking AD environments and commonly seen AD misconfigurations is a must.
Easy
Path Sections 28 Sections
Reward: +20
Privilege escalation is a crucial phase during any security assessment. During this phase, we attempt to gain access to additional users, hosts, and resources to move closer to the assessment's overall goal. There are many ways to escalate privileges. This module aims to cover the most common methods emphasizing real-world misconfigurations and flaws that we may encounter in a client environment. The techniques covered in this module are not an exhaustive list of all possibilities and aim to avoid extreme "edge-case" tactics that may be seen in a Capture the Flag (CTF) exercise.
Medium
Path Sections 33 Sections
Reward: +20
After gaining a foothold, elevating our privileges will provide more options for persistence and may reveal information stored locally that can further our access in the environment. Enumeration is the key to privilege escalation. When you gain initial shell access to the host, it is important to gain situational awareness and uncover details relating to the OS version, patch level, any installed software, our current privileges, group memberships, and more. Windows presents an enormous attack surface and, being that most companies run Windows hosts in some way, we will more often than not find ourselves gaining access to Windows machines during our assessments. This covers common methods while emphasizing real-world misconfigurations and flaws that we may encounter during an assessment. There are many additional "edge-case" possibilities not covered in this module. We will cover both modern and legacy Windows Server and Desktop versions that may be present in a client environment.
Hard
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +100
Kerberos is an authentication protocol that allows users to authenticate and access services on a potentially insecure network. Due to its prevalence throughout an Active Directory environment, it presents us with a significant attack surface when assessing internal networks. This module will explain how Kerberos works thoroughly and examines several scenarios to practice the most common attacks against it from multiple perspectives.
Hard
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +100
The NTLM authentication protocol is commonly used within Windows-based networks to facilitate authentication between clients and servers. However, NTLM's inherent weaknesses make it susceptible to Adversary-in-the-Middle attacks, providing a significant attack vector. This module focuses on the various NTLM relay attacks that attackers use to compromise Active Directory networks.
DACL Attacks I
mini module tag Mini-Module
Hard
Path Sections 7 Sections
Reward: +100
Discretionary Access Control Lists (DACLs), found within security descriptors, are a fundamental component of the security model of Windows and Active Directory, defining and enforcing access to the various system resources. This mini-module will cover enumerating and attacking common DACL misconfigurations, allowing us to escalate our privileges horizontally and vertically and move laterally across an Active Directory network.
Medium
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +10
Buffer overflows are common vulnerabilities in software applications that can be exploited to achieve remote code execution (RCE) or perform a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack. These vulnerabilities are caused by insecure coding, resulting in an attacker being able to overrun a program's buffer and overwrite adjacent memory locations, changing the program's execution path and resulting in unintended actions.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +10
This module is your first step into Windows Binary Exploitation, and it will teach you how to exploit local and remote buffer overflow vulnerabilities on Windows machines.
Easy
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +20
Web application penetration testing frameworks are an essential part of any web penetration test. This module will teach you two of the best frameworks: Burp Suite and OWASP ZAP.
Easy
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamental enumeration skills of web fuzzing and directory brute forcing using the Ffuf tool. The techniques learned in this module will help us in locating hidden pages, directories, and parameters when targeting web applications.
Easy
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
Learn how to brute force logins for various types of services and create custom wordlists based on your target.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers details on Transport Layer Security (TLS) and how it helps to make HTTP secure with the widely used HTTPS. That includes how TLS works, how TLS sessions are established, common TLS misconfigurations, as well as famous attacks on TLS. We will discuss how to identify, exploit, and prevent TLS attacks.
Easy
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +20
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities are among the most common web application vulnerabilities. An XSS vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary JavaScript code within the target's browser and result in complete web application compromise if chained together with other vulnerabilities. This module will teach you how to identify XSS vulnerabilities and exploit them.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20
Maintaining and keeping track of a user's session is an integral part of web applications. It is an area that requires extensive testing to ensure it is set up robustly and securely. This module covers the most common attacks and vulnerabilities that can affect web application sessions, such as Session Hijacking, Session Fixation, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Cross-Site Scripting, and Open Redirects.
Medium
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
Databases are an important part of web application infrastructure and SQL (Structured Query Language) to store, retrieve, and manipulate information stored in them. SQL injection is a code injection technique used to take advantage of coding vulnerabilities and inject SQL queries via an application to bypass authentication, retrieve data from the back-end database, or achieve code execution on the underlying server.
Easy
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
The SQLMap Essentials module will teach you the basics of using SQLMap to discover various types of SQL Injection vulnerabilities, all the way to the advanced enumeration of databases to retrieve all data of interest.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +10
File Inclusion is a common web application vulnerability, which can be easily overlooked as part of a web application's functionality.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
Arbitrary file uploads are among the most critical web vulnerabilities. These flaws enable attackers to upload malicious files, execute arbitrary commands on the back-end server, and even take control over the entire server and all web applications hosted on it and potentially gain access to sensitive data or cause a service disruption.
Medium
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +20
Command injection vulnerabilities can be leveraged to compromise a hosting server and its entire network. This module will teach you how to identify and exploit command injection vulnerabilities and how to use various filter bypassing techniques to avoid security mitigations.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20 NEW
Authentication is probably the most straightforward and prevalent measure used to secure access to resources, and it's the first line of defense against unauthorized access. Broken authentication is listed as #7 on the 2021 OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks, falling under the broader category of Identification and Authentication failures. A vulnerability or misconfiguration at the authentication stage can impact an application's overall security.
Medium
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers three common web vulnerabilities, HTTP Verb Tampering, IDOR, and XXE, each of which can have a significant impact on a company's systems. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of them through various methods.
Medium
Path Sections 33 Sections
Reward: +20
Penetration Testers can come across various applications, such as Content Management Systems, custom web applications, internal portals used by developers and sysadmins, and more. It's common to find the same applications across many different environments. While an application may not be vulnerable in one environment, it may be misconfigured or unpatched in the next. It is important as an assessor to have a firm grasp of enumerating and attacking the common applications discussed in this module. This knowledge will help when encountering other types of applications during assessments.
Medium
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +20
Web services and APIs are frequently exposed to provide certain functionalities in a programmatic way between heterogeneous devices and software components. Both web services and APIs can assist in integrating different applications or facilitate separation within a given application. This module covers how to identify the functionality a web service or API offers and exploit any security-related inefficiencies.
Hard
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +100
In this module, we cover blind SQL injection attacks and MSSQL-specific attacks.
Hard
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers advanced SQL injection techniques with a focus on white-box testing, Java/Spring and PostgreSQL.
Hard
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +100
This 'secure coding' module teaches how to identify logic bugs through code review and analysis, and covers three types of logic bugs caused by user input manipulation.
Easy
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +20
WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for multiple purposes.
Easy
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +20
Proper documentation is paramount during any engagement. The end goal of a technical assessment is the report deliverable which will often be presented to a broad audience within the target organization. We must take detailed notes and be very organized in our documentation, which will help us in the event of an incident during the assessment. This will also help ensure that our reports contain enough detail to illustrate the impact of our findings properly.

CREST CCT APP Preparation

This is a skill path to prepare you for CREST's CCT APP exam. The following CCT APP syllabus areas (IDs) are covered: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, B4, B5, B6, B8, B9, B13, B14, C1, C2, C3, C4, D1, D2, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E9, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, G1, G2, G4, G5, G6, G7, G8, G9, H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, H8, H9, H10, H11, H12, H13, I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, I7, I8, I9, I10, I11, I12, J1, J2, J3. Take your time to complete all related sections and when you are ready you can book your CREST exam through the following link. https://www.crest-approved.org/certification-careers/crest-certifications/crest-certified-web-application-tester/

Medium Path Sections 748 Sections
Required: 4980
Reward: +1100
Path Modules
Fundamental
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +10
As an information security professional, a firm grasp of networking fundamentals and the required components is necessary. Without a strong foundation in networking, it will be tough to progress in any area of information security. Understanding how a network is structured and how the communication between the individual hosts and servers takes place using the various protocols allows us to understand the entire network structure and its network traffic in detail and how different communication standards are handled. This knowledge is essential to create our tools and to interact with the protocols.
Fundamental
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the topic of HTTP web requests and how different web applications utilize them to communicate with their backends.
Fundamental
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
In the Introduction to Web Applications module, you will learn all of the basics of how web applications work and begin to look at them from an information security perspective.
Fundamental
Path Sections 30 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Linux operating system and shell.
Fundamental
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Windows operating system.
Easy
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +10
As administrators and Pentesters, we may not always be able to utilize a graphical user interface for the actions we need to perform. Introduction to Windows Command Line aims to introduce students to the wide range of uses for Command Prompt and PowerShell within a Windows environment. We will cover basic usage of both key executables for administration, useful PowerShell cmdlets and modules, and different ways to leverage these tools to our benefit.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
Network traffic analysis is used by security teams to monitor network activity and look for anomalies that could indicate security and operational issues. Offensive security practitioners can use network traffic analysis to search for sensitive data such as credentials, hidden applications, reachable network segments, or other potentially sensitive information "on the wire." Network traffic analysis has many uses for attackers and defenders alike.
Fundamental
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
This module teaches the penetration testing process broken down into each stage and discussed in detail. We will cover many aspects of the role of a penetration tester during a penetration test, explained and illustrated with detailed examples. The module also covers pre-engagement steps like the criteria for establishing a contract with a client for a penetration testing engagement.
Easy
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +10
Nmap is one of the most used networking mapping and discovery tools because of its accurate results and efficiency. The tool is widely used by both offensive and defensive security practitioners. This module covers fundamentals that will be needed to use the Nmap tool for performing effective network enumeration.
Medium
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers techniques for footprinting the most commonly used services in almost all enterprise and business IT infrastructures. Footprinting is an essential phase of any penetration test or security audit to identify and prevent information disclosure. Using this process, we examine the individual services and attempt to obtain as much information from them as possible.
Easy
Path Sections 19 Sections
Reward: +20 NEW
This module equips learners with essential web reconnaissance skills, crucial for ethical hacking and penetration testing. It explores both active and passive techniques, including DNS enumeration, web crawling, analysis of web archives and HTTP headers, and fingerprinting web technologies.
Easy
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the concept of Vulnerability Assessments. We will review the differences between vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, how to carry out a vulnerability assessment, how to interpret the assessment results, and how to deliver an effective vulnerability assessment report.
Medium
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +10
During an assessment, it is very common for us to transfer files to and from a target system. This module covers file transfer techniques leveraging tools commonly available across all versions of Windows and Linux systems.
Medium
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
Gain the knowledge and skills to identify and use shells & payloads to establish a foothold on vulnerable Windows & Linux systems. This module utilizes a fictitious scenario where the learner will place themselves in the perspective of a sysadmin trying out for a position on CAT5 Security's network penetration testing team.
Easy
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
The Metasploit Framework is an open-source set of tools used for network enumeration, attacks, testing security vulnerabilities, evading detection, performing privilege escalation attacks, and performing post-exploitation.
Medium
Path Sections 22 Sections
Reward: +10
Passwords are still the primary method of authentication in corporate networks. If strong password policies are not in place, users will often opt for weak, easy-to-remember passwords that can often be cracked offline and used to further our access. We will encounter passwords in many forms during our assessments. We must understand the various ways they are stored, how they can be retrieved, methods to crack weak passwords, ways to use hashes that cannot be cracked, and hunting for weak/default password usage.
Medium
Path Sections 19 Sections
Reward: +20
Organizations regularly use a standard set of services for different purposes. It is vital to conduct penetration testing activities on each service internally and externally to ensure that they are not introducing security threats. This module will cover how to enumerate each service and test it against known vulnerabilities and exploits with a standard set of tools.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers the fundamentals of password cracking using the Hashcat tool.
Fundamental
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +10
Active Directory (AD) is present in the majority of corporate environments. Due to its many features and complexity, it presents a vast attack surface. To be successful as penetration testers and information security professionals, we must have a firm understanding of Active Directory fundamentals, AD structures, functionality, common AD flaws, misconfigurations, and defensive measures.
Medium
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
Once a foothold is gained during an assessment, it may be in scope to move laterally and vertically within a target network. Using one compromised machine to access another is called pivoting and allows us to access networks and resources that are not directly accessible to us through the compromised host. Port forwarding accepts the traffic on a given IP address and port and redirects it to a different IP address and port combination. Tunneling is a technique that allows us to encapsulate traffic within another protocol so that it looks like a benign traffic stream.
Medium
Path Sections 36 Sections
Reward: +20
Active Directory (AD) is the leading enterprise domain management suite, providing identity and access management, centralized domain administration, authentication, and much more. Due to the many features and complexity of AD, it presents a large attack surface that is difficult to secure properly. To be successful as infosec professionals, we must understand AD architectures and how to secure our enterprise environments. As Penetration testers, having a firm grasp of what tools, techniques, and procedures are available to us for enumerating and attacking AD environments and commonly seen AD misconfigurations is a must.
Easy
Path Sections 28 Sections
Reward: +20
Privilege escalation is a crucial phase during any security assessment. During this phase, we attempt to gain access to additional users, hosts, and resources to move closer to the assessment's overall goal. There are many ways to escalate privileges. This module aims to cover the most common methods emphasizing real-world misconfigurations and flaws that we may encounter in a client environment. The techniques covered in this module are not an exhaustive list of all possibilities and aim to avoid extreme "edge-case" tactics that may be seen in a Capture the Flag (CTF) exercise.
Medium
Path Sections 33 Sections
Reward: +20
After gaining a foothold, elevating our privileges will provide more options for persistence and may reveal information stored locally that can further our access in the environment. Enumeration is the key to privilege escalation. When you gain initial shell access to the host, it is important to gain situational awareness and uncover details relating to the OS version, patch level, any installed software, our current privileges, group memberships, and more. Windows presents an enormous attack surface and, being that most companies run Windows hosts in some way, we will more often than not find ourselves gaining access to Windows machines during our assessments. This covers common methods while emphasizing real-world misconfigurations and flaws that we may encounter during an assessment. There are many additional "edge-case" possibilities not covered in this module. We will cover both modern and legacy Windows Server and Desktop versions that may be present in a client environment.
Easy
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +20
Web application penetration testing frameworks are an essential part of any web penetration test. This module will teach you two of the best frameworks: Burp Suite and OWASP ZAP.
Easy
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamental enumeration skills of web fuzzing and directory brute forcing using the Ffuf tool. The techniques learned in this module will help us in locating hidden pages, directories, and parameters when targeting web applications.
Easy
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
Learn how to brute force logins for various types of services and create custom wordlists based on your target.
Easy
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +20
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities are among the most common web application vulnerabilities. An XSS vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary JavaScript code within the target's browser and result in complete web application compromise if chained together with other vulnerabilities. This module will teach you how to identify XSS vulnerabilities and exploit them.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20
Maintaining and keeping track of a user's session is an integral part of web applications. It is an area that requires extensive testing to ensure it is set up robustly and securely. This module covers the most common attacks and vulnerabilities that can affect web application sessions, such as Session Hijacking, Session Fixation, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Cross-Site Scripting, and Open Redirects.
Medium
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
Databases are an important part of web application infrastructure and SQL (Structured Query Language) to store, retrieve, and manipulate information stored in them. SQL injection is a code injection technique used to take advantage of coding vulnerabilities and inject SQL queries via an application to bypass authentication, retrieve data from the back-end database, or achieve code execution on the underlying server.
Easy
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
The SQLMap Essentials module will teach you the basics of using SQLMap to discover various types of SQL Injection vulnerabilities, all the way to the advanced enumeration of databases to retrieve all data of interest.
Hard
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +100
In this module, we cover blind SQL injection attacks and MSSQL-specific attacks.
Hard
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers advanced SQL injection techniques with a focus on white-box testing, Java/Spring and PostgreSQL.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +10
File Inclusion is a common web application vulnerability, which can be easily overlooked as part of a web application's functionality.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
Arbitrary file uploads are among the most critical web vulnerabilities. These flaws enable attackers to upload malicious files, execute arbitrary commands on the back-end server, and even take control over the entire server and all web applications hosted on it and potentially gain access to sensitive data or cause a service disruption.
Medium
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +20
Command injection vulnerabilities can be leveraged to compromise a hosting server and its entire network. This module will teach you how to identify and exploit command injection vulnerabilities and how to use various filter bypassing techniques to avoid security mitigations.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20 NEW
Authentication is probably the most straightforward and prevalent measure used to secure access to resources, and it's the first line of defense against unauthorized access. Broken authentication is listed as #7 on the 2021 OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks, falling under the broader category of Identification and Authentication failures. A vulnerability or misconfiguration at the authentication stage can impact an application's overall security.
Medium
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers three common web vulnerabilities, HTTP Verb Tampering, IDOR, and XXE, each of which can have a significant impact on a company's systems. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of them through various methods.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers details on Transport Layer Security (TLS) and how it helps to make HTTP secure with the widely used HTTPS. That includes how TLS works, how TLS sessions are established, common TLS misconfigurations, as well as famous attacks on TLS. We will discuss how to identify, exploit, and prevent TLS attacks.
Hard
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers three HTTP vulnerabilities: CRLF Injection, HTTP Request Smuggling, and HTTP/2 Downgrading. These vulnerabilities can arise on the HTTP level in real-world deployment settings utilizing intermediary systems such as reverse proxies in front of the web server. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of these vulnerabilities.
Hard
Path Sections 20 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers three common HTTP vulnerabilities: Web Cache Poisoning, Host Header Vulnerabilities, and Session Puzzling or Session Variable Overloading. These vulnerabilities can arise on the HTTP level due to web server misconfigurations, other systems that have to be considered during real-world deployment such as web caches, or coding mistakes in the web application. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of these vulnerabilities.
Medium
Path Sections 33 Sections
Reward: +20
Penetration Testers can come across various applications, such as Content Management Systems, custom web applications, internal portals used by developers and sysadmins, and more. It's common to find the same applications across many different environments. While an application may not be vulnerable in one environment, it may be misconfigured or unpatched in the next. It is important as an assessor to have a firm grasp of enumerating and attacking the common applications discussed in this module. This knowledge will help when encountering other types of applications during assessments.
Medium
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +20
Web services and APIs are frequently exposed to provide certain functionalities in a programmatic way between heterogeneous devices and software components. Both web services and APIs can assist in integrating different applications or facilitate separation within a given application. This module covers how to identify the functionality a web service or API offers and exploit any security-related inefficiencies.
Easy
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +20
WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for multiple purposes.
Easy
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +20
Proper documentation is paramount during any engagement. The end goal of a technical assessment is the report deliverable which will often be presented to a broad audience within the target organization. We must take detailed notes and be very organized in our documentation, which will help us in the event of an incident during the assessment. This will also help ensure that our reports contain enough detail to illustrate the impact of our findings properly.

Information Security Foundations

Information Security is a field with many specialized and highly technical disciplines. Job roles like Penetration Tester & Information Security Analyst require a solid technical foundational understanding of core IT & Information Security topics. This skill path is made up of modules that will assist learners in developing &/or strengthening a foundational understanding before proceeding with learning the more complex security topics. Every long-standing building first needs a solid foundation. Welcome to Information Security Foundations.

Easy Path Sections 191 Sections
Required: 200
Reward: +120
Path Modules
Fundamental
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10 UPDATED
Your first stop in Hack The Box Academy to become acquainted with the platform, its features, and its learning process.
Fundamental
Path Sections 20 Sections
Reward: +10
The learning process is one of the essential and most important components that is often overlooked. This module does not teach you techniques to learn but describes the process of learning adapted to the field of information security. You will learn to understand how and when we learn best and increase and improve your learning efficiency greatly.
Fundamental
Path Sections 9 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers topics that will help us be better prepared before conducting penetration tests. Preparations before a penetration test can often take a lot of time and effort, and this module shows how to prepare efficiently.
Fundamental
Path Sections 30 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Linux operating system and shell.
Fundamental
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Windows operating system.
Easy
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +10
As administrators and Pentesters, we may not always be able to utilize a graphical user interface for the actions we need to perform. Introduction to Windows Command Line aims to introduce students to the wide range of uses for Command Prompt and PowerShell within a Windows environment. We will cover basic usage of both key executables for administration, useful PowerShell cmdlets and modules, and different ways to leverage these tools to our benefit.
Easy
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the basics needed for working with Bash scripts to automate tasks on Linux systems. A strong grasp of Bash is a fundamental skill for anyone working in a technical information security role. Through the power of automation, we can unlock the Linux operating system's full potential and efficiently perform habitual tasks.
Fundamental
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +10
As an information security professional, a firm grasp of networking fundamentals and the required components is necessary. Without a strong foundation in networking, it will be tough to progress in any area of information security. Understanding how a network is structured and how the communication between the individual hosts and servers takes place using the various protocols allows us to understand the entire network structure and its network traffic in detail and how different communication standards are handled. This knowledge is essential to create our tools and to interact with the protocols.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
Network traffic analysis is used by security teams to monitor network activity and look for anomalies that could indicate security and operational issues. Offensive security practitioners can use network traffic analysis to search for sensitive data such as credentials, hidden applications, reachable network segments, or other potentially sensitive information "on the wire." Network traffic analysis has many uses for attackers and defenders alike.
Fundamental
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +10
Active Directory (AD) is present in the majority of corporate environments. Due to its many features and complexity, it presents a vast attack surface. To be successful as penetration testers and information security professionals, we must have a firm understanding of Active Directory fundamentals, AD structures, functionality, common AD flaws, misconfigurations, and defensive measures.
Fundamental
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
In the Introduction to Web Applications module, you will learn all of the basics of how web applications work and begin to look at them from an information security perspective.
Fundamental
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the topic of HTTP web requests and how different web applications utilize them to communicate with their backends.

CREST CCT INF Preparation

This is a skill path to prepare you for CREST's CCT INF exam. The following CCT INF syllabus areas (IDs) are covered: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A8, A9, A10, B1, B2, B4, B5, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6, C7, D1, D2, D5, D9, D10, D13, D14, D15, D18, D19, E1, E2, E3 E6, E7, E8, E9, E11, E13, E14, E15, E16, E17, E18, E19, E20, E25, E26, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12, F13, F15, F16, G1, G2, G3, G4, G5, G6, G7, G8, H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, H8, H9, H10, H11, H12, H13, H14, H15, H16, H17, H19, H20, H21, H23, H24, H25, H26, H27, H28, H29, H30, H31, H32, H33, H34, H35, H36, H37, H38, H40, I1, I2, I3, I4, I6, K1, K2, K3, K4, N1, N2. Take your time to complete all related sections and when you are ready you can book your CREST exam through the following link. https://www.crest-approved.org/certification-careers/crest-certifications/crest-certified-infrastructure-tester/

Hard Path Sections 954 Sections
Required: 12510
Reward: +2630
Path Modules
Fundamental
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +10
As an information security professional, a firm grasp of networking fundamentals and the required components is necessary. Without a strong foundation in networking, it will be tough to progress in any area of information security. Understanding how a network is structured and how the communication between the individual hosts and servers takes place using the various protocols allows us to understand the entire network structure and its network traffic in detail and how different communication standards are handled. This knowledge is essential to create our tools and to interact with the protocols.
Fundamental
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the topic of HTTP web requests and how different web applications utilize them to communicate with their backends.
Fundamental
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
In the Introduction to Web Applications module, you will learn all of the basics of how web applications work and begin to look at them from an information security perspective.
Fundamental
Path Sections 30 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Linux operating system and shell.
Fundamental
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Windows operating system.
Easy
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +10
As administrators and Pentesters, we may not always be able to utilize a graphical user interface for the actions we need to perform. Introduction to Windows Command Line aims to introduce students to the wide range of uses for Command Prompt and PowerShell within a Windows environment. We will cover basic usage of both key executables for administration, useful PowerShell cmdlets and modules, and different ways to leverage these tools to our benefit.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
Network traffic analysis is used by security teams to monitor network activity and look for anomalies that could indicate security and operational issues. Offensive security practitioners can use network traffic analysis to search for sensitive data such as credentials, hidden applications, reachable network segments, or other potentially sensitive information "on the wire." Network traffic analysis has many uses for attackers and defenders alike.
Medium
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10
This mini-module concisely introduces hardware attacks, covering Bluetooth risks and attacks, Cryptanalysis Side-Channel Attacks, and vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown. It delves into both historical and modern Bluetooth hacking techniques, explores the principles of cryptanalysis and different side-channel attacks, and outlines microprocessor design, optimisation strategies and vulnerabilities, such as Spectre and Meltdown.
Fundamental
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
This module teaches the penetration testing process broken down into each stage and discussed in detail. We will cover many aspects of the role of a penetration tester during a penetration test, explained and illustrated with detailed examples. The module also covers pre-engagement steps like the criteria for establishing a contract with a client for a penetration testing engagement.
Easy
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +10
Nmap is one of the most used networking mapping and discovery tools because of its accurate results and efficiency. The tool is widely used by both offensive and defensive security practitioners. This module covers fundamentals that will be needed to use the Nmap tool for performing effective network enumeration.
Medium
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers techniques for footprinting the most commonly used services in almost all enterprise and business IT infrastructures. Footprinting is an essential phase of any penetration test or security audit to identify and prevent information disclosure. Using this process, we examine the individual services and attempt to obtain as much information from them as possible.
Easy
Path Sections 19 Sections
Reward: +20 NEW
This module equips learners with essential web reconnaissance skills, crucial for ethical hacking and penetration testing. It explores both active and passive techniques, including DNS enumeration, web crawling, analysis of web archives and HTTP headers, and fingerprinting web technologies.
Hard
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +200
OSINT (Open-source Intelligence) is a crucial stage of the penetration testing process. A thorough examination of publicly available information can increase the chances of finding a vulnerable system, gaining valid credentials through password spraying, or gaining a foothold via social engineering. There is a vast amount of publicly available information from which relevant information needs to be selected.
Easy
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the concept of Vulnerability Assessments. We will review the differences between vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, how to carry out a vulnerability assessment, how to interpret the assessment results, and how to deliver an effective vulnerability assessment report.
Medium
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +10
During an assessment, it is very common for us to transfer files to and from a target system. This module covers file transfer techniques leveraging tools commonly available across all versions of Windows and Linux systems.
Medium
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
Gain the knowledge and skills to identify and use shells & payloads to establish a foothold on vulnerable Windows & Linux systems. This module utilizes a fictitious scenario where the learner will place themselves in the perspective of a sysadmin trying out for a position on CAT5 Security's network penetration testing team.
Easy
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
The Metasploit Framework is an open-source set of tools used for network enumeration, attacks, testing security vulnerabilities, evading detection, performing privilege escalation attacks, and performing post-exploitation.
Medium
Path Sections 22 Sections
Reward: +10
Passwords are still the primary method of authentication in corporate networks. If strong password policies are not in place, users will often opt for weak, easy-to-remember passwords that can often be cracked offline and used to further our access. We will encounter passwords in many forms during our assessments. We must understand the various ways they are stored, how they can be retrieved, methods to crack weak passwords, ways to use hashes that cannot be cracked, and hunting for weak/default password usage.
Medium
Path Sections 19 Sections
Reward: +20
Organizations regularly use a standard set of services for different purposes. It is vital to conduct penetration testing activities on each service internally and externally to ensure that they are not introducing security threats. This module will cover how to enumerate each service and test it against known vulnerabilities and exploits with a standard set of tools.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers the fundamentals of password cracking using the Hashcat tool.
Fundamental
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +10
Active Directory (AD) is present in the majority of corporate environments. Due to its many features and complexity, it presents a vast attack surface. To be successful as penetration testers and information security professionals, we must have a firm understanding of Active Directory fundamentals, AD structures, functionality, common AD flaws, misconfigurations, and defensive measures.
Medium
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +200
This module provides an overview of Active Directory (AD), introduces core AD enumeration concepts, and covers enumeration with built-in tools.
Medium
Path Sections 9 Sections
Reward: +200
This module covers AD enumeration focusing on the PowerView and SharpView tools. We will cover various techniques for enumerating key AD objects that will inform our attacks in later modules.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers AD enumeration focusing on the BloodHound tool. We will cover various techniques for enumerating key AD objects that will inform our attacks in later modules.
Medium
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
Once a foothold is gained during an assessment, it may be in scope to move laterally and vertically within a target network. Using one compromised machine to access another is called pivoting and allows us to access networks and resources that are not directly accessible to us through the compromised host. Port forwarding accepts the traffic on a given IP address and port and redirects it to a different IP address and port combination. Tunneling is a technique that allows us to encapsulate traffic within another protocol so that it looks like a benign traffic stream.
Medium
Path Sections 36 Sections
Reward: +20
Active Directory (AD) is the leading enterprise domain management suite, providing identity and access management, centralized domain administration, authentication, and much more. Due to the many features and complexity of AD, it presents a large attack surface that is difficult to secure properly. To be successful as infosec professionals, we must understand AD architectures and how to secure our enterprise environments. As Penetration testers, having a firm grasp of what tools, techniques, and procedures are available to us for enumerating and attacking AD environments and commonly seen AD misconfigurations is a must.
Hard
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +100
Kerberos is an authentication protocol that allows users to authenticate and access services on a potentially insecure network. Due to its prevalence throughout an Active Directory environment, it presents us with a significant attack surface when assessing internal networks. This module will explain how Kerberos works thoroughly and examines several scenarios to practice the most common attacks against it from multiple perspectives.
DACL Attacks I
mini module tag Mini-Module
Hard
Path Sections 7 Sections
Reward: +100
Discretionary Access Control Lists (DACLs), found within security descriptors, are a fundamental component of the security model of Windows and Active Directory, defining and enforcing access to the various system resources. This mini-module will cover enumerating and attacking common DACL misconfigurations, allowing us to escalate our privileges horizontally and vertically and move laterally across an Active Directory network.
Medium
Path Sections 27 Sections
Reward: +100
Active Directory presents a vast attack surface and often requires us to use many different tools during an assessment. The CrackMapExec tool, known as a "Swiss Army Knife" for testing networks, facilitates enumeration, attacks, and post-exploitation that can be leveraged against most any domain using multiple network protocols. It is a versatile and highly customizable tool that should be in any penetration tester's toolbox.
Easy
Path Sections 28 Sections
Reward: +20
Privilege escalation is a crucial phase during any security assessment. During this phase, we attempt to gain access to additional users, hosts, and resources to move closer to the assessment's overall goal. There are many ways to escalate privileges. This module aims to cover the most common methods emphasizing real-world misconfigurations and flaws that we may encounter in a client environment. The techniques covered in this module are not an exhaustive list of all possibilities and aim to avoid extreme "edge-case" tactics that may be seen in a Capture the Flag (CTF) exercise.
Medium
Path Sections 33 Sections
Reward: +20
After gaining a foothold, elevating our privileges will provide more options for persistence and may reveal information stored locally that can further our access in the environment. Enumeration is the key to privilege escalation. When you gain initial shell access to the host, it is important to gain situational awareness and uncover details relating to the OS version, patch level, any installed software, our current privileges, group memberships, and more. Windows presents an enormous attack surface and, being that most companies run Windows hosts in some way, we will more often than not find ourselves gaining access to Windows machines during our assessments. This covers common methods while emphasizing real-world misconfigurations and flaws that we may encounter during an assessment. There are many additional "edge-case" possibilities not covered in this module. We will cover both modern and legacy Windows Server and Desktop versions that may be present in a client environment.
Medium
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +10
Buffer overflows are common vulnerabilities in software applications that can be exploited to achieve remote code execution (RCE) or perform a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack. These vulnerabilities are caused by insecure coding, resulting in an attacker being able to overrun a program's buffer and overwrite adjacent memory locations, changing the program's execution path and resulting in unintended actions.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +10
This module is your first step into Windows Binary Exploitation, and it will teach you how to exploit local and remote buffer overflow vulnerabilities on Windows machines.
Easy
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +20
Web application penetration testing frameworks are an essential part of any web penetration test. This module will teach you two of the best frameworks: Burp Suite and OWASP ZAP.
Easy
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamental enumeration skills of web fuzzing and directory brute forcing using the Ffuf tool. The techniques learned in this module will help us in locating hidden pages, directories, and parameters when targeting web applications.
Easy
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
Learn how to brute force logins for various types of services and create custom wordlists based on your target.
Easy
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +20
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities are among the most common web application vulnerabilities. An XSS vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary JavaScript code within the target's browser and result in complete web application compromise if chained together with other vulnerabilities. This module will teach you how to identify XSS vulnerabilities and exploit them.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20
Maintaining and keeping track of a user's session is an integral part of web applications. It is an area that requires extensive testing to ensure it is set up robustly and securely. This module covers the most common attacks and vulnerabilities that can affect web application sessions, such as Session Hijacking, Session Fixation, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Cross-Site Scripting, and Open Redirects.
Medium
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +10
Databases are an important part of web application infrastructure and SQL (Structured Query Language) to store, retrieve, and manipulate information stored in them. SQL injection is a code injection technique used to take advantage of coding vulnerabilities and inject SQL queries via an application to bypass authentication, retrieve data from the back-end database, or achieve code execution on the underlying server.
Easy
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
The SQLMap Essentials module will teach you the basics of using SQLMap to discover various types of SQL Injection vulnerabilities, all the way to the advanced enumeration of databases to retrieve all data of interest.
Hard
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +100
In this module, we cover blind SQL injection attacks and MSSQL-specific attacks.
Hard
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers advanced SQL injection techniques with a focus on white-box testing, Java/Spring and PostgreSQL.
Medium
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +100
In this module, we will look at exploiting NoSQL injection vulnerabilities, specifically MongoDB, with examples in Python, PHP, and Node.JS.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +10
File Inclusion is a common web application vulnerability, which can be easily overlooked as part of a web application's functionality.
Medium
Path Sections 11 Sections
Reward: +20
Arbitrary file uploads are among the most critical web vulnerabilities. These flaws enable attackers to upload malicious files, execute arbitrary commands on the back-end server, and even take control over the entire server and all web applications hosted on it and potentially gain access to sensitive data or cause a service disruption.
Medium
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +20
Command injection vulnerabilities can be leveraged to compromise a hosting server and its entire network. This module will teach you how to identify and exploit command injection vulnerabilities and how to use various filter bypassing techniques to avoid security mitigations.
Medium
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +20 NEW
Authentication is probably the most straightforward and prevalent measure used to secure access to resources, and it's the first line of defense against unauthorized access. Broken authentication is listed as #7 on the 2021 OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks, falling under the broader category of Identification and Authentication failures. A vulnerability or misconfiguration at the authentication stage can impact an application's overall security.
Medium
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +20
This module covers three common web vulnerabilities, HTTP Verb Tampering, IDOR, and XXE, each of which can have a significant impact on a company's systems. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of them through various methods.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers details on Transport Layer Security (TLS) and how it helps to make HTTP secure with the widely used HTTPS. That includes how TLS works, how TLS sessions are established, common TLS misconfigurations, as well as famous attacks on TLS. We will discuss how to identify, exploit, and prevent TLS attacks.
Hard
Path Sections 18 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers three HTTP vulnerabilities: CRLF Injection, HTTP Request Smuggling, and HTTP/2 Downgrading. These vulnerabilities can arise on the HTTP level in real-world deployment settings utilizing intermediary systems such as reverse proxies in front of the web server. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of these vulnerabilities.
Medium
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers three injection attacks: XPath injection, LDAP injection, and HTML injection in PDF generation libraries. While XPath and LDAP injection vulnerabilities can lead to authentication bypasses and data exfiltration, HTML injection in PDF generation libraries can lead to Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF), Local File Inclusion (LFI), and other common web vulnerabilities. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of these injection attacks.
Hard
Path Sections 20 Sections
Reward: +100
This module covers three common HTTP vulnerabilities: Web Cache Poisoning, Host Header Vulnerabilities, and Session Puzzling or Session Variable Overloading. These vulnerabilities can arise on the HTTP level due to web server misconfigurations, other systems that have to be considered during real-world deployment such as web caches, or coding mistakes in the web application. We will cover how to identify, exploit, and prevent each of these vulnerabilities.
Medium
Path Sections 33 Sections
Reward: +20
Penetration Testers can come across various applications, such as Content Management Systems, custom web applications, internal portals used by developers and sysadmins, and more. It's common to find the same applications across many different environments. While an application may not be vulnerable in one environment, it may be misconfigured or unpatched in the next. It is important as an assessor to have a firm grasp of enumerating and attacking the common applications discussed in this module. This knowledge will help when encountering other types of applications during assessments.
Medium
Path Sections 13 Sections
Reward: +20
Web services and APIs are frequently exposed to provide certain functionalities in a programmatic way between heterogeneous devices and software components. Both web services and APIs can assist in integrating different applications or facilitate separation within a given application. This module covers how to identify the functionality a web service or API offers and exploit any security-related inefficiencies.
Easy
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +20
WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for multiple purposes.
Easy
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +20
Proper documentation is paramount during any engagement. The end goal of a technical assessment is the report deliverable which will often be presented to a broad audience within the target organization. We must take detailed notes and be very organized in our documentation, which will help us in the event of an incident during the assessment. This will also help ensure that our reports contain enough detail to illustrate the impact of our findings properly.
Hard
Path Sections 17 Sections
Reward: +200
Learn how to improve your JavaScript code's security through Code Review, Static/Dynamic Analysis, Vulnerability Identification, and Patching.
Hard
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +100
This module explores several web vulnerabilities from a whitebox approach: Prototype Pollution, Timing Attacks & Race Conditions, and those arising from Type Juggling. We will discuss how to identify, exploit, and prevent each vulnerability.

SOC Analyst Prerequisites

The SOC Analyst Prerequisites path is designed for those looking to become SOC/Security Analysts. It dives into fundamental IT and Information Security subjects including networking, Linux and Windows operating systems, basic programming and scripting, as well as working with Assembly. In addition, students will be exposed to the fundamental concepts of information security and penetration testing. This skill path is made up of modules that will assist learners in developing and strengthening a foundational understanding before proceeding with learning more complex security topics.

Easy Path Sections 173 Sections
Required: 350
Reward: +110
Path Modules
Fundamental
Path Sections 30 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Linux operating system and shell.
Easy
Path Sections 10 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the basics needed for working with Bash scripts to automate tasks on Linux systems. A strong grasp of Bash is a fundamental skill for anyone working in a technical information security role. Through the power of automation, we can unlock the Linux operating system's full potential and efficiently perform habitual tasks.
Fundamental
Path Sections 14 Sections
Reward: +10
This module covers the fundamentals required to work comfortably with the Windows operating system.
Easy
Path Sections 23 Sections
Reward: +10
As administrators and Pentesters, we may not always be able to utilize a graphical user interface for the actions we need to perform. Introduction to Windows Command Line aims to introduce students to the wide range of uses for Command Prompt and PowerShell within a Windows environment. We will cover basic usage of both key executables for administration, useful PowerShell cmdlets and modules, and different ways to leverage these tools to our benefit.
Fundamental
Path Sections 21 Sections
Reward: +10
As an information security professional, a firm grasp of networking fundamentals and the required components is necessary. Without a strong foundation in networking, it will be tough to progress in any area of information security. Understanding how a network is structured and how the communication between the individual hosts and servers takes place using the various protocols allows us to understand the entire network structure and its network traffic in detail and how different communication standards are handled. This knowledge is essential to create our tools and to interact with the protocols.
Fundamental
Path Sections 16 Sections
Reward: +10
Active Directory (AD) is present in the majority of corporate environments. Due to its many features and complexity, it presents a vast attack surface. To be successful as penetration testers and information security professionals, we must have a firm understanding of Active Directory fundamentals, AD structures, functionality, common AD flaws, misconfigurations, and defensive measures.
Fundamental
Path Sections 8 Sections
Reward: +10
This module introduces the topic of HTTP web requests and how different web applications utilize them to communicate with their backends.
Fundamental
Path Sections 15 Sections
Reward: +10
This module teaches the penetration testing process broken down into each stage and discussed in detail. We will cover many aspects of the role of a penetration tester during a penetration test, explained and illustrated with detailed examples. The module also covers pre-engagement steps like the criteria for establishing a contract with a client for a penetration testing engagement.
Easy
Path Sections 12 Sections
Reward: +10
Nmap is one of the most used networking mapping and discovery tools because of its accurate results and efficiency. The tool is widely used by both offensive and defensive security practitioners. This module covers fundamentals that will be needed to use the Nmap tool for performing effective network enumeration.
Medium
Path Sections 24 Sections
Reward: +20
This module builds the core foundation for Binary Exploitation by teaching Computer Architecture and Assembly language basics.