OSCP: Demon Slaying

Out of all the projects we tread through in life, some stand out. Not just due to length or effort - many tasks are merely endurance tests. A closer criterion: Imagine a mountain you start climbing. Only after months can you truly grasp how tall and steep it is - when you're just half-way up. That realisation instils an obsessive determination to reach the summit.

For whatever reason, my subconscious has termed those trials: "Demons."

0. history

The first demon I found myself battling I simply referred to as the demon. A Course in Modern Mathematical Physics by Peter Szekeres. Originally I'd found it online as a first-year student, finding it impossibly abstract yet strangely alluring. You don't expect a physics book to start talking about the axiom of choice in chapter one.

Intuition is hidden in the answers to the difficult exercises. Painstakingly finishing every exercise in the book, including the less-than-interesting measure theory ones, became a mandatory goal. The prospect of quitting never entered my mind, but considering it now I imagine the book'd be looming over the bookshelf haunting me like a half-buried pet.

Long story medium, that book ended up taking a few years (along side the whole two-degrees business) to finish wholly. A primary goal above the rest of the academic faff. The next "normal" book I read, I found myself flicking back pages often because I couldn't remember every detail like "you're supposed to."


As of a week ago, I realised "This is another demon." It's hard to express how clear and unique it feels to recognise that. The diving in the deep-end without knowing what to expect, the slow mental organisation of patterns and techniques, the frustration sleeping without being able to figure something out...

All else is on hold until I root these final machines, write the lab report, and try my luck at the exam. Mathematics and pen-testing may not have that much in common theoretically, but the persistence to prove is the same persistence to root.

2. OSCP Lab Boxes Countdown


Just got my first admin computer and am scanning the rest via proxychains. Being great at multitasking, I used that time to make the above pertinent image.

4 left. Shells on two already. Exam booked the 13th Dec. It'll be tight to get these 4, my lab report, and excercise documentation written up before then.

3. OSCP'd

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYEAH. It's 5am on a Sunday, I just checked my email after nights of waking up every two hours thinking I needed to finish hacking something and now, finally, I am an OSCP.

I did not finish the last two lab boxes because of time. I also did not finish the lab-report properly, AND messed up a bit in the exam. I will write a detailed (and hopefully informative this time!) report with links to other posts I found helpful about the OSCP exam later.

As for now? Gonna force my friend into playing Shogun 2 co-op.

↑ Top  ⌂ Home