Coliseumlab – Observations

Back in March I wrote a post about my beta testing of Elearnsecurity’s latest project.

Well the labs are live and the first new students have arrived in the forums and are experiencing the fresh new design and interface, wow what a difference from the BETA.

I personally was eager to test the new lab simulations that had just been released, to date there are currently 14 live, with I believe more in the pipeline.

The designs are great and yet simple enough, you’re not overwhelmed as you are trying to learn more about the concepts/techniques of particular attacks. You would probably benefit from some prior exposure to tools like burp, dirbuster, sqlmap & firebug to really get the most of your time. Though the support through the forums will assist anyone who feels the need to ask for more information.

I don’t think I need to go into great detail about the actual attacks in this post, you can get those from the link above, instead I wanted to note a few points that I personally felt benefited my  own studies by using my time in the environment.

My observations of any gains I’ve made:

Well I first feel much more confident in using some tools. The more hands on practice you get with software tends to have that affect.

I’m much more serious about taking useful notes. Well worth the effort and something to maintain/improve on into the future.

Saving you time that could be easily wasted by searching the net. Searching the net or through books is not always a shortcut.

Sure it’s easy to search the net, it is also too often easy to get distracted with all the extra content being thrown your way.

Books? Well is that not too far away from your desk.

Spent some time looking at other aspects I was curious about, when given a learning plan for a lab, I like to think “what else I can learn from this?”

This was good; I ended up feeling compelled and motivated to write a ruby script that helps me on a particular Joomla information gathering task.  Thanks to Digitalwestie and Matugm for hints in the right directions, I know you guys are busy with your own stuff. So I do appreciate people who take time out to give a few pointers.

There may be other tools doing the same job, but being able to solve your own problem has its advantages and again keeps me away from the distraction of searching. I also happen to be reading about ruby at the moment, so a chance to get away from the usual puts “hello world” stuff and try to develop these skills somewhat was fantastic!

Trophies gathered.

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