Hands-on Hacking Essentials

Hands-on Hacking Essentials is an eye-opening training for IT & system administrators and security practitioners. During the 2 day hands-on training experience the participants should form a good understanding of current attacker tool-set, attack types and methods. By experiencing the attacker mindset and point of view via hands-on exercises the participants not only will gain much higher appreciation for attack threats, but will be much more alert and better prepared for their own IT systems defense.

** Training day klo 9-17 on both days!

Training methods: Trainers will engage participants with lectures, live attack demonstrations and practical examples followed by individual hands-on exercise scenarios. Training is interactive, practical, and besides active participation also full of attack stories that help to change the perspective and understanding of real life security threats.

Ideology of this training: The main differences between hacking and penetration testing are the intent and (imposed) limitations. Therefore, the idea behind this training is to see practical information security from the attacker's or "opposing team's" point of view and to deliver first-hand experience or running attacks.
Although this training is highly technical and extensively hands-on, all scenarios are built so that with the help of hints or even full HOWTO's from the scoring server, everyone can complete all exercises regardless of prior 1337 skills or experience level with various operating system.
Everyone will walk through the phases of an attack until successfully 0wning various systems and services. There are plenty of attack scenarios to play through and to complete scored objectives. Since the expected participants' skill and experience level is varying to a large degree, we cover a mix of *nix and Windows world and focus on explaining key concepts and on showing real attacks even to those who have never compiled or launched any exploits before.

Target audience: System administrators, information security specialists and -managers and any other IT personnel that is not afraid of the shell or command prompt.

Trainer: Taavi Sonets, Pentester (WebApps), trainer

Taavi joined the team in April 2015 as a Web application pentester. His previous work experience consists mainly of Web Application development. He holds a M.Sc. degree in Cyber Security from Tallinn University of Technology. He wrote his masters thesis about improving User Simulation Team Workflow in the Context of Cyber Defense Exercise. Taavi is the main trainer of our Hands-on Hacking Essentials (HOHE) and Hands-on Hacking Advanced (HOHA) training.


Day One (introductions, essential attack phases, concepts attack vectors and tools):

  • Introduction
  • Kali Linux intro (participant's attack platform)
  • Reconnaissance and information gathering
  • Targets (a mix of Windows and Linux servers and workstations)
  • Remote exploitation attacks
  • Privilege escalation attacks
  • Attack tool-sets and attack automation (incl. Metasploit Framework and meterpreter)
  • "Jumping the (fire)wall" with targeted client-side attacks.

Day Two (putting it all together):

  • Network Takeover” scenario with Kali Linux and Armitage - a whole day hands-on hacking scenario that walks participants through a small company network takeover scenario from an attacker's perspective.
  • Mostly Armitage along with other tools on Kali Linux will be used for attacking, making it easy to track and visualize how the victim network reveals itself as participants hack deeper into the network.
  • A brief reconnaissance followed by a targeted client-side attack gains your foothold. Pivoting your attacks through the initial compromised workstation and following up with local privilege escalation, scanning, password hash dumping, pass-the-hash and other attacks will deliver you the rest of the subnet. Credential and additional information harvesting, traffic capturing, data ex-filtration, steganography tools, PHP shells and other trickery will be used to compromise the rest of the subnets to find and steal steal the intellectual property you are after. We will also explain weaknesses in Windows credential handling by using Mimikatz and WCE, fairly popular tools among APT attackers, to dump plain-text passwords from any Windows version. You will also use AV evasion tools and techniques to defeat common defense tools.
  • Your targets network consists of Windows 7, Windows XP and various Linux based firewall and server distributions.



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Mehis Hakkaja
Mehis Hakkaja CEO, project manager, pentester and reviewer, trainer

ISC2 CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) # 104652

Mehis has background in pentest team management since 2001 and is a security practitioner who has viewed IT security from many different viewpoints. Mehis is a U.S. Military Academy, West Point, graduate with a B.Sc. degree in computer science with special interest in cyber warfare. Besides his military background, Mehis has worked as a penetration tester and pentest team leader, security manager for a telecommunications company, has promoted CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams) at ENISA (European Networks and Information Security Agency) and has managed information security for a global company. Mehis also has extensive Red Teaming management experience. Current pentest team was started by Mehis in May 2011 at Santa Monica Networks AS and due to its narrow focus in technical security, the business made a spin-off as a separate company, Clarified Security OÜ.

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