CompTIA Pentest+

In an MSNBC interview posted to YouTube on February 24th, 2022, approximately 24 hours after the initial invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, Leon Panetta former US Secratary of Defence and former head of the CIA was asked whether now is a good time for the US to use offensive cyber-war against Russia.  Rather that address the question directly, Panetta addressed the greater context of the invasion for Ukrainian national security.  The question is worth addressing though. So, is now a good time for counter forces to launch a cyber offensive? Is now the time for offensive cyber-attack? It Depends. That is the short and true answer. Here comes the why. Probably the most effective use of cyber weapons in warfare is when they are purposed for for gathering information, aka spying. The most advanced forms of cyber weapons (known as advanced persistent threats or APT for short) are…

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In part 1 of PHP Malware series, we learned what a web-shell is and learned some basic ways that an attacker can build web-shell in PHP. In part two we took a look at how web-shells can be hidden using base 64 encoding and AES encryption techniques. In part three we’re gonna look at other crafty ways that an attacker could obfuscate PHP web shell or other malware such as a stealer which would exfiltrate sensitive data as it’s processed by a website. Cyber criminals want to avoid malware being found, and when it is found, they want it to be difficult for a researcher to discover what the malware is doing. An an attack technique is novel, attackers don’t want defensive security researchers to be able to use the technique information to build defensive strategy or make the information public. In order to demonstrate the skill’s of reverse engineering…

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In this this series of articles and videos, I will explore some PHP malware code that has been publicly published. All the samples discussed are derived from a GitHub repository maintained by marcocesarato. The advice from Ripple Software Consulting is to always maintain solid web-server security through hardened configuration and monitoring, and vulnerability scanning both internal and external surfaces with a tool such as CISOfy’s Lynis or Greenbone’s GVM. For an example of solid LAMP stack server security you can visit the RSRC’s VPS Deploy WordPress GitHub repository which is a tool for automatically deploying a WordPress website on a hardened Linux VPS Server. If you don’t want to secure your own WordPress installation, you can hire a trained security consultant such as Ripple Software, or you can use another 3rd party managed hosting provider. PHP is a scripting language which means its source code is usually in human readable…

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Linux Dominates Performance-based Computing Market Share Linux may be less susceptible to cyber-attacks because Windows presents such an attactive target by holding the majority of the desktop marketshare. However, Linux servers dominate the global market in some powerful ways. According to industry reports, Linux OSs comprise 100% of all supercomputers, and over 95% of the top 1 million web servers are running Linux. Linux runs on 90% of all cloud infrastructure and dominates the mobile phone market with > 80% of market share. Embedded operating systems, and RTOS for IoT devices? Again, Linux is by far the most popular OS of choice. If you want more interesting facts about Linux’s market presence, you can Read Nick Galov’s revealing 2021 comprehensive summary of Linux market penetration. Knowing how to conduct a Security Audit of a Linux system and services is very important indeed.  This most often includes whitelisting required applications and…

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What is GVM and OpenVAS? WikiPedia does a really nice introduction to GVM so let jump start our understanding with that: OpenVAS is the scanner component of Greenbone Vulnerability Manager, a software framework of several services and tools offering vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management. All Greenbone Vulnerability Manager products are free software, and most components are licensed under the GNU General Public License. To understand the relationship between OpenVAS and GVM we should refer to the OpenVAS website, which does a good job explaining the relationship between OpenVAS and GVM: In 2019 the branding separation was completed. OpenVAS now represents the actual vulnerability scanner as it did originally and the “S” in “OpenVAS” now stands for “Scanner” rather than “System”. These changes are accompanied by an updated OpenVAS logo. The framework where OpenVAS is embedded is the Greenbone Vulnerability Management (GVM).OpenVAS released with GVM-10 receives numerous performance optimization to address…

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These study notes are provided for students of CompTIA Pentest+ exam. If you notice any problems with the notes, please let me know via email (joseph@ripplesoftware.ca).   General Pentesting Engagement Scoping Information Gathering Vulnerability Scanning Exploitation Process Pentest Tools Exploit Specifics Post Exploit Communication Processes

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