The First Week

Looking forward to going to work Is a feeling that I’ve never felt before this week. It’s an odd feeling, and one I don’t know if I will ever completely get used to. Of course, I’m sure the feeling will wear off after a while.

In the past week, I have gotten a number of experiences that I would not have gotten any other place. My first two days were spent trying to break into a web application on a VM. Although I managed to get access to a few things, I never really got that far.

Today presented a similar scenario. In a virtual network, there were a number of computers: some desktops and some servers. I had to gain access to some “fianancial information” hidden on a server, using exploits in the other machines to gain access. Although I needed a few hints here and there, I managed to get the sensitive information using a variety of tools, including two kernel exploits, sqlmap, Nmap, Metasploit, and RainbowCrack. It was a really fun experience, and I’m glad I got to take it for a test drive.

The icing on the cake for today, however, was using a decompiler to disassemble a fake program requiring activation and bypassing the registration. From the information gathered we made a keygen using 3 different methods. Doing so requires a bit of smarts and a lot of assembly knowledge, which is something I don’t have a lot of. With some help though, I managed to crack the registration, which was an exhilerating experience.

These experiences are pretty much all thanks to Ron Bowes, one of the guys I’m working with. I’d call him an IT Professional (he’s certainly skilled enough), but he might laugh at me for such a remark. The virtual network was all designed by him, and he walked me through the application hacking, showing me every step and how it was done. I certainly have no intentions of using any of that knowledge to break the registration information for any program for any reason other than my own personal development, but it was still a really amazing experience. He keeps a blog on his homepage (I’m mentioned in a recent post), and it’s certainly an interesting read.

A final thing that I’m working on at work is a suitable replacement for Burb Suite, which is an application for attacking web applications. It’s a really powerful program, but there’s three main problems with it: it’s closed source, you have to pay for it, and the Swing interface is god-awful ugly. Other free utilities lack in either power, the user interface, or both. So, upon approval from a supervisor, I might be helping to develop a free open source alternative which would be released into the public domain. We’ve decided to program the backend in Ruby, and so far it’s going really smoothly. In just one day I almost have the proxy designed, and I’m looking forward to getting the backend completed.

All in all, work is great so far. Getting paid to do something you love is amazing.

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