As I previously mentioned, one challenge I am facing is staying organized. That includes my general notes on the course material, work on the labs, or even other things I learned from other people. In order to combat this, I started using OneNote again because of how easy it is to section off different things but still have it in the same place.
I had a discussion with one of my friends studying computer science about writing secure code and it made me really want to jump ahead and learn about buffer overflows, so I did that. So far, this has probably been the most interesting topic and surprisingly it isn’t as challenging of a concept as I thought before. The basis of a buffer overflow is more or less going over a ‘limit’ set by the programmer which can result in the program to crash and behave in unexpected ways. Because of this, there are ways to basically inject your own (shell)code into software to make it behave how you want.
I found one machine in particular that I think may slightly fit my current knowledge set, but I have found that a lot of the lab machines are much more complex than what I am used to on hackthebox. For example, I found one machine with a ridiculous amount of ports opens, so it is going to take quite some time to fully understand what is going on some of these. My plan is to binge watch the videos and read the lab manual as fast as possible so that I will be more prepared for the labs.
Update 9/9/2018: After attempting several random machines, I seemed to get nowhere, so my best option is most likely to get further in the course material. I started using the forums from offensive security and found that there is a lot of good content there that can give me hints so I do not waste a lot of time attempting boxes that I should not expect to be able to complete just yet. My goal for the upcoming week is to get at least half way through all of the material and re-cover the sections where I think my notes are lacking.