Book Review: Instant Penetration Testing: Setting Up a Test Lab How-to

We’ve all been there before, we know what we want to do but don’t quite have the knowledge or skill to do more or move the plan forward.  Had I had a resource like the Instant Penetration Testing: Setting Up a Test Lab How-to by Vyacheslav Fadyushin, I probably could’ve saved myself a flame or two on the boards.

I really like the break out of the different types of labs that can be setup and even more important the note of “Must Know”, “Should Know”, and “Become and Expert”.  By providing this type of classification when setting up the labs helps guide anyone new to the field on where to start, even if they’ve got a technical background.

Something else that is very helpful starts on Page 17,” Choosing virtualization solutions – pros and cons”.  I’ve gotten many questions on where should I start, which VM is the best, should I pay for software, and where do I go to download.  This table gives a good breakdown of the Pros and Cons and the brand in my opinion.  So while the religious war of which is better rages on, this will help to at least level the playing field in the decision-making process.

The two labs that I really enjoyed seeing were the ones for setting up a Web App and the Wireless labs.  While the other network based ones are relevant and will continue to be relevant, it doesn’t seem that there is a whole of formalized and published information on the others.  For those in the “know” DVWA has been out and used by many to sharpen their Web App testing skills.  It’s nice to see this used for the purposes of the lab.  One thing I noticed was what it doesn’t go into much detail on where to download the package within the steps (could be an oversight on my part).  Not a big deal but for someone who’s new or may have been netsec focused they may need a little more guidance.

Overall this was a great resource and one I intend to use with some buddies that are interested in the security-testing field.  A big hats off to Vyacheslav on this one!  Finally, a lab resource for those needing more guidance on where to start.  I look forward to seeing more guides like this from Packt Publishing.

Here’s the link to the book:  http://www.packtpub.com/penetration-testing-to-setup-test-lab/book

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