Just to keep myself accountable, I wanted to make mention that this last weekend I passed the 45-day mark of my 90-day lab access time. I’ve root 41 systems with maybe a dozen-ish more to go, and have gained access to all networks. My rate of success slowed down in the past week, but that’s partly a function of having less targets to choose from, but also taking some days off to reset myself. I’ve had a few boxes here recently that I felt pretty burnt out while doing, and my performance suffered for it. However, the lessons being learned, even when not successful, have been wonderful and help build out my knowledge and experience.
At this point, I need to start looking forward to scheduling an exam time, and efficiently mapping out the rest of my lab time and/or time leading up to the exam date. I’ve over-achieved what I had as a soft goal early on (getting 50% of the lab machines done 50% of the way through my lab time), which is a good thing. This means I can have a shot at actually clearing the labs and still have some time to prepare for the exam specifically. I may still not meet that goal, as I have some tough systems ahead yet, but should be a healthy goal to shoot for.
Other tasks I have to accomplish yet: Finish the exercises in the PDF for bonus points on the exam and CPE credits. Master the Buffer Overflow concepts. Run through the lab systems again while tightening up my processes, documentation, and reinforce exposure to the vulnerabilities and exploits I’ve leveraged. Tighten up my quick reference notes and checklists.