Part of the reason it took so long to take my GCFA exam was the splitting of my study time with Hack The Box progress. Earlier this year I bought into VIP access to HTB, and I wanted to keep practiced up with, and learning new, offensive skills. I did more than I was expecting, and after making some friends smarter than I, was actually able to far surpass my goals and expectations to achieve 100% completion and top Omniscient ranking sometime in mid August. I still have to go back and properly learn some of the things I found way too difficult to do alone (let’s face it, the best people are the best due to learning through teams, and the best red teams have multiple people): namely binary exploitation and reversing. I get how they work, but I need my hand held way too hard right now! I still also have the “optional” sections to complete (Fortress and Endgame), and I’d like to dive into RastaLabs and Offshore, probably in 2019.
Really, my main goal was to keep the skills and processes I developed in the PWK fresh, while also learning new and more advanced tricks and tools and techniques. And I feel like I’ve succeeded in that aspect. These skills get dusty and rusty if not practiced regularly, either on one’s own or while in the course of work duties.