I’ve been in the process of studying for my GCIH cert test and have had a feeling that I could benefit from some hands on experience testing some of the tools and tactics covered in the SANS SEC 504 course.
I saw a post on ethicalhacker.net about ninja-sec.com (now attack-secure.com) having a 50% off sale on their course. The course had some fairly favorable reviews and most importantly for me came with 90 days of lab time. A full instructional course along with 90 days of lab time for under $400 seemed like a good deal so I decided to grab a copy.
While I’ve only watched the first part of the course material, I wanted to give me early impressions.
The Samurai Skills course is quite different from other online instructional content I’ve viewed. As opposed to the common “mostly lecture with a few demonstrations thrown in” courses the Samurai Skills course is almost all demonstration as the instructor is explaining what the tool is doing. It is true “over the shoulder” training as you’re basically sitting next to the instructor watching his screen while he’s explaining what’s going on.
While I personally love that style of instruction, I know it’s not for everybody. I think the main reason I enjoy the style is while it’s one thing to read about a tool and know what it’s used for, it’s another to actually see it in action. This style gives me a better idea of what to expect when I go to use a tool myself.
There is a demo video on the website that I would definitely encourage people watch before they purchase the course. There is also a free trial video available if you provide your email address. The video is a great way to get a feel for the instructor’s style of teaching. The audio can be a tiny bit hard to understand at times but it hasn’t bothered me or detracted from my learning experience.
The 90 day of lab time was a huge draw. The lab consists of three networks with increasing levels of difficultly. The only way to progress from one network to the next is to hack into all of the machines until you find a machine which is on both networks at which point you need to pivot to the more difficult network. If it sounds like I’m speaking from experience, I’m not J I’m only 2 days into my lab time but I’ve only scratched the surface on two boxes so far.
I’ll be doing a lot more posts about my experience with this course but so far so good and I think it represents an excellent value.