Not enough information to complete labs without looking at solutions or having prior knowledge?


Hello all,

I am currently starting the Penetration Testing Prerequisites course and have run into a few questionable situations pertaining the labs. Currently having ‘completed’ the first two labs, it seems to me that both labs require more knowledge than the course slides provide.

For example, on the first Wireshark lab, the student is expected to know of various filters which is not shown in the HTTP(s) Traffic Sniffing introduction video.
Another example is on the Find the Secret Server lab, we are expected to know how to use ip route add despite not having been shown up until the lab solutions. The Routing slides explore a bit into ip route but does not go deeper on it.

Also seems a bit disingenuous saying that “The best tools for this lab are: Web Browser” and nothing about using a shell or commands within it.

Are we expected to have prior knowledge coming into these labs beyond what the slides provide? Personally I have been refraining myself from ‘googling things’ as I’d normally do outside a structured learning environment, under the assumption that everything is to be learned/taught from within the course.

I apologize in advance if I’m simply being daft and missing something obvious. Thank you for your time in advance.

Hi @eurioh316-ffa27e50c6,

I am not an expert by any means, but I think you will find with most things cybersec/tech that googling problems is a day-to-day occurrence, even at the professional level. The internet is full of tech forums (like stackoverflow) where other people post questions about “how to do stuff” all the time, and it is a great way to learn in my opinion.

I think the course is designed with this in mind and expects students to use whatever means necessary to try and find out how to solve the labs. The course material gives you an overview of the core concepts required for the labs, but for most labs (if not all) you have to do a bit of self research to complete. Maybe it is a personal preference, but for me I certainly think this reinforces the learning more than just repeating something you read in the slide-pack 10 minutes ago.

That said, most of my labs end with me getting stuck at some point and looking at the solutions for help - but that is after I have done my research and exhausted methods I read about elsewhere. I see it all as part of the learning process and more often than not the methods I end up trying are very close to the final solution. Most importantly, I remember the solutions/techniques because I spent so long stuck researching them.

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