SEC573: Automating Information Security with Python

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About the course

Cert:
The best penetration testers can customize existing open source tools or develop their own tools. The ability to read, write, and customize software is what distinguishes the good penetration tester from the great penetration tester. This course is designed to give you the skills you need for tweaking, customizing, or outright developing your own tools to put you on the path of becoming a great penetration tester.

What You Will Learn
Python is a simple, user-friendly language that is designed to make it quick and easy to automate the tasks performed by security professionals. Whether you are new to coding or have been coding for years, SANS SEC573: Automating Information Security with Python will have you creating programs that make your job easier and your work more efficient. This self-paced course starts from the very beginning, assuming you have no prior experience or knowledge of programming. We cover all of the essentials of the language up front. If you already know the essentials, you will find that the pyWars lab environment allows advanced developers to quickly accelerate to more advanced course material.

All security professionals, including penetration testers, forensics analysts, network defenders, security administrators, and incident responders, have one thing in common: CHANGE. Change is constant. Technology, threats, and tools are constantly evolving. If we don't evolve with them, we'll become ineffective and irrelevant, unable to provide the vital defenses our organizations increasingly require.

Maybe your chosen Operating System has a new feature that creates interesting forensics artifacts that would be invaluable for your investigation, if only you had a tool to access it. Often for new features and forensics artifacts, no such tool has yet been released. You could try moving your case forward without that evidence or hope that someone creates a tool before the case goes cold...or you can write a tool yourself.

Or perhaps an attacker bypassed your defenses and owned your network months ago. If existing tools were able to find the attack, you wouldn't be in this situation. You are bleeding sensitive data and the time-consuming manual process of finding and eradicating the attacker is costing you money and hurting your organization big time. The answer is simple if you have the skills: Write a tool to automate your defenses.

If you are a penetration tester, you need to evolve as quickly as the threats you are paid to emulate. What do you do when "off-the-shelf" tools and exploits fall short? If you're good, you write your own tool.

SEC573 is designed to give you the skills you need to tweak, customize, or outright develop your own tools. We put you on the path to create your own tools, empowering you to better automate the daily routine of today's information security professional and achieve more value in less time. Again and again, organizations serious about security emphasize their need for skilled tool builders. There is a huge demand for people who can understand a problem and then rapidly develop prototype code to attack or defend against it. Join us and learn Python in-depth and fully weaponized.

You Will Learn How To:

- Leverage Python to perform routine tasks quickly and efficiently

- Automate log analysis and packet analysis with file operations, regular expressions, and analysis modules to find evil

- Develop forensics tools to carve binary data and extract new artifacts

- Read data from databases and the Windows Registry

- Interact with websites to collect intelligence

- Develop UDP and TCP client and server applications

- Automate system processes and process their output

Syllabus (36 CPEs)

SEC573.1: Essentials Workshop with pyWars

SEC573.2: Essentials Workshop with MORE pyWars

SEC573.3: Defensive Python

SEC573.4: Forensics Python

SEC573.5: Offensive Python

SEC573.6: Capture-the-Flag Challenge


GIAC Python Coder
The GIAC Python Coder (GPYC) certification validates a practitioner’s understanding of core programming concepts, and the ability to write and analyze working code using the Python programming language. GPYC certification holders have demonstrated knowledge of common python libraries, creating custom tools, collecting information about a system or network, interacting with websites and databases, and automating testing.

Python essentials: variable and math operations, strings and functions, and compound statements

Data structures and programming concepts, debugging, system arguments, and argparser

Python application development for pen testing: backdoors and SQL injection

Prerequisites
A basic understanding of any programming or scripting language is highly recommended but not required for this course. SEC573 starts with the most basic fundamentals of Python programming. There is no aspect of programming or Python that must be understood before attending this course. The lab environment is self-paced and this allows students who have had some experience coding to advance more quickly than those who have not. You are provided a Virtual Machine that gives you the ability to complete the labs that are in your course book after the live course or your OnDemand access has finished.

Laptop Requirements
Laptop Required

Students are required to bring their own laptop so that they can connect directly to the workshop network we will create, and thus get the most value out of the course. It is the students responsibility to make sure that the system is properly configured with all drivers necessary to connect to an Ethernet network.

Some of the course exercises are based on Windows, while others focus on Linux. VMware Player or VMware Workstation is required for the course. If you plan to use a Mac, please make sure you bring VMware Fusion, along with a Windows guest virtual machine. All of the VMware products are available at www.vmware.com.

Windows

You are required to bring Windows 10 (Professional), Windows 8.1 (Professional), Windows 8 (Professional), Windows 7 (Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate), or Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate) either on a real system or a virtual machine. You will need administrative access to your Windows computer and the ability to install various software packages, including Python, on that computer.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may also be required to disable your anti-virus tools temporarily for some exercises, so make sure you have the anti-virus administrator permissions to do so. DO NOT plan on just killing your anti-virus service or processes, because most anti-virus tools still function even when their associated services and processes have been terminated. For many enterprise-managed clients, disabling your anti-virus tool may require a different password than the Administrator account password. Please bring that Administrator password for your anti-virus tool.

The course includes a VMware image file of a guest Linux system that is larger than 15 GB. Therefore, you need a file system with the ability to read and write files that are larger than 15 GB, such as NTFS on a Windows machine.

Enterprise VPN clients may interfere with the network configuration required to participate in the course. If your system has an enterprise VPN client installed, you may need to uninstall it for the course exercises.

VMware

You will use VMware to run Windows and Linux operating systems simultaneously when performing exercises in class. You must have either the free VMware Player or later or the commercial VMware Workstation 8 or later installed on your system prior to coming to class. You can download VMware Workstation Player for free at https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation_player/12_0.

Alternatively, if you want a more flexible and configurable tool, you can download a free 30-day trial copy of VMware Workstation here. VMware will send you a time-limited license number for VMware Workstation if you register for the trial on its website. No license number is required for VMware Player.

We will give you a USB full of tools to use during the class (which is yours to keep). We will also provide a Linux image with all of our tools pre-installed that runs within VMware Player or VMware Workstation.

Linux

You do not need to bring a Linux system if you plan to use our Linux image in VMware. However, you are required to bring VMware Workstation or VMware Player. The class does not support VirtualPC or other non-VMware virtualization products.

Mandatory Laptop Hardware Requirements

- x86- compatible or x64-compatible 2.0 GHz CPU minimum or higher

- An available USB port with the ability to read an ExFat format.

- 8 GB or higher recommended

- 15 GB available hard drive space

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact laptop_prep@sans.org.

Author Statement
"Good scripting skills are essential for professionals working in all aspects of information security. Understanding how to develop your own applications means you can automate tasks and do more, with fewer resources, in less time. SEC573 is designed for network defenders, forensics examiners, penetration testers, and other security professionals who want to learn how to apply basic coding skills to do their job more efficiently. This course will help take your career to the next level by teaching you this highly sought-after skill. We will focus on the most important skills for security professionals, such as interacting with networks, websites, databases, and file systems. We will cover these essential skills as we build practical applications that you can immediately put into use in your place of work."

-- Mark Baggett

 

Who Should Attend SEC573?

  • Security professionals who benefit from automating routine tasks so they can focus on what's most important
  • Forensic analysts who can no longer wait on someone else to develop a commercial tool to analyze artifacts
  • Network defenders who sift through mountains of logs and packets to find evil-doers in their networks
  • Penetration testers who are ready to advance from script kiddie to professional offensive computer operations operator
  • Security professionals who want to evolve from security tool consumer to security solution provider

See prerequisites 
Related Programs
Masters Program
Masters Program
This course and certification can be applied to a master's degree program at the SANS 

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Start date Location / delivery
09 Aug 2021 Online Book now
11 Oct 2021 Online Book now

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