This post is part of the security training review project, and is by Rob (mubix) Fuller. You can find his original post and other content at his blog at Room362.

I recently obtained the status Offensive Security Certified Professional. It is one of the best courses I have ever taken. It challenged me to think and learn new skills on the fly. You start the course with a bunch of video files, a huge pdf and an lzm file to get your VPN setup. It is self paced and intense. The topics cover everything from Back|Track basics to the HXDEF rootkit.

Here is the problem, you can’t get a job with it. I know that seems shallow, but let me explain. As I see it there are basically 3 types of certifications or for that matter education in general that you can go through. The first gets you a job. The second teaches you something. The third is good for you or fun.This course is fun but more so falls in the ‘teaches you something’ category. The CISSP on the other hand help you get a job, but I’ll hold that topic for another post.

Well, the Offensive Security 101 course (leads to the OSCP test), is not quite on the radars of any recruiters or for that matter companies yet. Which is truly a shame. Unlike the CISSP and almost every other certification that I know of or heard of via 3rd party, this cert makes you “try harder”. And all of the pain ends in a 24 hour marathon of hacking, where you will be an idiot not to use every second of it.

I have been a huge supporter of Back|Track for ages and they have really shifted my thinking of certifications by providing the Offsec 101 course. I can’t wait to take their other courses, Wi-Fu and Back|Track to the Max (which I am told that my mind will melt during the course of study). They also have some instructor led training so you can get one on one with Muts or one of the other crazy brains behind OFFENSIVE SECURITY.

You can sign up for classes via their website:

Also check out some of their videos here:

Update: Back|Track to the Max is now named: Cracking the Perimeter which ends in your OSCE (Offensive Security Certified Expert) exam.