Edward Qiu

Computer Science Student

Hacker101 - Introduction Notes

Disclaimer: These notes are not comprehensive. I only jotted down what was useful for me and I may include other research I’ve done while going through the video.

Attacker Mindset

  • “Pushing a button is the fastest way to discover what it does”
  • Seek to understand first - in order to break things or get things to behave in a way it was not intended to, you need to understand it
    • What does each “button” do?
    • How do these “buttons” interact with each other?
  • For each functionality, if I was an attacker:
    • What would I want?
    • What would my goal be?

The unbalanced game

  • Burden lies with the defender - “security is a negative goal”
    • Defenders need to find every bug, while the attacker just needs to find one
    • Defenders are inherently at a disadvantage

Prioritization

  • Attack areas of higher risk first
  • Rank application based on how valuable the compromised information would be to an attacker
  • Ask the developers, what keeps you up at night?
    • The answer is likely high risk area

Reporting

  • Key components of a report:
    1. Title
    2. Severity
      • Informative - issue has no impact currently, but might in the future
      • Low
      • Medium - Potential to cause harm to users, but no data leak
      • High - Potential to reveal user data or can be chained with more severe exploits
      • Critical - System compromise, risk of confidential/user data exposure
    3. Description - What is the vulnerability?
    4. Steps to reproduce - ideally with a POC
    5. Impact - What can an attacker do with this vulnerability?
    6. Mitigation - How it be fixed?
    7. List of assets affected

Takeaway Exercise

Browse the web with proxy set up and Burp. Watch the flow of data. Where does input get reflected?

Sources

Course

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