The Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE) is an extremely challenging exam wherein students are required to demonstrate that they comprehend not only the material directly covered in the CTP course, but that they also fully grasp the concepts presented throughout the course and can apply them in unknown situations. The OSCE challenges the students to prove that they have a clear and practical understanding of advanced penetration testing skills through an arduous forty-eight (48) hour certification exam.
The OSCE exam consists of a dedicated vulnerable network, which is designed to be compromised within a 48-hour time period. The exam is entirely hands-on and is completed with the examinee submitting an in-depth penetration test report of the OSCE examination network and CTP labs. The coveted OSCE certification is awarded to students who successfully gain administrative access to systems on the exam network.
This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life both academically and professionally. This course is not for the faint of heart and requires a lot of self discipline, perseverance and a very understanding wife. – Network Administration Secrets – http://www.networkadminsecrets.com/2011/05/offensive-security-certified-expert.html
Real World Exams
The OSCE examination consists of a virtual network containing varying configurations and operating systems. The successful candidate will demonstrate their ability to research the network (information gathering), identify any vulnerabilities, and execute their attacks with the goal of compromising the systems to gain administrative access. The examinee is expected to submit a comprehensive penetration test report, containing in-depth notes and screen shots detailing their findings. Points are awarded for each compromised host, based on their difficulty and level of access obtained.
Real World Benefits
An OSCE is able to identify hard-to-find vulnerabilities and mis-configurations in various operating systems and execute organized attacks in a controlled and focused manner. The intense forty-eight hour examination also demonstrates that OSCE’s have an above average degree of persistence and determination. Perhaps most importantly, an OSCE has demonstrated their ability to think laterally and perform effectively under pressure.
OSCE Holders Can
- Identify hard-to-find vulnerabilities.
- Conduct intelligent fuzz-testing.
- Analyze, correct, modify, and port exploit code.
- Hand-craft binaries to evade anti-virus software.
- Demonstrate creative problem solving and lateral thinking.
I found CTP increasingly challenging, irritating and sleep-depriving but always fun and above all, extremely informative. – Charles Price – http://linuxisp.co.uk/content/ctp
In order to enroll for the OSCE certification exam, you must first complete the Cracking the Perimeter course.