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The chances are that you have heard the term vulnerability assessments used interchangeably with pentest, or vice versa. If you haven’t, consider yourself luck (or perhaps you work with orgs keeping up with the times). There is also a good chance that you may have been part of a team that performs penetration tests and been requested to perform a test only to find out it isn’t a pentest but just a vulnerability assessment.
The purpose of this quick read is to help illustrate the great differences between vulnerability assessments and pentest.

Vulnerability Assessments vs Pentesting

Vulnerability Assessment

A vulnerability assessment identifies issues such…

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Security Engineers

Security engineering is a position or title that can vary in scope — but never in weight to impact for the organization that employees the security engineer. No matter the type of a security engineer, the professional who occupies the security engineer’s role is responsible for the security and safekeeping of data and personnel within the organization.


At a minimum, a security engineer must understand leadership, problem-solving, and some type of management. These skills will allow security engineers to escalate issues when needed while also solving complex problems in a team setting. Of course, these are only soft skills that…

What is defense in depth?

Defense in depth (DiD) is a process or approach that applies a series of different technical and non-technical cyber strategies to apply a layered security approach to help protect an organization from malicious activity. Essentially, each safeguard acts as a safe redundancy of the last and makes it, so cybercriminals have to make it past multiple safeguards before getting anywhere lucrative on a victim system.

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Elements of Defense in Depth

Creating systems with DiD in place can become costly and cumbersome if not approached correctly. With the term redundancy at the peak of DiD, it can become fairly easy to create ineffective systems, or at…

Since it’s a recent common growth, cloud computing has become something of a novelty. Being able to scale computing environments within minutes is both cost-effective and stellar when you're in a pinch and need to stand up a quick warm site to support some additional traffic towards your organization. However, what about cloud storage — or more importantly the security-based around that storage.

So with security being built into the buckets, why do they keep becoming the source of data leaks when it comes to AWS? One of the biggest issues is security awareness.

It is no mystery that security…

If you’re reading this, chances are that you too are interested in what it takes to write a book. Before you continue on, note that I did not self publish and that my book was geared towards a technical audience.

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The book in question, AWS Penetration Testing, was my first experience writing anything other than self-published blogs and school papers. I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know how to prepare.

Hopefully, this post gives insight on what it takes to write a book with a publisher, what you will learn, and how you can get started writing a…

This is a proof of concept about how weak security controls placed around Lambda functions can lead to potential total compromise. This PoC assumes that the viewer has an understanding of what Lambda is, how it functions, and why organizations integrate it into their infrastructure.

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AWS Lambda

If you need a crash course of what Lambda is, AWS has plenty of documents on it. I suggest you start here:

With that being said, let’s go ahead get to the good stuff.

The Setup

Before we get started, we need to have a couple of things in order. First, we need to have Kali…

Note that this was a portion of an Academic paper that has been re-worked and reworded for Medium. The story is an opinion and does not devulge sensitive information about Amazon.


During the COVID Era of the year 2020, we have seen many companies rise, and many companies fall based on various business models and business strategies that the organizations to attempt to propel themselves through the pandemic, or at the very least — survive the pandemic. One of the companies that has seen much success during the pandemic is the company owned by Jeff Bezos — a company commonly…

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The Cyebrsploit

VulnHub is a website that provides materials that allow anyone to gain practical ‘hands-on’ experience in digital security, computer software & network administration. The following write up is based on the box titled “ Cybersploit: 1”.

The objective/goal of the exercise is to get the 3 flags that are placed throughout the challenge.



NMAP: Network mapping tool that allows you to scan for open ports, services, and operating systems to list a few features. It also has scripts that allow for much more in-depth enumeration.

Metasploit: Metasploit, a tool maintained by Rapid 7, is thought of as a pentesters toolbelt…

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Red Teaming and Blue Teaming

Techniques known as “War Gaming” have been exercises that organizations such as the National Security Agency, United States Military, and other government entities perform to exercise and test their offensive and defensive capabilities. These war games are made up of teams commonly referred to as “Red Teams,” an offensive style team that tests the effectiveness of an infrastructure security program and “Blue Teams,” who have a different motive. Blue Team operations are the opposite of the Red Team, meaning the Blue Team exercise focuses on the defensive strategy of security operations. …

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Juice Shop

OWASP Juice Shop is a modern and insecure web application designed to learn various hacking tactics and techniques. The vulnerable web application is typically used for training purposes and allows users to hack the web application in a secure and safe environment.

The following is a walkthrough of how to set up Juice Shop in AWS and use it as part of your pentesting playground. This walkthrough is part of the series, Pentesting in the Cloud for Diamonds.


Configuring and Deploying Juice Shop

Now that we have the requirements for setting up the instance, let’s move…

Jon Helmus

Student, Teacher, Life’r, Good-Guy-Hacker, Sloppy python-coder. See more:

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