Cool Tools: Making Your CyberSecurity Journey Fun
Learning Tools are an essential part of any educational journey
While a lot of the writing we’ve presented tends to focus on software and strategies today we’re taking a look in a different direction, by focusing on hardware that can assist the learning journey around upgrading your security skills. While there’s plenty of resources and material around applying tools to your learning, as always we’ll be taking a non conventional approach by providing 5 tools that you should be able to inexpensively add to your toolkit.
The Raspberry Pi
We’ve made no secret of the fact that the Pi is a great tool for both learning and automating. Due to it’s simplistic design as well as tools like berry boot, you can configure the Pi in a vast number of ways to contribute to your learning journey. Want to learn about firewalls and intrusion detection? Run the Pi. Want to take a bare bones approach to networking? Use the Pi. Want to integrate NFC readers and flashers into your red teaming or perhaps run a full Kali install with onboard wifi off a power bank? You guessed it, use the Pi. Carry out all these projects and more using a single board computer of your choice.
Old routers can be upcycled in to all manner of things.
The WiFi pineapple
While you could use your raspberry pi board to create a pineapple equivalent, we’ve included the pineapple simply because it’s such a great tool for learning about networking and other essential concepts.
While you can buy a Pineapple if you’re a maker or on a budget you can also build your own by using an old router paired with some custom firmware like Open WRT, giving you similar functionality with an even more in depth approach to learning.
Some routers are particularly useful for these types of projects as they are able to take hardware inputs in some instances as well. This leads to unique projects like an APRS IGate for amateur radio that’s powered by an old router.
The Pi Pico is a great Bad USB project for DIY building.
USB Rubber Duck
The USB Rubber Ducky is a compact USB device that simulates a keyboard or human interface device (HID). It’s a powerful tool for executing automated scripts and keystroke injections on target systems.
It’s also ideal for learning about security weaknesses related to human interaction with computers and is an old favorite of cyber security trainers the world over.
Like the Pineapple, the ducky is a great project for home learning, with home built models for the Pi Nano available to hackers and makers.
Lock Picking Set
Your info or cyber security journey isn’t just about securing computers, it’s about understanding how physical access control works and can be explored as part of your role.
Tools like this can be useful for understanding padlocks, office locks and other typical systems you may find in your role which will help understand what systems are security and what possible vectors of compromise may be.
And more importantly, every one has worked in an office that once had a filing cabinet or server rack with lost keys. Be the workplace hero (or suspect) by providing fast easy access to lost hardware.
In all seriousness though, understanding barriers around physical access control should be something that all professionals examine at some point, if only to understand how they properly work.
Yubi-Key: Your MFA Weapon
The foundation of Security is keeping things and people secure, and as such an essential part of your learning journey is understanding how to effectively harden your own defenses. So as you travel your cyber security path you can complement tools and habits to help in keeping your data secure. YubiKey is one of those tools.
YubiKey is a compact hardware authentication device that enhances your digital security by providing two-factor and multi-factor authentication.
It’s a great tool to learn about authentication mechanisms and how they bolster online security as well as providing a significant and independent update to your own security that stops sim swap attacks dead in its tacks.
Don’t Forget Though:
While these are all useful and viable tools it’s important to remember that the rules and regulations around different things will vary according to where you are in the world.
Some places may not allow a lock pick set, some places may frown on tools that transmit. So, like any tutorial that focuses on these topics we should remember that prior permission is needed to engage with other people’s hardware, and any methods presented are for educational purposes not malicious.
And remember that the best way to get the full benefit from understanding these tools is to use them in your own controlled lab, where you can take any and all steps required to fully master your new hardware. Have fun, but stay legal!
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