Friday, October 27, 2023

Transformative Journey: My Experience at the Telspace Bootcamp

My journey through the world of cybersecurity has been a series of remarkable milestones, all of which led me to the life changing Telspace Bootcamp experience. It all began with a triumphant win at the ITWeb Security Summit Hackathon. This victory not only marked my entry into the Telspace Bootcamp but also set the stage for my journey of growth and achievement. In this blog post, I will delve into my enriching experience at the Telspace Bootcamp, from its commencement on July 3rd, 2023, to its conclusion on August 31st, 2023, and the certifications that crowned my journey.

From Hackathon to Bootcamp: A Dream Come True

Back in June 2023, I had the opportunity of a lifetime – participating in the ITWeb Security Summit Hackathon which Telspace sponsors every year. The event took place at the prestigious Sandton Convention Centre, where cybersecurity enthusiasts and experts gathered to showcase their skills. I was determined to prove myself in the Red Teaming Capture the Flag (CTF) competition that was built by the Telspace Team. I was so thrilled to have emerged as the winner of the ITWeb Security Summit Hackathon 2023. It was an incredible journey, and I was grateful for the opportunity to showcase my skills in identifying vulnerabilities and proposing innovative solutions.

Upon winning the hackathon I received an invitation to the Telspace Bootcamp - this was a dream come true. This bootcamp was renowned for its rigorous and comprehensive training program. It promised to not only equip me with the necessary skills but also immerse me in the practicalities of the cybersecurity world.

A Dynamic Learning Environment

From day one, the Telspace Bootcamp proved to be a dynamic and immersive learning environment. The curriculum covered an extensive range of cybersecurity topics, from the fundamentals to advanced techniques. The instructors were not just educators; they were experienced professionals who shared their real-world insights and experiences. This made the learning experience both enriching and practical.

The Bootcamp programme included, but was not limited to:
  • Hardware hacking
  • Hands on Hacking Fundamentals
  • Enterprise Infrastructure Hacking
  • Web Application Hacking
  • Mobile Application Pen testing
  • Hacking APIs
  • Academy All-Access Membership from TCM Security

Hands-on Practical Exercises

One of the hallmarks of the Telspace Bootcamp was its emphasis on hands-on practical exercises. We were not just learning theoretical concepts; we were applying them in simulated environments. These exercises ranged from ethical hacking and penetration testing challenges, to network security simulations. They were designed to prepare us for the real challenges faced by cybersecurity professionals.

At Telspace, one of the most valuable lessons I learned was the stark contrast to many other courses/internships/bootcamps that often inundate students with tools and concepts that rarely find practical application in the real-world scenarios; instead, Telspace was a refreshing departure from the norm, steadfastly focusing on those tools and topics proven to be indispensable for success as an ethical hacker, a deliberate approach that reflected the bootcamps' commitment to providing an education deeply rooted in practicality and real-world relevance, with an incredibly immersive, hands-on structure that not only demystified but also meticulously covered a multitude of foundational topics, effectively equipping me with the knowledge and skills that I knew would truly empower me in the field.

Mentorship and Guidance

Throughout the duration of the bootcamp, the invaluable mentorship we received played an instrumental role in shaping our development and enhancing our learning experience, as our dedicated mentors consistently organised and conducted live sessions, thereby affording us the exceptional opportunity to acquire knowledge and seek clarification through the asking of questions, with notable examples including live demonstrations illustrating the intricate processes of hacking a mobile application and the jailbreaking of an iPhone; this highly personalised approach employed by our mentors proved to be a pivotal factor in my educational journey, enabling me to surmount obstacles and gain a profound understanding of complex concepts.

Earning the PJPT Certification with "Early Adopter" Badge

One of the most significant milestones during my tenure at the Telspace Bootcamp was achieving the PJPT (Practical Junior Penetration Tester) certification. This achievement, earned on July 27th, 2023, not only validated my learnings in penetration testing and ethical hacking but also came with the prestigious "early adopter" badge. This badge symbolised my dedication and commitment to staying at the forefront of cybersecurity knowledge. As I am part of the first 100 to obtain this certificate.

From the TCM Security website:

"This exam assesses a student’s ability to perform an internal network penetration test at an associate level. Students will have two (2) full days to complete the assessment and an additional two (2) days to write a professional report.

In order to receive the certification, a student must:

Leverage their Active Directory exploitation skillsets to perform lateral and vertical network movements, and ultimately compromise the exam Domain Controller. Also, provide a detailed, professionally written report."

Conquering the PNPT Certification

As my journey continued, I reached another pinnacle on August 26th, 2023, by attaining the PNPT (Practical Network Penetration Tester) certification. This certification further solidified my learnings in network security and bolstered my credentials on my journey to becoming a cybersecurity professional.

PNPT Advice

Due to NDA, I am unable to discuss specifics regarding the test, however I can offer the following guidance to anyone preparing to take the PNPT exam:

Finish these 5 recommended courses:

  • Practical Ethical Hacking (PEH) course
  • Windows Privilege Escalation (WPE) course
  • Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) course
  • External Pentest Playbook (EPP) course
  • Linux Privilege Escalation (LPE) course

Conclusion: A Journey of Transformation

My experience at the Telspace Bootcamp was not just a training program; it was a journey of transformation. It honed my skills, expanded my knowledge, and prepared me for the challenges of the cybersecurity field. I am immensely grateful for the mentorship, hands-on experience, and the certifications that have propelled me forward. This journey is just the beginning, and I look forward to the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity.

- Blog Post by Sifundo Ngubane

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