Archive for the ‘SANS GSE’ Category

Final thoughts before taking the SANS GSE lab

Well, this will be my last entry before the test. I have been studying for this test for quite a while, and hopefully all this preparation will pay off. If there is one parting thought to give it would be this: just because you read about a tool, technique or procedure does not mean you know what it does or how to do it. It’s a little bit like that line by Seraph in The Matrix Reloaded ‘You do not truly know someone until you fight them’. It sounds odd when applied to people, but it makes TOTAL SENSE when applied to computers:

One doesn’t really understand until one actually applies the knowledge; make it work, play around with it and break things, then get it working again. Once you’ve done that, only THEN do you really have an understanding of that tool, technique or procedure. Because hearing about a thing and being able to actually USE that thing are two, totally different. . . . . . things!


Oh, and don’t try to use Ettercap in VMWARE with NAT mode enabled. 😉


My parting gift (because I can’t do this after I take the test):

SANS GSE bring-along guide 2015-03-08

Passed SANS GSE written!

Just got back from taking the test. Scored a 94.6% with 20 min left. Test was 150 questions with a 3-ish hour time limit (I forget if it was 3 or 3.5 hr). The study plan was to get a 91%, so I’m pleasantly surprised. The minimum passing score is somewhere in the mid 70’s, but I wanted plenty of wiggle room with the lab portion of the exam, and what GSE would want to pass with the bare minimum? The first half hour of the test was the most stressful. After that, I hit my stride and methodically worked through it, checking my time remaining at every checkpoint to make sure I wasn’t taking too long looking up items to verify my answers. If you have ever taken a GIAC test, you know that you get checkpoint scores every so often. . .

At any rate, you now know the materials I used to study, what I brought with me and how I created my index for the written portion of the SANS GSE.  Good luck to you!

Now the real preparation begins – for the GSE lab, hopefully in March 🙂


Scheduled the SANS GSE test – and making a study plan

Scheduled the test today. I work mids, so I scheduled it as late as possible. Also, I scheduled the test at a center a bit further away, but after calling them, they said it would be ok to pull up another desk to hold all the books etc.

So the study schedule for the test. I’ve got about 6 ½ weeks – GCIA (SEC503) has been outlined. I’ve moved on to GSEC (SEC401) this weekend. To get GSEC and GCIH (SEC504) re-outlined, I need to get through two books per week, which is a double-edged sword. The 401 material isn’t as tough, but there is a LOT to go through. I have an older outline for GCIH, so I’ll save that for last. Also, the workbook for 503 still needs completed (I’m about 1/3 the way through it).   So:

Oct 15-18:      GSEC 401.1 & 401.2

Oct 22-25:      GSEC 401.3 & 401.4

Oct 29-Nov1:             GSEC 401.5. This will be hard – Halloween is my fav. One book this week.

Nov 5-8:         GSEC 401.6 & GCIH 504.1

Nov 12-15:     GCIH 504.2 & 504.3

Nov 19-22:     GSEC 504.4 & 504.5

Nov 26-29:     Thanksgiving. . . whatever is left over. . . get it?

Dec 2:             TEST

Wow – this is going to be tough.

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