We think of every OffSec learner as a member of the OffSec community. Our OffSec Discord server encourages and facilitates interaction among OffSec learners and OffSec staff members while learners study for their OffSec certifications.
Read this guide to learn more about the OffSec community, what resources you can find in OffSec’s Discord channel and how to use them. To learn how to join us on Discord, click here.
- Why should I join the discord server?
- What channels should I have access to ?
- What are the expected channel behaviors in the OffSec Discord server?
- Who are the Student Mentors (SM's)?
- How do I ask for help?
- What are the OffSec Discord Hours and How may I join?
- When are the Discord Office Hours happening?
- How may I contribute to the OffSec Community?
- Other Community resources
The Offsec Discord server is the perfect place to connect with other learners. Here you may find other students who are going on the same learning journey as yourself, get study buddies, get insights from learners who already went through the content you are studying.
By joining us on Discord you will:
- Gain access to our Student Mentors (SM's)
- Keep an eye on important announcements
- Gain access to private channels specialized in the content you are studying
- Gain access to our Discord bots
- Be part of a growing community
The chat platform offers a number of public channels:
- #welcome: This is a general channel where all users are welcomed
- #guidelines: This channel defines the purpose of the community server as well as how learners should legally abide by it under our Academic Policies
- #announcements: This channel contains general announcements such as any updates to courses and labs, raffles and giveaways, and any other OffSec related news
- #general: Is a channel for open discussion and an offtopic area where learners can get to know each other
- #engagement-stories: This channel is where you can share interesting stories from an engagement or assessment, please let us all hear about it! (NB - Keep your NDA's in mind!)
- #knowledge-sharing: This is a channel where you can talk about your experiences and expertise within the field
- #off-topic: A channel to discuss anything non-infosec related
- #support: Receive technical support for VPN, machines, and our Training Library Portal
- pen-exercises: A channel where learners can discuss the PEN-100 course modules and exercises
- pen-200-challenges: A channel where learners can discuss the PEN-200 course lab machines
- web-300-exercises: A channel where learners can discuss the AWAE course modules and exercises
- exp-301-exercises: A channel where learners can discuss the EXP-301 course modules and exercises
- pen-300-labs: A channel where learners can discuss the PEN-300 course challenges
- osmr-masters: A channel for learners who have passed the OSMR exam.
Note: PG Practice Subscribers get access to an exclusive PG Practice channel.
The channels are updated on a regular basis. Please check the platform for the most up-to-date channels.
- Please be polite and courteous within the chat platform as we do not tolerate unmannerly behavior of any kind. Below are the list of unacceptable topics within any of our channels:
- We do not allow discussing information on the machines outside of what is publicly available.
- We do not allow discussing information on the course exams outside of what is publicly available in the course Exam Guides.
- We do not allow users using insults, profanities, or being rude and disrespectful to their fellow users in the channels.
- We do not allow discussing illegal activities such as hacking private individuals or corporations.
- We also request users to keep discussions related to the channel topic. If you are not sure what channel to start the discussion on, please check the #off-topic and #main channels.
To avoid spoiling the fun and challenge of the exercises, there are also rules that must be followed:
- Learners are not allowed to share complete solutions or walkthroughs of any exercise as we still want learners to complete them on their own.
- Learners are not allowed to share complete source codes, scripts, or commands that are required for the exercises. Sharing sample code snippets are allowed as long as they don’t give the answers away.
Learners can also ask for hints on the lab machines. However, lab machine questions will be stricter in moderation as we do not want the machine’s solutions to be spoiled to everyone.
The following are examples that should be avoided in the channels:
- Providing a detailed walkthrough or steps needed to exploit a lab machine.
- Providing the exact exploit, command, CVE, or URL of the exploit to use on a specific lab machine
- Providing detailed information on how to leverage the vulnerability of an exploit is not allowed. Although discussing the general concept such as RFI is acceptable.
- Discussing hidden information that should be enumerated, such as a hidden port number, hidden URL, or hidden files is not allowed. Giving details on such information defeats the purpose of having them hidden in the first place.
OffSec members will be monitoring the channel, to make sure the channel rules are observed and compiled.
Our SM's are OffSec alumni that have joined the company to mentor learners since they have gone through the courses. The SM's will be available to mentor, support and monitor the channels/groups.
To identify an SM, please check if the OffSec Student Mentor tag is present in the Roles section under their username:
If a learner wishes to speak directly to an SM, the SM may not be available immediately as he/she may be assisting other learners or working on other assignments. If the SM is not available, another SM will get back to the learner as soon as one is available. If the learner would like a faster response, please message the relevant OffSec channels where the community can assist or until another SM might be able to assist.
Note: Extra Mile exercises require independent research and are meant to be completed by the learner on their own. Therefore, SMs will not be able to help or provide assistance for it.
As a cybersecurity professional, the ability to conduct independent research and problem-solving is a sought-after skill to have. Having said that, it's important to remember that there are also resources available to you to assist you if needed. For example, the pen-200-hints bot is available to provide guidance with specific exercise questions, and Discord offers a search feature that can help you find answers and in-depth conversations to most exercise questions. By utilizing these resources, you can further improve your problem-solving abilities while also developing self-sufficiency in your work. Remember to keep an open mind and don't hesitate to seek assistance when necessary.
When asking for help, please include as much detail as possible. Provide the steps, commands, codes, and any other relevant information to https://paste.offsec.com/ . This way, the learners and SM's will have a good understanding of what’s going on so they can better assist you. Please do not copy & paste your sample codes to the channels, as it will be difficult to read, and to be mindful of other users also discussing in the channel.
Avoid: Hi I need help!
Avoid: I need help with x.x.x.x machine
Propose: I’ve been working on getting low-level access to x.x.x.x machine. I found credentials from another machine, but they do not seem to be working. Can someone help me?
Avoid: I’m stuck on exercise 123
Propose: I’m trying to get the exploit for exercise 123 to work, however I get an error when launching it. Here are the commands and outputs: https://paste.offsec.com/SdDfLvsw
Note: We encourage community engagement! Anyone is free to help assist learners if they know an answer to a question. For this reason, if you have not received a reply from a Student Mentor within 15 minutes, don't worry! If a learner has not received help within 15 minutes, the Student Mentors will gladly assist.
OffSec has taken steps to increase communications with our learners and implementing Office Hours is one of them.
This is an opportunity for our community to interact with the OffSec staff and where members can ask any questions they may have related to courses, latest releases, updates, career opportunities, career advice, and more.
Once the Office Hour starts, a banner will show at the top of the server showing the event is live. Clicking that banner, finding the channel "OffSec Office Hour" or clicking this link https://discord.gg/59umsvmYr3 will take you there.
Once you've joined the channel, you can request permission to speak over audio if you'd like. Our staff will grant you access to ask your question.
Otherwise, you may ask your question in the text channel "wire-side-text". This link will take you there https://discord.gg/6wHV55ZNs9
Once you've asked your question, please be patient for FalconSpy or the other MC to ask it to the panelist of staff. Please note some questions may be skipped due to complexity, asked already multiple times, or they were simply missed in the flood of questions.
Below you can see what the Banner looks like once the Office Hours go Live and the Channels used for this Event:
Office Hours are typically held on Fridays around 1pm EST, and run for approximately 1 hour. However, if the community is highly interactive and the questions are many, it might go over.
We LOVE when our learners actively engage in our community! If there is anything you wish to share, please contact @ZealousBrit on the OffSec community chat platform. We welcome your ideas and engagement!