Why people create machines and why you should too!

edited October 2020 in Other

I have a simple question for all those who create machines, Why do you do it? Spend so much time in creating and testing to help out other users?(Honestly I respect everyone who does it because its time consuming and requires lot of efforts and most importantly we need you!)
Also do we get any points or anything else if our machine gets approved?
@polarbearer and @egotisticalSW @GibParadox Would really appreciate if you people can share your two cents on the same! Thanks in advance to everyone!

Atomman

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  • Well, first of all, I'm really humbled you picked us to talk about this!

    In our case, it all started almost by accident... PB and I were just doing the weekly boxes, like everyone else, and chatting about the usual hacking stuff.
    One day, PB got called to help a customer whose system had been breached, and after investigating, it turned out it had been through the Adminer db tool.

    The conversation went something like this:

    PB: "It was actually an interesting breach, almost worthy of a box for HTB."
    GP: "Let's do it then"
    PB: "Nah..."
    GP: "Yeh..."
    PB: "Ok"

    And Admirer was created.

    After that, well... things escalated pretty quickly :wink:

    But, back to the question... why do we do it?

    I guess it's the reverse of the "hacker's mindset". The classic curiosity. How does it work? Can I "bend" it?
    It's kind of a "let's see if they (the community) can find the weakness". Some sort of treasure hunt.

    One thing we have always put a lot of focus on is the flow. We never used an escalation path that didn't make sense. It had to feel part of the system. Something that a sysadmin might have done in the real world. We believe this makes the boxes more "believable" and fun to do.

    And it's challenging... sometimes we had an idea for an exploitation, and we had to design the rest of the box around it, but with a coherent flow... "Does it fit?" If the answer was "no", that specific step in the flow would have to be redesigned.

    Once you submit a box, and after waiting for what feels like eternity (because Egotistical's content delivery team have a massive task in their hands), there is a "negotiation" phase to make sure the box works well, and then... release night!

    I remember when Admirer went live... PB and I were literally timing how long the box would stand, and reading every comment... oh, the nerves!

    There is no reward for this, other than the satisfaction (which is huge), and the feedback from the community.

    So, yes, it was (it is) a lot of work (from the original idea to writing code and everything in between), but it is so much fun!

    I would encourage anyone with an idea or with an experience to create a box (or a challenge). Ask questions, get advice and build it!
    It will be worth the effort!

    Thanks again! :)

  • Type your comment> @GibParadox said:

    Well, first of all, I'm really humbled you picked us to talk about this!

    In our case, it all started almost by accident... PB and I were just doing the weekly boxes, like everyone else, and chatting about the usual hacking stuff.
    One day, PB got called to help a customer whose system had been breached, and after investigating, it turned out it had been through the Adminer db tool.

    The conversation went something like this:

    PB: "It was actually an interesting breach, almost worthy of a box for HTB."
    GP: "Let's do it then"
    PB: "Nah..."
    GP: "Yeh..."
    PB: "Ok"

    And Admirer was created.

    After that, well... things escalated pretty quickly :wink:

    But, back to the question... why do we do it?

    I guess it's the reverse of the "hacker's mindset". The classic curiosity. How does it work? Can I "bend" it?
    It's kind of a "let's see if they (the community) can find the weakness". Some sort of treasure hunt.

    One thing we have always put a lot of focus on is the flow. We never used an escalation path that didn't make sense. It had to feel part of the system. Something that a sysadmin might have done in the real world. We believe this makes the boxes more "believable" and fun to do.

    And it's challenging... sometimes we had an idea for an exploitation, and we had to design the rest of the box around it, but with a coherent flow... "Does it fit?" If the answer was "no", that specific step in the flow would have to be redesigned.

    Once you submit a box, and after waiting for what feels like eternity (because Egotistical's content delivery team have a massive task in their hands), there is a "negotiation" phase to make sure the box works well, and then... release night!

    I remember when Admirer went live... PB and I were literally timing how long the box would stand, and reading every comment... oh, the nerves!

    There is no reward for this, other than the satisfaction (which is huge), and the feedback from the community.

    So, yes, it was (it is) a lot of work (from the original idea to writing code and everything in between), but it is so much fun!

    I would encourage anyone with an idea or with an experience to create a box (or a challenge). Ask questions, get advice and build it!
    It will be worth the effort!


    Thanks again! :)

    Absolutely Thank you so much for such a great answer! This answer should for sure inspire many others to take up the job and create boxes and challenges for the community! Even I'll try creating them sometime later for sure!

    Atomman

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