Offsec Proving Grounds Review

If you don’t already know, the Offsec Proving Grounds are a new laboratory created by Offsec to compliment their training courses. It’s basically a Hack the Box version of Vulnhub, and it explains why Offsec purchased Vulnhub recently.

I’ve been trying it out for a couple of months now, and I think it was a good move for Offsec, but it is lagging vs. the competition.

> Price

First off, for $20 a month, it is significantly more expensive than HTB’s standard VIP option, which is about $10. HTB also has more boxes, challenges, labs, etc. So Offsec is definitely behind, in this regard. With that said, Offsec has started paying people to submit boxes, so I see the number and quality of boxes available increasing soon. I know if I was to make a box, and I’ve toyed around with the idea, I’d probably submit it to Offsec before HTB, at this point.

> Site Design

Offsec’s website design is functional, but it isn’t as flashy as HTB. That may be a positive or negative, depending on your taste. At first I had some troubles getting machines to start properly, but that appears to be ironed out.

> Functionality

It seems you have to have your VPN connection going to start a machine, which is almost as annoying as the machines changing IP addresses each time they are restarted. Also, don’t log out and clear your cookies, that will make stuff go a bit haywire, though that may be cleared up by now. I think you should be able to add this to your .ovpn file to automatically log in

auth-user-pass /home/user/.ssh/login.conf

And then create login.conf in the same directory as the ovpn file. In login.conf, put your username on one line and password on the next line – that’s all. Two lines, first is username and the second is your password.

> Conclusion

I’d say the proving grounds are best for those people working towards an OSCP. They easy boxes on the site are actually easy in comparison to the newer HTB “easy” boxes. Offsec needs to work on updating the website to be a bit more modern, and add more features to increase the value. After all, why would somebody pay nearly double the price of HTB for less value? Also, please make it so I don’t have to enter my obscure VPN credentials every time I log in.