PTS v4

Penetration Testing Student

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Study at your own pace

PTSv4 is entirely self-paced with interactive slides and videos that students can access online without any limitation. Students have lifetime access to the training material and can also study from home, the office, or anywhere an internet connection is available.

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Course at a glance

  • For absolute beginners in IT Security
  • Minimal pre-requisites
  • Learn about: Routing, Forwarding, and TCP/IP; Information Gathering; Scanning; Vulnerability Assessments; Buffer Overflows; XSS; SQL Injection; System and Network Attacks; and Basics of Web App Pentesting
  • Learn how to: Analyze Traffic with Wireshark, Exploit Vulnerable Hosts, Move Laterally, Manipulate Traffic, Crack Passwords, and Exfiltrate Data
  • Develop Pentesting tools in C and Python
  • Learn how to use tools like Nmap, Nessus, Hydra, Metasploit, and Burp Suite
  • Preparation for the Penetration Testing Professional (PTP) course
  • Obtaining the eJPT certification qualifies you for 40 CPE

Course material

  • Over 5.5 hours of HQ video training material
  • 1800+ slides
  • 16 extensive Hera labs and 3 Black-box Penetration Tests

Course delivery

  • Self-paced / HTML5, PDF, MP4
  • Offline access available
  • Access from PC, Tablet and Smartphone

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Section: Preliminary Skills - Prerequisites

  • Module 1 : Introduction

    The student will be initially introduced to the information security field and will then move on to studying how cryptography and virtual private networks work, with the module closing out with a chapter on binary arithmetic; this provides them the required background to connect to Hera Lab for the first time and carry out their first hands-on lab.

  • Module 2 : Networking

    Computer networks are what make the Internet work, and they are a fundamental asset for nearly every business. Understanding networking protocols mean being able to spot misconfigurations and vulnerabilities. Furthermore, a penetration tester with strong networking fundamentals can properly configure tools and scanners to obtain best results.

  • Module 3 : Web Applications

    Web Applications are more complex and pervasive than what many think; this module explains the protocols and technologies behind web applications and prepares the students for web application penetration testing topics. Students will also learn how to study a web application and use the information collected to mount attacks.

  • Module 4 : Penetration Testing

    In this module, we will answer fundamental questions like: Who are penetration testers? How do they perform their tasks? What methodology do they follow? Skills and methodology are what differentiate a real professional from an amateur. This module explains what methodology to use during an engagement, from the initial engaging phase to the final reporting and consultancy phase.

Section: Preliminary Skills - Programming

  • Module 1 : Introduction

    This module explains the basic concepts of programming and typical programming constructs. Every programming language is similar to each other in some ways. This module shows those universal similarities, as well as what programming is used for in general.

  • Module 2 : C++

    This module explains the basics of C++. C++ uses some features that are typical for this language, like pointers or predefined variables. At the end of the module, students can test their knowledge building a simple remote data stealing tool using C++.

  • Module 3 : Python

    This module explains the basics of Python, as well as shows how to properly set up the Python development environment. Moreover, students will learn how to write simple custom pentesting tools in Python.

  • Module 4 : Command Line Scripting

    This module explains the basics of command line scripting, as well as the environment settings for it both from a Windows and Linux perspective. Students will also learn how to automate simple everyday tasks using bash scripting.

Section: Penetration Testing

  • Module 1 : Information Gathering

    Information gathering is the most important phase of the overall pentesting engagement. A Penetration tester will use the information collected during this phase to map the attack surface and increase his chances to breach the organization in the same way criminals do. Students will see how to use different sources to perform information gathering phases.

  • Module 2 : Footprinting & Scanning

    This module covers infrastructural information gathering. Remotely identifying operating systems, server applications, and clients is of paramount importance to widen the attack surface and prepare the penetration tester for the vulnerability assessment activity and the following exploitation phase.

  • Module 3 : Vulnerability Assessment

    Vulnerability Assessment is the process through which a penetration tester uncovers all the vulnerabilities in a computer system or application. This module explains how vulnerability assessment can be carried out using automatic tools or manual investigation.

  • Module 4 : Web Attacks

    This module dissects and explains the most widespread web application vulnerabilities. Students will study the most common web application attacks, starting from the information gathering phase to the exploitation phase. Students will learn how to perform attacks manually and then learn how to automate them by utilizing the most commonly-used tools.

  • Module 5 : System Attacks

    From malware, through password cracking attacks, up to buffer overflows, students will learn the most common attack vectors used against computer systems nowadays. They will learn which malware they can use during an engagement. In the Password Attacks chapter, we explain how to recover passwords from a compromised machine. Then, we conclude this module with an entire chapter dedicated to buffer overflows, one of the most used attack vectors against applications and operating systems.

  • Module 6 : Network Attacks

    This module provides a comprehensive explanation of the most common and historical remote attacks. Students will learn attack techniques against authentication services, Windows file sharing, and network devices. Every attack technique can be tested in a hands-on lab. The last two chapters explain in theory and practice, how to use Metasploit and Meterpreter to automate attacks and penetration testing techniques.

  • Module 7 : Next Steps

    This module is a summary of the course. It contains useful advice and information about how to continue learning in the field of IT Security in the most efficient way. Also, students can test their skills against special lab challenges, which are very similar to real-life penetration testing scenarios.

Download PDF Syllabus


  • Basics of computing and computer science
  • Basics of Computer Security topics, although not mandatory

This training course is for...

  • IT personnel / students
  • IT Security enthusiasts
  • Junior Pentesters


The PTS course is a practice-based curriculum. Being integrated with Hera Lab, the most sophisticated virtual lab in IT Security, it offers an unmatched practical learning experience. Hera is the only virtual lab that provides fully isolated per-student access to each of the real world network scenarios available on the platform.

Students can access Hera Lab from anywhere through VPN.

Modules will be accompanied by numerous hands-on labs, where the student will:

• Learn to use penetration testing tools

• Create and use custom tools and scripts

• Exercise vulnerability exploitation

• Test their skills against real-life vulnerable environments

Lab IDDescriptionCategory
Lab 1 HTTP(S) Traffic Sniffing - In this lab, you will intercept some traffic with Wireshark, a common sniffer tool. You will then analyze the capture to discover authentication credentials. Preliminary Skills
Lab 2 Find the secret server - In this lab, you will learn how network routes work and how they can be manually added in order to reach different networks. Preliminary Skills
Lab 3 Data Exfiltration - Find clever ways to steal information from a remote machine despite a firewall being in place. Preliminary Skills
Lab 4 Burp Suite Basics - Use burp tools like intruder to inspect a web application for potential vulnerabilities. Preliminary Skills
Lab 5 Burp Suite - A local police department has hired you to pentest their website. They had a new website created by a web development company, and they want to make sure that everything is secure and in order. Preliminary Skills
Lab 6 C++-assisted exploitation - Create short programs that will have basic malware functionalities. Can you use them to steal data from a remote machine? Penetration Testing
Lab 7 Python-assisted exploitation - Try to write your own python tools in order to speed up target exploration. Penetration Testing
Lab 8 Scanning and OS Fingerprinting - In this lab, you will be connected to an enterprise network with some clients and servers. Your task is to map the network. Penetration Testing
Lab 9 Nessus - In this lab, you will have to use and configure Nessus in order to perform a vulnerability scan against the target machine. However, you are not told where the target machine is in the network. You only know it is in the same lab network you are connected to. Penetration Testing
Lab 10 Dirbuster - You are a Penetration Tester hired by the company AwdMgmt to perform security tests on their internal Web Application and machines. You are asked to perform the penetration test on the client premises. During this engagement, you are not given a well-defined scope. You are sitting in the client corporate building, directly attached to the client network. Penetration Testing
Lab 11 Cross-site scripting - In this lab, you can practice XSS attacks against a web application hosted at the address Since the application allows registered users to add comments, we have already created an account on the application. Penetration Testing
Lab 12 SQL Injection - In this lab, you can practice the SQL Injection techniques and tools studied during the course. You can access the target web application at the following address Penetration Testing
Lab 13 Bruteforce and Password Cracking - In the first part of the lab, you will have to use different network authentication cracking techniques and tools against services available on the target machine. Once valid credentials have been found, it is time to download the passwords stored on the remote system and use John the Ripper to crack them! Penetration Testing
Lab 14 Null Sessions - In this lab, you can practice different techniques and tools against a machine vulnerable to a null session! Penetration Testing
Lab 15 ARP Poisoning - In this lab, you are connected to a switched network. Try to intercept network traffic and steal telnet credentials by performing an ARP poisoning attack. Penetration Testing
Lab 16 Metasploit - In this lab, you will have to use Metasploit and meterpreter against a real machine; this will help you get familiar with the Metasploit framework and its features. Penetration Testing
Lab 17 Black-box Penetration Test #1 - The first Black-box penetration testing lab is against a heterogeneous network. While this lab progresses, your Windows command line scripting skills will prove useful. Penetration Testing
Lab 18 Black-box Penetration Test #2 - For the second Black-box Penetration Testing lab, make sure you remember the basics of how DNS works. Penetration Testing
Lab 19 Black-box Penetration Test #3 - When attacking the third Black-box Penetration Testing lab, be sure that you remember networking basics. Penetration Testing


Get the eJPT Certification

The eJPT designation stands for eLearnSecurity Junior Penetration Tester. eJPT is a 100% practical certification on penetration testing and information security essentials. By passing the challenging exam and obtaining the eJPT certificate, a penetration tester can prove their skills in the fastest growing area of information security

Learn more


  • Łukasz Mikuła
    Łukasz Mikuła

    Łukasz Mikuła is a self-taught white hat hacker and penetration tester who enjoys both learning and sharing his knowledge with others. Upon reaching a certain level of expertise in the field of IT Security, he started working as a penetration tester for a financial institution where he performed various tasks related to penetration testing: application and network security assessment, reverse engineering and red teaming. He has many vulnerabilities submitted and accepted by vendors like IBM and Oracle, which is visible in their patch advisories. Currently, Łukasz is an IT Security Trainer and Researcher at eLearnSecurity, where he gets to share his passion and knowledge of the field to help others learn and grow in their careers. In his spare time, he is an active penetration tester and still sharpens his skills by participating in bug bounty programs, as well as helping companies and organizations building secure environments.

Previous Authors

Previous Authors include Armando Romeo, Francesco Stillavato, Davide Girardi

Enroll now and get access to all of our material and labs!


I found the material to be challenging and informative, but the best part is content delivery. Hands down the best delivery of pentesting content I have experienced to date.

Ken Richmond
System Analyst

This course provided beginning, intermediate and advanced Penetration Testing exercises. I was able to progress at my own pace and develop a deeper understanding of this skills and knowledge to further my career in information security. I was challenged and pleased to be presented with a course that was designed with simplicity, but maintained techniques that were informative and industry guided. I refer backing to the training often to clarify my understanding. Overall the student course was sophisticated and efficient to increase my knowledge in the Penetration testing arena. I would recommend enrolling in courses provided by eLearnSecurity.

Chris Matthews

I think that eLearnSecurity course is the best course suited for the beginners in the penetration testing field. It is well made, not expensive and it will explain all the topics in a clear manner. Thanks!

Lucian Andrei

The student course is very comprehensive and covers more than the required aspects of the modules. The interface is easy to use and the videos included are very helpful in giving you a step by step guide for the more complex tasks. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to start in penetration testing and puts you in a good position to start a career in the area of penetration testing.

Theodore Judice
Osaze Systems IT Consulting

If penetration testing is what you are looking for, then look no further than the eLearnSecurity team. The resources were second to none and the knowledge the guys have got is amazing. This is the best course that I have taken by far.

Daniel Morris

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