Learning PowerShell – My Journey in the Making

Let me start my first saying that besides a few commands I know from using Windows and Linux, my knowledge of Powershell is ZERO! I’m personally challenging myself to learn PowerShell, as always I’d like to share what I learn. The pressure is on because I plan to give at least a two-hour presentation on January 13th. We may also broadcast live if you’d like to attend. So how did all of this start, and why did I choose PowerShell. Well here goes. I’ve been fascinated with computers ever since I was able to get my hands on one, this was Korea around 1996. I was young, in the Army, and worked with a little Korean woman named Ms. Kim. Our Commo Shop became a “Help Desk” while we rolled out Windows 95’ to everyone in our unit. We finally made the switch from carrying a bunch of install disks to having one or two CDs. I always thought Ms. Kim was a genius with all the computer skills she had. Every time we’d get a call I’d follow her to see how she fixed it. One day she stopped going, she sent me out instead and said: “if you have any problems, just call me.” So, of course, I refused to ever call her. I was determined to learn it on my own so I can teach everyone else. I still have that love for learning and teaching today and hope it never fades. A few years ago, after working in different areas of Information Security ranging from incident handling to intrusion analysis, IPv6 and then Penetration Testing (pentesting), I finally realized what I love doing. It was pentesting and boy did I love it. Those that know me know I have a special place in my heart for the IPv6 protocol. After working on building an IPv6 firewall for a while I realized all the pros and cons of it. I wanted to tell the whole world what I discovered but as time past I felt like no one cared and they just wouldn’t understand it all anyway. IPv6 is still near and dear to my heart but it has taken a back seat to my new love, Pentesting. Some may think of it as hacking or ethical hacking but it’s much more than that, and it affects everyone. With it I get to tinker, stretch the limits of hardware and software and then present on what I learned. This is the perfect life for me! Since there is so much to learn it took a while to become proficient. Crazy thing is, at one point I thought I was pretty good at pentesting. Then after talking to and reading about real pentesters, I realized I was just pretty decent. One day, I woke up and decided I wanted to be really really good. In order to be really good, I realized I had a lot more to learn. One of those things just happened to be PowerShell. As always, I would turn to someone in the industry I trusted to get their take on it. My pentesting mentor is Chris Campbell, he also goes by @obscuresec. As if I was a stalker I’d read nearly everything he wrote and try to find all of his presentations. On his website, he recommended the book Learn Windows Powershell in a Month of Lunches 2nd Edition. He stated, “If you pick one book to read about PowerShell, this is it.” I bought the book on Christmas eve and got started reading it right away. That started my PowerShell journey and as always I’m willing to share what I learn with you. Follow along with me if you like and we can all grow together. This will be the first of many posts on the topic. I plan to go over this book along with any videos and other postings I find along the way. Feel free to chime in with questions or comments. If I can answer them I will, if not, then I’ll try my best to find an answer. So grab the book if you can or wait for my posts. I can’t promise it’ll be entertaining but it will be educational. So, here’s to long nights and headaches due to commands you’ve never seen before. Stick with it cause it’ll be worth it and if at any point you find yourself in a little trouble, keep pushing.

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