6 min read

Start Cybersecurity Awareness Month with Our New Starting Point

It's October, happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Start it right with our new Starting Point, perfect for first time hackers.

Oct 01

It’s October! You know what that means? It’s Halloween at the end of the month, and people will assume that I’m wearing a costume. Nope, I dress like this every day. But you know what else October is all about? It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to start training for your cybersecurity career. Cybersecurity is a booming industry full of high paying jobs, and a lot of people need to be hired by employers around the world. Hack The Box can offer you the training you need and help you land your first cybersecurity job! But first of all...


What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an initiative started by the National Cyber Security Alliance. From their website:

“Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 as a broad effort to help all Americans stay safer and more secure online.

When Cybersecurity Awareness Month first began, the awareness efforts centred around advice like updating your antivirus software twice a year to mirror similar efforts around changing batteries in smoke alarms during daylight saving time.

Since the combined efforts of the National Cyber Security Alliance and DHS have been taking place, the month has grown in reach and participation. Operated in many respects as a grassroots campaign, the month’s effort has grown to include the participation of a multitude of industry participants that engage their customers, employees, and the general public in awareness, as well as college campuses, nonprofits, and other groups.”

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is also a great opportunity to start your career in our industry, no matter where in the world you are or whatever your background is. Holidays and events have a tendency to grow from their original purpose. For example, the month leading up to Halloween is a time when goths everywhere do most of our home decor shopping. 

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is not only a great time to improve your personal security habits, but also to jump start a career in the industry. We need lots of more people in cybersecurity roles! Hack The Box is known as a great platform for hackers to learn advanced cyber exploitation techniques and take their skills to the next level. But we’re also a great place for newbies who have never worked in tech to learn hacking from the very beginning. Because we know how important it is to have great educational content for beginners, we’re relaunching our Starting Point program in phases throughout October. It’s all perfectly timed for Cybersecurity Awareness Month!


Welcome to our new Starting Point

Hack The Box’s Starting Point is new and relaunched! Here it is in our app. This is the very best way for people who are interested in the basics of penetration testing. Penetration testing requires a foundational knowledge of operating systems, networks and technical skill. You will be amazed by how quickly you can go from knowing very little to developing impressive cyber skills!

Our new Starting Point features very easy and beginner friendly vulnerable machines that you can try to hack. And if you ever need any help, you can get support from write-ups, our forum, and our Discord channel. You don’t need any special software on your computer. Your computer can run any operating system, your learning is all done through your web browser and your VPN. But we do strongly recommend using the tools in Pwnbox to try hacking our new machines. Don’t worry, Pwnbox also runs smoothly from your web browser in any major OS.

Here’s what’s new in Starting Point:

  • Brand new write-ups for each machine

  • Three tiers; tier 0, tier 1, and tier 2. We recommend that you complete the tiers in order to level up your skills.

  • Recommended HTB Academy courses for each tier

  • Tasks, interactive questions and answers for each machine to help you find the flags with handy hints if you get stumped.

A lot of our machines are available for anyone to try, but we recommend getting a VIP+ membership so you can use all of our machines and enjoy unlimited Pwnbox to give you all the tools you need. 

In each tier, we also recommend HTB Academy courses which will help you on your way. HTB Academy is a fully interactive way to learn about a variety of cybersecurity topics. This knowledge will help you learn all about hacking!

Our new Starting Point also features tasks. Players can go through a set of logical tasks or questions that will guide them to each flag in a machine. Each task or question comes with a handy hint if you get stumped. When questions are answered correctly, the new question is unlocked.

Release schedule

Starting Point release schedule

Tier 0

Tier 0 is available now, released on October 1st. Tier 0 features five vulnerable machines with very simple hacks and lots of writeups and support if you need help.

Machines available to everyone:
Meow and Fawn are based on Linux, and Dancing is based on Windows.

VIP and VIP+ only:
Explosion is based on Windows and Preignition is based on Linux

Tier 1

Tier 1 will be released on October 8th. Tier 1 features six vulnerable machines with very simple hacks and lots of writeups and support if you need help.

Machines available to everyone:
Appointment, Sequel, and Crocodile, all based on Linux.

VIP and VIP+ only:
Tactics is based on Windows, Pennyworth and Ignition are based on Linux.

Tier 2

Tier 2 will be released on October 15th. This is the final tier of our new version of Starting Point. Tier 2 features nine vulnerable machines with very simple hacks and lots of writeups and support if you need help.

Machines available to everyone:
Archetype, Shield, and Pathfinder are based on Windows, and Oopsie and Vaccine are based on Linux.

VIP and VIP+ only:
Included, Guard, and Base are based on Linux, and MarkUp is based on Windows.


Try our new Starting Point and you may win VIP+ membership!

Are you ready to pwn them all? In order to celebrate the Cybersecurity Awareness Month properly, we will have a special competition for each one of our tiers’ releases. At the end of every week, we will pick three random players who successfully completed the latest released tier (considering the completion of free machines only). Our lucky exploiters will be awarded with 1 annual VIP+ subscription each.

So go get ‘em! Try to exploit our brand new Starting Point machines. If you need help, we’re here to support you through writeups, our forum, and our Discord channel. You can do it!

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