Is Okay to Use Writeups as a CTF Player?


embarking on the journey to become an independent learner through CTF writeup exploration is an essential step for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of cybersecurity challenges and solutions. By leveraging the insights from detailed writeups, you can accelerate your skill development and become more adept at navigating complex CTF challenges on your own.


So, is Okay to Use Writeups? 

Completing a box on your own can be incredibly rewarding, but for beginners, it can also appear overwhelming. A valuable tool for novice CTF participants is using writeups.

While some may be concerned about spoilers and missing out on learning opportunities, it's important to remember that there are always more boxes to tackle. Avoiding these helpful resources might hinder your progress, leading to demotivation and potentially stalling your learning entirely.

At Parrot CTFs, we firmly believe in the educational value of writeups, which is why we feature an extensive section dedicated to them. This resource underscores our commitment to helping you learn and succeed: 

The Three Essential Skill Sets When mastering the art of hacking vulnerable systems, such as those found on Parrot CTFs the requisite skills can broadly be categorized into three main groups:

  • Technical Foundation: A deep understanding of internal service mechanisms and networking concepts is crucial. A solid technical foundation enables swift enumeration, transforming a basic proof of concept into a full-fledged exploit or allowing for effective network traversal after establishing an initial foothold.

  • Hacking Techniques: The ability to identify services and understand potential attack vectors is highly teachable. It involves knowing which tools or payloads to apply to a specific service. Without a robust technical base, however, one might overlook subtleties such as a Tomcat server running via Apache/Nginx, or an SSRF vulnerability on a cloud-based system — details that are not obvious from basic network scans but are critical for unique attacks.

  • Persistence and Endurance: This involves the relentless pursuit of creative solutions to extract information from challenging problems. Developing this skill requires a blend of inventive thinking and perseverance, qualities that take time to cultivate.


Many people prioritize Hacking Techniques, which is important, but success often requires proficiency in all three skill areas. A good indicator of whether you're overly focused on techniques is to observe how much time you spend on a box after obtaining the root flag. Post-root, it's beneficial to explore how each service was configured and to review other writeups to uncover any aspects you might have overlooked.

Enhancing all three skill sets can be challenging, particularly if you don't already have a well-rounded skill base. If you're struggling with simpler machines, it's likely that you're just missing a key element. By following the steps outlined below, you're sure to achieve success!


Repetition Ensures Mastery

Consistent repetition is key to achieving success. It's not only a well-established method for reinforcing memory but also a strategy that ensures you haven't failed as long as you continue. Tackling machines on platforms like Parrot CTFs requires perseverance and foundational skills that beginners often lack. If you exhaust yourself trying to solve a challenge without any breaks, it can be hard to maintain the motivation needed to benefit from repetitive practice.


Set Achievable, Incremental Goals

Visible progress is always encouraging, but without guidance, solving machines can present an unpredictable challenge, making it hard to gauge the time needed for resolution. Setting a goal, such as solving two machines per week, can become daunting if you don't use write-ups, as a single machine might take anywhere from 30 minutes to several days. This variability makes it difficult to fit hacking practice into a regular schedule, thereby hampering consistent effort.


Utilize Writeups for Virtual Mentorship

One valuable lesson is that professionals often learn on the job without immediate expertise. In tech environments, new hires typically learn by shadowing more experienced colleagues, absorbing their knowledge. Although traditional job shadowing has become less practical with the shift to remote work, engaging with write-ups and video tutorials offers similar benefits. While it might be harder to ask questions directly, leaving comments or reaching out on social media platforms like Twitter can often yield helpful responses.


Conclusion: Embracing the Journey of Learning

As you embark on your adventure in cybersecurity through Parrot CTFs, remember that the path to mastery is a continuous and evolving process. Leveraging writeups not only enhances your technical knowledge but also bridges the gap between theory and practice, providing a form of virtual mentorship that is invaluable in the digital age. By setting manageable goals, persisting through challenges, and embracing the comprehensive resources available, you can cultivate a robust skill set that will serve you well in your cybersecurity career.

It's crucial to keep in mind that while the initial steps might seem daunting, the journey itself is rewarding. The skills you develop, the solutions you devise, and the knowledge you acquire are your steppingstones to becoming a proficient and confident cybersecurity professional. At Parrot CTFs, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way, ensuring that every challenge you overcome strengthens your capabilities and prepares you for success in the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity. Embrace each learning opportunity, stay curious, and continually strive for excellence. Your cybersecurity journey starts here, at Parrot CTFs.

Zurück zum Blog

Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Bitte beachte, dass Kommentare vor der Veröffentlichung freigegeben werden müssen.