So on a couple of the vulnerable machines I’ve reached a point where I have no idea what to do next. I’ve ended up pulling the walkthroughs and seeing how other people approach things. While it makes sense to learn from others, and it absolutely has helped me learn multiple techniques way faster than I could have on my own, I can’t shake the feeling it’s cheating. I suppose it’s my own bullshit. But if the goal is to learn how to do something, and I can accomplish that goal, and gain the useful knowledge in a fraction of the time (and still retain that information for later) it just makes sense. I do hope to do enough of these that I can start getting root without cheat sheets. But for now, it’s still very much a learning experience for me, so I’ll keep on looking things up as needed.
All of that said, I’m already seeing a big difference. I know far more tools than I did a month ago. I can accomplish a good deal from memory/experience at this point. I’m learning things. So if that’s the goal, then cheating be damned, I’m going to do it.