The Pain of SOEs

In my previous job, I worked as a network engineer. As part of my job role, it was pretty easy to justify needing full admin rights on my laptop and PC. Without that, the SOE in that environment would have been unusable.

The firewall was locked down, so I wouldn’t have been able to open up any ports for TFTP, SSH etc.

Couldn’t change the IP address, which is rather annoying when the network hasn’t been setup yet.

Couldn’t install any additional software that hadn’t been approved, so no Wireshark, no Checkpoint Smart Dashboard. Lightweight software like nmap and iperf were fine, but, as you couldn’t change any of the Windows path/classpath variables they would have been a tad annoying.

Anyway, that was never a problem. I filled in the paperwork and got full admin rights.

In my new job, I work as a design consultant. So for the bulk of the work I do, I never have to touch a device. There is no need to have admin rights.

But I have this one random job, the one I mentioned recently. So I wasn’t going to get admin rights from my company because my role really doesn’t call for it.

I could have asked for a stand alone laptop that wasn’t integrated into the work environment, but that makes getting to the corporate network drives pretty much impossible and getting to my email kind of annoying. So I wanted a laptop that was integrated into the work environment.

Obvious solution to my problems: live Linux CD. (well, live USB)

Downside: have to reboot whenever I want work email and network drives.

Upside: only have to carry one laptop.

My immediate choices were Network Security Toolkit or Backtrack. There may be other good utilities out there, but they are the two main ones I know of. As I mentioned in the other post, I chose Network Security Toolkit.

Aside from a random play with Backtrack for interest sake before, this is the first time I have used either. So far, its been quite good. Getting used to the Linux commands again…slowly, but it’s been a while.

Anyway, to cut a long story short: if you are stuck with a crappy SOE, get yourself a live linux CD/USB.


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