I recently came across TryHackMe, a new platform for learning and teaching cyber security. It differs from most other platforms in that while other platforms focus primarily on self learning by creating content for their users, TryHackMe uses a number of different techniques to try make it easier for people to learn about the different, and sometimes deeply complex, layers in the cybersecurity world.

TryHackMe

The platform develops virtual classrooms that not only allow users to deploy training environments with the click of a button, but also reinforce learning by adding a question-answer approach. Its a comfortable experience to learn using pre-designed courses which include virtual machines (VM) hosted in the cloud.

While using a question-answer model does make learning easier, TryHackMe allows users to create their own virtual classrooms to teach particular topics enabling them to become teachers. This not only provides other users with rich and varied content, but also helps creators reinforce their understanding of fundamental concepts.

A preview of questions in a web application security room

TryHackMe has recently had their 500th user sign up to access varied content from fundamentals of web security to basic reverse engineering. Their self contained virtual classrooms make it easy for users to focus on a particular area by aggregating the necessary information. They want users to focus on the learning instead of spending time scouring the internet for resources! They are a relatively new company, so they are still in the process of creating custom VMs for learning purposes, but more content is being released weekly and their newsletter gives users an insight to whats being released on a weekly basis ahead of time.

A few popular virtual classrooms that have been developed on the site already

My favorite feature is the option to clone rooms, you have the option to clone a whole room and change the content, adapting it to suit your specific needs.

Universities, for example, are cloning rooms to give different lab-classes their own space to play in. Each room is also equipped with a leaderboard, scoreboard and chat to further encourage users to learn and give affairs a competitive edge.

Users work hard to get to the top of the scoreboard!

An example of a rooms chart, showing users points for answering questions.

TryHackMe is well suited to any kind of CTF, workshop and training assessments, the platform is being used by a UK University competition called "HackBack", just one of the 12 different Universities that TryHackMe has participating!

Competitions focus on various categories of security, including:

  • Web Exploitation
  • Forensics
  • OSINT
  • Scripting
  • Networking
  • Reverse Engineering

Some private organizations are using the platform for assessing interviewees on their ability and to to help them whitelist potential employees.

Completing rooms contribute to completing "Goals", which are objectives set by TryHackMe. For example, certain rooms can help prepare for the OSCP exam.

One of TryHackMe's aspirations is to have companies wanting to look at a users public profile to determine their ability. Every user signed up to the site has a profile which includes their site rank, awards they have achieved and all rooms they have completed. This gives anyone an understanding of what they know.

Previewed above is an image of Ben's public profile

I spoke to Ben Spring, the CEO and founder of TryHackMe, he told me he is currently working hard to release more custom materials and developing the platform further, all while attempting to balance his university commitments.

I love his vision for TryHackMe, Ben wants it to be used in traditional educational environments to make learning cybersecurity an easy and enjoyable experience.

You can learn more about TryHackMe at their website (tryhackme.com) and if you have any questions you can email them using hello@tryhackme.com!

The image used to head this article is called "No Forest Gump" and it was created by Sabina Resic.