HTB Academy is a cybersecurity training platform done the Hack The Box way! Academy is an effort to collate everything we've learned over the years, meet our community's needs, and create a "University for Hackers." HTB Academy offers step-by-step cybersecurity courses that cover information security theory and prepare you to participate in HTB Labs.
Academy offers both guided and exploratory learning. It teaches you not only how to hack, but how to develop a hacking mindset that will prove invaluable in both assessing and creating secure systems. HTB Academy is highly interactive and is intended to be a streamlined learning process that is simultaneously educational and fun.
Material on Academy is presented in digestible chunks, with practical examples and real command output to supplement the theory. Target systems are provided that will allow you to test out the knowledge covered in the courses and gauge your retainment of the material. These target instances can be accessed through your own machine by connecting with a provided VPN package or by using a provided Pwnbox instance.
This article is a broad introduction to HTB Academy. For specific information regarding working on Modules, see our dedicated article here:
Academy vs. HTB Labs
Both Academy and the HTB Platform share a common goal of providing playgrounds for cybersecurity professionals and enthusiasts to learn and train. However,HTB Labs focuses on providing top-quality penetration testing labs, with Machines largely simulating a black-box pentesting experience.
Academy, on the other hand, offers learning courses that provide a more directly guided experience. Courses (referred to as Modules) are broken up into discrete parts that offer thorough explanations of concepts, as well as practical and interactive examples and assessments.
As the name suggests, Academy is much more comparable to an online school. Its goal is to teach and be a place for people to learn, whereas the HTB Labs' goal is to provide a place for people to train. This makes Academy a great place for beginners to learn the basics and get prepared for HTB Labs.
Academy is also a great place for people looking to round out their knowledge and offers advanced courses in complex topics for those who have already been introduced to information security.
Please note, Hack The Box and HTB Academy are separate platforms, and progress on one platform doesn't increase progress on the other.
Registering an Account
At this time, the HTB Labs platform and HTB Academy use separate accounts, so even if you've already registered for Hack The Box, you'll need to make a separate account for Academy.
Registering an account is easy; navigate to the HTB Academy website and press the Sign Up button in the center of the page.
Alternatively, you can navigate directly to the registration page.
Click the button below to be taken to the Academy registration page:
Once on the registration page, you'll be presented with a basic registration form. Fill out the form press the Register button once you are finished. Please note, if you are a student who plans on making use of the student discount, you should use your student / educational email here.
You'll be asked to confirm your email after submitting your registration request.
While all of the Tier 0 Modules on Academy are completely free, all Modules on Academy make use of the Cube System.
What are Cubes, you ask? They are the currency of HTB Academy! They operate as credits you can use to unlock the higher-tier Academy Modules. You can buy Cubes as either part of a subscription (a student discount is available) or as a one-off purchase. All accounts start off with 40 free Cubes.
Additionally, you also get Cubes back as a reward for completing Modules, kind of like cash-back, but better! For example, a Tier 0 Module costs 10 Cubes, but you get all 10 Cubes back after completing the Module, making it completely free! If you complete a Tier II Module that costs 100 Cubes, you get 20 back, bringing the total cost down to only 80 Cubes.
Below is a table that shows the Cube cost of a Module of each Tier, as well as how many Cubes you get back for completing them.
For more information on Cubes, as well as Academy payments and subscriptions, check out our dedicated article!
Click the button below to learn about Academy Cubes & Subscriptions:
As stated earlier, the content on Academy is broken up via a Tiering System. There are a total of 5 Tiers, which are labeled using Roman numerals as follows:
Tier 0 - (Free Tier)
The Tier 0 Modules technically all cost 10 Cubes, but since you start with 40 Cubes and get all 10 back upon completion, they are actually free. Using this system, you can work on 4 Tier 0 Modules at a time.
While the Tiering system is directly tied to the subscription and payment systems, it's also a general descriptor of the level of depth a given Module has. The higher the Tier, the more thorough and/or advanced the Module generally is.
Academy is organized using three main categories: Paths, Modules, and Sections. Modules are akin to a single course- they cover a given topic and can be unlocked using Cubes. Below are some examples of Modules:
Each of these Modules is broken up into various parts, akin to chapters of a book called Sections.
A Path is a grouping of Modules that all contribute towards some shared theme or goal, such as the Active Directory Enumeration path, which contains Modules that relate to Active Directory.
For more information on Modules and Paths, you can check out our dedicated article on the subject.
Click the button below to learn about Modules and Paths:
The Dashboard is the initial landing page after logging into Academy. Here you can find information such as your progress on the various categories of Modules, such as Offensive, Defensive, or General.
You can also find your Enrolled Path, and your completed Paths and Modules.
Scrolling down will reveal your To-Do List, which contains Modules you have marked as To-Do.
On the left side of the page, you will find your navigation menu. From here, you can browse through Modules, Paths, or access any of the links under the Get Help section.
Sorting and Filtering Modules
There are a number of ways you can sort and filter Modules, including by Difficulty, Tier, or Genre (offensive/defensive/general).
You can filter by Tier by simply selecting the desired Tier from the Tier List as shown below:
If you'd like to sort by Module Difficulty, the process is identical. The example below shows Modules being filtered by their difficulty rating:
Lastly, you can filter Modules based on if their content is classified as Offensive, Defensive, or General. See the example below for Genre filtering:
Downloading your Student Transcript
We offer a transcript of all modules and paths that you've completed while working your way through Academy.
In order to access it, first navigate to your profile settings by clicking on your name in the top right corner of the website, and clicking Settings.
Once there, you will find a button that says Download Transcript. Clicking on that button will initiate the download!