[Owasp-ireland] MacBook Pro Spec for Pen Testing?

Ryan Dewhurst ryandewhurst at gmail.com
Mon Feb 24 15:18:58 UTC 2014

Hey Leo,

I've been using Macbook Pros for a few years to do mostly Web App testing
and development. I tend to run a few VMs and sometimes do a lot of resource
intensive tasks (multiple VMs, small password cracking, etc). One thing
I've found is the build quality (hardware) on Macbook Pros is excellent,
much better than any other laptop I've had in the past.

I have the 13" display, which has never been an issue for me, I know some
people who prefer the bigger screen sizes though. Plugging the Macbook into
an external display is also an option if you choose.

I have the i5 version, upgraded with 16GB of RAM and a solid state hard
drive (Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB).

I find I'm able to run all of my tools off of it, using 'homebrew' to
install some of them (or their dependencies), other tools I just
compile/install manually. I haven't come across a *nix tool that I needed
that wouldn't run on my Mac I don't think. For Windows only based tools you
can just fire up a VM in Virtualbox.

It took me a couple of months to get used to the OS X operating system, but
it's not too hard to get used to. There are also less malware targeting OS
X (although there are reports that this is growing), so you're less likely
to get infected with non targeted malware. Even so, I do run a virus scan
once in a while, careful what sites I visit, links I click on, etc (common

I've never had any issues with the Ethernet adapter.

One current topical issue with OS X is the TLS/SSL security "goto fail"
bug, which is pretty embarrassing for them. I'm hoping they have a patch
out for that ASAP.


On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Leo McCavana <leomccavana at hotmail.com>wrote:

> Hello,
> For a number of different reasons, I need to look at getting a MacBook
> Pro.  Mostly will be used for Appsec/Mobile Appsec (iOS and Android) pen
> testing .  I'll need to have the ability to run a VM (virtual box - Windows
> and Kali).
> The 13inch MacBook looks a lot cheaper that a 15inch (with Retina).  I
> doubt the Retina display will be of much use to me, but the ability to
> choose up to 16gb does sound useful for VMs.
> I'm not that keen on the MacBook Air since it doesn't have a built-in
> ethernet port, but would be interested to hear if anybody is otherwise
> happy using a Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter.
> It's been a LONG time since I've used a Mac, so I'd really appreciate any
> feedback from anybody on what they consider to be decent spec for my
> purposes.
> Cheers,
> Leo
> _______________________________________________
> Owasp-ireland mailing list
> Owasp-ireland at lists.owasp.org
> https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/owasp-ireland
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