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OSCP / PWK Markdown Reporting Templates and Pandoc Reference Style

I wrote a blog post on how to use these templates to easily generate pretty reports with little effort.

This repo contains the templates I used for OSCP / PWK lab and exam reporting, as well as the basic styles I used to convert the markdown report to a (relatively) slick-looking and organized report, while preserving code formatting and syntax highlighting. To achieve this I generate the PDF based on an intermediary Word file generated through Pandoc.

The repo also contains some examples to show what a report may come to look like. Note that the final conversion to Word from PDF does require some manual styling work (which is actually what I personally preferred). Since I obviously cannot disclose any PWK lab or exam writeups, I've used some VulnHub writeups as filler instead. Don't open the example report if you don't want spoilers for Brainpan, Kioptrix2014, Zico, or LazyAdmin. 🙃

Requirements

  • A Markdown editor of your choosing
  • Pandoc
  • 1337 hacking skillz

How to use

Preparing markdown report

The markdown templates are fairly straightforward. I strongly recommend using a Markdown editor that has decent backup / synchronization features as well as a feature to copy and paste screenshots (must-have IMO). I used Joplin as a daily editor, and VS Code to compile and streamline the final report.

While doing the labs or exam, I would recommend keeping separate write-ups per machine, based on the template you aim to use for reporting. Once you are happy with your separate machine write-ups and ready to compile them into a report, export your markdown files (if needed) and ensure that all the images are intact. Then, compile a master document with an appropriate introduction to, and summary of, your work. For this I have included the Lab and Exam Report templates, which are based on OffSec's own reporting templates.

Preparing reference.docx for custom styling (optional)

The reference.docx file determines the basic styling of your intermediate Word document. I have included an example file which covers all the styles, but you can generate and adapt your own if you want.

You can export a reference file as follows:

pandoc --print-default-data-file reference.docx > custom-reference.docx

Edit the styles embedded in the document as desired to determine how Pandoc will generate your report.

Don't overlook the many important styles (such as "source code") that are hidden, you can see the full overview by clicking the "box-with-arrow" on the bottom right of the styling section in Word, and edit the styles from there.

Generating intermediate .docx report

To maintain full control of the output report, I worked with an intermediate report in Word format. You can generate this report as follows. This article has a nice and visual representation of the different syntax highlighting styles that Pandoc offer by default.

pandoc "Example Report _ No Styling.md" -o output.docx --highlight-style=tango --reference-doc=./custom-reference.docx

Generating the docx report

Finalizing the report

The pandoc reference document covers a lot of the styling, but not everything that I wanted it to. As such, I adapted the following manually to ensure that the output document is nice and sleek:

  • Title page formatting
  • Table of contents
  • Page numbering
  • Image Sizes
    • Since Pandoc renders images at page width by default, some images come out really big depending on the aspect ratio of the original image. This could be solved by using something like ![my caption](./figures/myimage.png){ width=250px } in your original MarkDown file, but I prefer going through to manually resize images to the right size.

Of course, this is up to your preference! At this point you can tweak your styles or formatting as you desire.

Exporting PDF

OffSec expects your report in PDF format. Generating that from Word shouldn't be much of a hurdle though. ;)

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Markdown reporting templates and Pandoc styling references to generate sleek reports for OSCP/PWK with little effort.

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