How to setup hacking or penetration testing lab on a single machine?

Penetration testing also called pen testing is the practice of testing a computer system, network or Web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit, have become much popular these days due to increase in cyber crime. Each day hundreds of people are getting targeted by online attacks executed by the hackers. We have an aim to make this cyber space secure for everyone. We’re just launching a free ethical hacking course to make awareness in people to fight against these cyber attacks.

This course will cover all the topics from scratch to pro. Every tutorial will have complete demonstration of the attack step by step. So, here’s the first step before learning how to hack. We need to setup hacking or penetration testing lab first. As we’re going to learn it for educational purpose only. We setup a hacking environment on our machine which will not harm anyone in the real.

setup hacking lab

Let’s setup hacking or penetration testing lab,

For that we need few free tools as below:

  1. Virtualization supported machine (You can check your machine virtualization settings in BIOS)
  2. VirtualBox (This is the tool used to run multiple operating systems on the same machine)
  3. Kali Linux Virtual Image (An operating system, which will act as an attacker machine during this course)
  4. MetaSploitable (It is also an OS that is vulnerable, and we will use it as a target machine)
  5. Windows 10 (It’ll also be a victim machine)

Here’s the complete step by step tutorial, how to setup hacking or penetration testing lab,

How to enable virtualization?

These settings may vary from system to system.

  1. Go to system BIOS settings.
  2. Find the Processor submenu, it may be hidden in Security, Chipset or in the Advanced CPU Configuration’s sub menu.
  3. Enable Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT). If you have AMD processor, then it may be named as AMD-V. It can depend on your processor brand.
  4. Save and reboot the machine.

Install VirtualBox:

  1. Download virtualbox that is compatible to your OS architecture.
  2. Run the setup.
  3. Simply hit next next next and finish the installation. If you want to change some default paths or settings you can do it while you’re installing.

Install and Configure Kali Linux Virtual Image:

  1. Download Kali Linux Virtual Image. Note that you choose the ‘VirtualBox Images‘ first and then choose according to your OS architecture whether it’s 64bit or 32bit, while you choose the Kali Linux to download.
  2. We have installed virtualbox before installing Kali Linux. After downloading open the Kali Linux Virtual Image by simply hitting left mouse key twice. It’ll be opened in virtualbox with a pop-up to import it’s pre-configured settings.  Click on the Import button. It’ll take few minutes to complete.
  3. Once it completes importing settings, your Kali Linux is ready to use as a virtual machine.
  4. Remember Kali Linux’s username is root and password is toor.

If you couldn’t follow how to do it, you can follow a complete step by step kali linux virtualbox installation video tutorial.

Installing MetaSploitable:

  1. Download metasploitable by filling out the following form with your information like I filled in this picture. download metasploitable
  2. Once download completes, open it the same way we did as before during the installation of Kali Linux. It’ll also import the settings same way. Just wait it to complete.
  3. Once it completes importing settings, your machine is ready to run.
  4. Remember MetaSploitable’s username and password is msfadmin.

Install Microsoft Windows 10:

  1. Download Windows 10. Choose Windows 10 Stable and platform VirtualBoxDownload Windows 10 Virtual Image untitled1
  2. After it completes downloading, open the image and it’ll show a pop-up to import settings. Simply Import it as you have done before in the previous two sections of installing Kali Linux and installing MetaSploitable.
  3. As it’ll complete importing settings, your machine is ready to work.

These are all the things we need to do to setup hacking or penetration testing lab. We do not need to worry about anything else. In the next section, I will show your Kali Linux environment and basics of Linux. Hope it’ll work for you. If you face any problem while you setup hacking or penetration testing lab, leave a comment. I will get back to you with an answer to resolve that issue. That’s all..! Cheers..!


Security Analyst

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