How to setup a virtual penetration testing lab: Step-by-Step guide.

Virtual penetration testing lab is a lab created on a single system using any virtualization software. It can be very helpful for people practising for CEH or similar certification. Any penetration testing lab has two machines, attacker and victim. In this lab we will set up Kali Linux as the attacker and Windows XP( most favourite victim machine ) as the victim. I am going to set up this lab in Vmware Workstation 9. Hope this will be helpful.

First of all install Kali Linux and Windows XP in Vmware Workstation.

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Shut them down. In the Vmware Workstation menu, Select Edit and Click on Virtual Network editor.

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The window below will open showing the virtual network adapters. Click on Add network.

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Vmware provides nine virtual networks from 0 to 9. Vmnet0, Vmnet1 and Vmnet8 are automatically assigned for  bridged, Host-only and NAT types of network respectively. Select the network Vmnet3.

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We can see that our network is added as Host-Type with a automatically assigned subnet IP.

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Click on our network. We can see its settings below.

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Deselect the option ‘Connect a host virtual adapter to the network‘.This will make our network a custom type. Change the subnet IP to 10.10.10.0( choice is yours).  Select the ‘Use local DHCP service to distribute IP address to VMs‘ option. This will automatically assign IP addresses to our machines. Click on ‘DHCP settings‘.Image

You will see the below window. Make changes if you like. I am going to leave it default. Click OK twice to exit.

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We have successfully created our custom network. Now let’s add our machines to the network. Open the tab of Kali Linux and click on ‘network adapter‘ setting.

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In the settings, select the ‘custom‘ radio button and select the network Vmnet3 from the dropdown menu. Click on OK.

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Do the same for Windows XP. Then let’s boot up our victim machine and check it’s IP address by typing ‘ipconfig‘ in the command line.The DHCP server has automatically assigned it the IP address 10.10.10.129.

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Boot the attacker machine and check it’s ip address by typing ‘ifconfig’ in the terminal. It has been assigned the address 10.10.10.128.

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Ping the victim IP machine (10.10.10.129) to see whether the two machines can communicate.

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We have successfully created a virtual penetration testing lab. Happy testing.

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2 Responses to How to setup a virtual penetration testing lab: Step-by-Step guide.

  1. Pingback: How to enable DHCP server in VirtualBox. | kanishkas how to?

  2. Pingback: Links | Resources for Hacking

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