Before you start pentest, malware analysis, testing new software, editing system configuration, analyze network traffic or check how virus or RAT works, you should prepare your test environment. Everything you are doing that can goes wrong, you should do in test environment. Time you spent on setting this up is the time you save to fix things later. It is not a good idea to test everything in a production environment, or on your own system that you use on a daily basis. If you broke something, in the best case you will waste a time to fix it. In virtual environment you can revert changes just in one click of the mouse.
On my website in many articles I always suggest to use virtual lab. Following many guides on 0ut3r.space without appropriate knowledge you can make a damage on your system or make it not secure. Many articles in the future will also contains information that you should do some things in test machine. This is why I decided to write a short article about how to fast and cheap configure your personal test environment/lab machine/lab network.
It is all about virtual machines. For virtualization you can choose two most popular software. One of this is VirtualBox and second one is VMware Workstation. Choose the one you like most.
Then prepare machine with Windows and Linux.
I always use configuration like:
Virtual Box with two virtual machines with Windows 10 and one virtual machine with Linux (Ubuntu or Debian or Arch) and one machine with Kali Linux. All machines are in the same internal network, and only Kali Linux machine have access to the Internet.
This is my default configuration. Sometimes I add some temporary machines to this setup if needed.
Each machine is configured with set of tools I am using and configuration I like the best. After that I create a snapshot of each configured machine and call it “clean”. If I broke something I can always get back to this clean snapshot and start work again. I save a lot of time thanks to snapshot solution. I refresh snapshot each time I am after successful machine update or when I added new tool or changed configuration. You can use snapshots to save your works
And to be honest, that’s all. Probably now you have a question: but where did I get free Windows image? The answer is here.
Test IE11 and Microsoft Edge Legacy using free Windows 10 virtual machines you download and manage locally. These virtual machines expire after 90 days. We recommend setting a snapshot when you first install the virtual machine which you can roll back to later. The password to your VM is “Passw0rd!”
Each time when your 90 days trial expire roll back to your clean snapshot made after installation and configuration.
Also don’t waste a time to install each Linux from ISO image. Just download ready VirtualBox images from osboxes.org and Kali Linux from Offensive Security.