A frequently asked question is “How do I practice?”. Well today we’re going to show you how to safely create your own hack lab environment completely free on a Windows machine. You can do this on a *nix or even OSX, VirtualBox supports any of them and is the only installation required. The best part about having your lab in a VM is that if you have any problems, you and quickly reset your machine to a previous state without compromising your main machine.
Part 2 of this tutorial can be found here.
We’re going to be installing two operating systems into virtual machines, creating a virtual network and making a few snapshots to revert to in the event you break something while practicing. In later lessons we’ll show how to use this lab to practice.
If you didn’t quite understand the statement above I’ll break it down here. If you understood it skip this part.
A virtual machine is basically a computer you’re simulating on top of the operating system that resides on your computer. It pulls resources such as memory, CPU, and hard drive space from your primary machine. When it comes to networking Virtualbox will make a virtual network adapter on your computer and pass network traffic through it. Snapshots are basically save points of the operating system.
1. Download all required files
2. Install Virtual Box with the default settings
3. Ensure Virtual Box is closed and install the Virtual Box Extension Pack for the version of Virtual Box you’re installing.
4. Open Virtual Box and Click “New” in the top right corner.
5. Set any name you want, and match the selections below.
6. Set your memory size to at least 1GB, if you have a lot of RAM on your host machine then you can use more.
7. Create a virtual hard drive
8. Follow the settings on the screenshot below.
9. Follow the settings on the screenshot below.
10. Save the virtual hard drive anywhere you wish and set the size to at least 10 GB. I recommend 15-20. Click create.
11. Click settings on the top menu bar
12. Go to the general -> advanced and match your settings to mine.
14. Select system from the left and match your settings to the screenshot below.
15. Match the processor tab. Increase the CPU to two if you have four cores and want more power.
16. On the display tab match your video settings. You can adjust for split monitors here if you choose.
17. On the storage tab select the empty IDE and click on the little CD on the far right. Navigate to and select your Kali .iso
18. Click on USB and enable your USB 2.0 controller. If you didn’t install the Expansion pack previously you’ll get an error here.
19. Your settings should now look pretty much match these. Click the Green Start Arrow.
20. Wait for this screen and select Graphical Install
21. Enter your preferred hostname and continue through the regional settings, picking out your preferences.
22. Selected Guided- use entire disk.
23. Select VBOX HARDDISK
24. For our purposes on partition is enough.
25. Select Finish Partitioning and click continue
26. Write the changes to disk and click continue
27. You can use the network mirror to update your machine. I recommend it, you always want to keep your system patched and updated even if it is in a VM.
28. Yes to installing GRUB Boot Loader to the MBR
29. If everything went well your machine should finish up installing and reboot. When it powers back on you should have a login screen.
If you’re getting a failure to install message when you’re at about 80% make sure you’re making your partition larger than 8GB, 20GB is preferred.
You now have your Kali box installed as a Virtual Machine (VM). In our next installment we show you how to install Metaploitable and connect our two machines together. For now you can install your injection supported wireless adapter and begin to practice with airmon and aircrack. I recommend the Alfa AWUS036NH 2000mW 2W 802.11g/n adapter for its ease of use. You can use this to try to connect to your home wifi without the password. If you can’t figure it out, don’t worry. We will have a write-up for you at a future date.
NOTE: It is ILLEGAL to attack a network when you do not have express permission in writing to do so. Use ONLY your wireless network unless you want to go to jail.