Getting a VM lab started by Ben from 10 July 2019

I want to start researching and learning the skills required for my OSCP. I think it would be pretty rad to get a job as a pentester and I personally know people who have gotten jobs with their OSCPs. I got some books to work through. I have done a bunch of reading and video watching. Now... Now it's time for some action! So, I am at a point where I am wanting to get a VM lab going.

I updated VirtualBox. Cleared out all my old VMs. Downloaded a fresh copy of pfSense, Kali, Windows 10, I am also downloading a number of isos from Vulnhub.

I setup the pfSense VM first. I configured the VM to have 2 interfaces. Interface one was natted to my host PCs nic and the second interface is set to internal. This will act as my router and gateway to internet. Mainly though, I want this because I am going to set up some rules before I start spinning up rando isos from the internet. I am going to try to make sure I don't have any routes into my home network or host PC. All other VMs will have their one network interface set to internal so that they will have to go through the pfSense VM for network access.

I got the Kali VM installed first. It was the first one finished downloading. Once I got Kali booted up I got into the pfSense box using its web browser and ran through the initial webconfigurator setup. I then shut them both down and made clone of the VMs and called them the "master clones". I will do this for every VM that takes any type of setup. These clones are the base installs without any modifications to mess them up. Why do this? In the past I have had problems with certain Linux VMs just blowing up after updating them. So, this Kali VM... Now that I have a master clone that I know is good I'll update the original. If the update completes successfully then I'll make another clone. I will then use that to work from. I am going to be making one clone per research instance. That way every time I start researching an iso or web service or w/e I will have a fresh up to date Kali with no old artifacts that may trip me up or confuse me.

Then I set to the task of updating Kali and installing Windows 10. I want to be able to use my own tools on as much of my research as possible. In-fact, I would like to write a tool for as many problems as I can. I know this is duplicating a lot of work but my end goal is knowledge and to broaden my personal understanding. I would like to be able to fully pentest a box using only self written tools by the end of this entire endeavor. I'm not saying before I get my OSCP. That's not realistic in my opinion. I saying just in general. So to circle back around. I am installing Windows 10 because the tools that I have written are all C# applications that work on Windows 10s and not Linux. I have gotten into python lately for some home security reasons but that's an article for another time. For now its C# and powershell where possible. You should check some of my tools out; for doing trace routes and monitoring hop latency I wrote the TraceMon tool. For scanning network IPs I give you Ping Scanner. Last but not least, I have Port Knocker. Guess what it does! With these tools I can start doing some very basic network enumeration and service mapping. I gotta start somewhere right?

That’s all I am going to do for tonight but I think it’s a decent start. I intend to put out regular updates as I move forward with more VMs and more start researching. Wish me luck!