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Create Virtual pentesting Lab in VirtualBox

Hello aspiring hackers. In this howto you will see how to create virtual pentesting lab in Virtualbox.  Sometime back, I wrote an article on how to set up a virtual penetration testing lab using Vmware Workstation. But Vmware Workstation is a commercial product.

Today I am going to show you how to create a pen test lab in VirtualBox absolutely free of cost. I hope this tutorial will be helpful for many beginners into cyber security domain.

What do we need?

1. Oracle VirtualBox. (Download)

2. Kali Linux. (Download)

3. Metasploitable 2. (Download)

Oracle VirtualBox is the virtualization software we will be using to create our lab. We will be using Kali Linux as the attacker machine and Metasploitable 2 as the victim machine. Install Kali Linux and Metasploitable 2 in VirtualBox.

See how to install Kali Linux in VirtualBox.

See how to install Metasploitable in VirtualBox.

Select Kali Linux, Go to settings > network. Enable “network adapter 1″. Set the “Attached to” option to “internal network”. Set the name of the network adapter to “intnet”. Click on “OK” to save the settings.

Do the same for Metasploitable virtual machine.

Power on the metasploitable VM. Log into the system. Default username and password are “msfadmin”.

Type the command “ifconfig” to see the IP addresses of interfaces.

The ‘lo’ interface is the loopback. Now we are going to set the IP address on the interface “eth0”. Type the command “sudo ifconfig eth0 10.10.10.2 netmask 255.0.0.0 up”. The sudo password is “msfadmin. Verify that the IP address is set by typing command “ifconfig”.

Power on Kali Linux. In the terminal, type command “ifconfig eth0 10.10.10.1 netmask 255.0.0.0 up”. Verify if the IP address is set by typing command “ifconfig”.

Test whether this system can communicate with victim system by pinging the victim machine as shown below.

The connection is successful. Our virtual pentesting lab is ready. Happy practicing.

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Installing Metasploitable in VirtualBox

In this howto, you will installing metasploitable in VirtualBox. What is Metasploitable? Learning penetration testing or ethical hacking requires practical knowledge and good practice needs a vulnerable target. That is where Metasploitable comes into picture. It is an intentionally vulnerable operating system made by the makers of Metasploit themselves so that aspiring ethical hackers can practice and hone their hacking skills. As its name conveys Metasploitable is loaded with vulnerabilities that can be exploited with Metasploit modules. 

This virtual machine can be used to conduct security training, test security tools, and practice common penetration testing techniques.  For this i am going to use Metasploitable 2 which can be downloaded from here. After downloading the zip archive, extract the files into a folder. The file contents look like below.

Open VirtualBox and click on “New Virtual machine wizard”. Type the name of your choice. I am using ‘Metasploitable-2‘. Choose ‘Type’ as Linux and ‘version’ as Ubuntu. Click on “Next”.

Choose the memory size appropriate to the availability of RAM on your host machine although 512MB is more than enough. Click on “Next”.

In the hard drive creation window, select option “Use an existing virtual hard drive”, browse to the folder where we have extracted our zip files and select the ‘vmdk’ file available. Click on “Create”.

Then you are automatically booted into the metasploitable OS. The default username and password are “msfadmin”.


With this we successfully finished installing Metasploitable in Virtualbox. See how to create a penetration testing lab.

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Install Kali in Virtualbox (Update to kali 2020.4)

The makers of Kali Linux have a released the second version (2020.2) of Kali Linux for the year 2020.  Since many versions have been released since we last wrote this article, we decided to update this article on how to install Kali in Virtualbox.

Kali Linux 2020.2 has many brand new features.  With xfce and gnome given Kali Linux feel, this release has given themes for KDE Plasma. This is like going back to its roots as Backtrack used to have this desktop environment. The login screen also has been given new graphics along with a new layout. Also now you can install Powershell by default by selecting the meta package while installing. This release also updated gnome to 3.36. The new tools included in this release include NextNet, the pivot point discovery tool and SpiderFoot  the OSINT tool.

The makers also included python2-pip once again to add support to some tools still depending on python2 although overall it upgraded to Python 3.8. This release also replaces CherryTree, the note taking application with Joplin. Now, let us see the simplest process  to install Kali in Virtualbox. For this download the virtualbox image of Kali Linux 2020.2 from here. We have performed this installation in the Oracle Virtualbox 6.

This howto is using the Kali Linux 32bit OVA . Your downloaded contents should look like below. As you can see, we have an ova file.

Now open Virtualbox and go to File Menu > Import Appliance as shown below. It can also be accessed using shortcut CTRL+ I.

A window like below will open. Browse to the OVA file we downloaded.

After selecting the OVA file, click on “Next”.  If you want to make any changes to the virtual machine settings like RAM, name etc, you can do it here. You can also leave it to default values if you want. Click on “Import”.

Click “Agree” when the software license agreement pops up as shown below. The import process starts.

After the import process is completed, Power On the virtual machine. You will see a login screen prompt. Login using the credentials kali:kali.

Here is the final look of the Kali Linux virtual machine we installed.