How to set up your own penetration testing lab

How to set up your own penetration testing lab

If you are interested in your field of penetration testing the most ideal is to set up a home laboratory.

The main reason for setting up a pentesting lab at home is to provide you with a convenient way to test new skills and penetration testing software. But besides convenience, there are other important reasons why setting up your own pentesting lab is a good idea.

A good reason is also that it helps you hone your skills, while at the same time keeping you from legal problems such as hacking someone else's computer without their consent is illegal.

However, when using a penetration testing lab, you are more protected. some penetration tools and techniques can destroy the target computer or network .

Finally, fixing a penetration testing laboratory reception are often useful for researching and developing new tools and techniques. The isolated laboratory provides a controlled testing environment and the ability to set targets to the exact specifications required for testing.

What do I need for my workshop?

To create a testing lab, you only need a target computer and a testing computer. However, as skill levels and the need for realism increase, the number and complexity of targets must be increased and more data must be added to the target network.


A new pen tester should start with a simple environment and gradually add complexity. By starting with a vulnerable target and adding complexity as appropriate, an interested pentester can design an environment with a level of complexity suited to its needs.

Starting with vulnerable targets

If you're just starting out as a penetration tester, you might not know what makes a target vulnerable and what doesn't, or how to configure a target to be vulnerable to a particular type of attack. Fortunately, many people and organizations have done most of the work for you, and they provide vulnerable target machines that you can use.

Making a computer vulnerable is difficult. However, various websites offer free downloads of vulnerable computers.Here are some good options:

to DVWA (damn vulnerable web application) is a web application that is designed for built-in vulnerabilities It is written in PHP and MySQL and is designed for cross-site scripting implementation of the SQL-code and other attacks.

This is Metasploitable This is a virtual machine created by the Rapid7 team, the developers of Metasploit's Pentesting tool. Metasploitable is designed to be vulnerable to Metasploit attacks.

This Web Security Dojo Maven Security is still the target of penetration testing. Built on Xubuntu, it also includes the tools needed to operate it, integrating the roles of both target and testing machine.

This Google Gruyere is another vulnerable application. It requires internet access for the testing machine. This sets it apart from the others mentioned here.

The easiest way to create a testing network is with the target machine and the test machine (which can also be the same computer). However, as the capabilities and needs of the pentester increase, they will need a larger and more complex network.

The easiest thanks to increase the complexity of a penetration testing network is to extend the amount of targets on the network. By building a series of machines with different operating systems and services, you can get to know different computers.

Another easy way to increase complexity is to update the services installed on the target machines. Vulnerable machines like Metasploitable deliberately run versions of software that are known to be vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks.


the complexity of the testing environment can be increased by expanding the threat area of the network. This can be achieved by extending the types of services that run, including email, Internet, FTP, databases, and file servers. Changes at the network level, such as the addition of routers and services such as DHCP and DNS, alter the landscape of the target network.


A home lab is essential for both a beginner and an experienced pen-tester, since at some point everyone is faced with a new situation or has a new idea that they want to try. For ethical and ethical reasons, safety Tests should be conducted in an isolated environment.

Setting up a penetration testing lab is pretty easy as you can just get started and grow it over time. So if you're interested in running penetration tests, set up a simple testing lab, find a site that gives you some examples, and start testing what your strengths are!

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