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Thread: Need some suggestions on building my own home security lab

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Need some suggestions on building my own home security lab

    Hello, I am new to the forum and pretty much new to the security field. My plan is to set up a home security lab. I have searched goggle for some articles but I have come up a bit short and I was hoping to get some insight on how I would go about setting up my lab.

    At the present time I have these machines available for use in my lab:

    P3 850, 256ram, 40gig (dual boot red hat, 2k) laptop.
    Athlon 2600, 1gig ram, 80gig hd (no OS atm just built).
    Celeron 266, 48ram (shopping on eBay to upgrade to at least 196).

    Also shopping for a hub on eBay atm and cables and what not.

    I will probably get another pc or two to add on. (One more for sure). My main goal is to learn as much as possible pertaining to security and this lab would serve as a hand on learning experience.

    I plan to use these OS's:

    Linux redhat, mandrake, slackware
    smoothwall as my firewall (running hopefully on the Celeron)

    Is there any tips you guys might give me like what other equipment I need or should look into? Or maybe another OS to try. I am not to familiar about networking but I am reading a lot and plan to get a decent background before I undertake this project. I will be mainly hacking and securing my network.

    If you guys and gals 8) have any suggestions it would really help me out.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Hrmmm.. Wireless for giggles (but not critical) and get a wired switch rather than a hub (switch is more common in the business world network). You also might want to invest in a small hardware router. You need to be careful that your security lab doesn't end up visible or usuable to the outside world. Cables you should be able to get at your local computer shop (probably be cheaper than shopping for them online) or make your own

    You have a good mix of OSes there. I'd almost suggest giving a shot to Suse rather than Mandrake. RH and Suse are, AFAIK, the two top linux distros out there in regular usage.

    Other than that, follow the links that PZT posted.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    If you plan to do experiments with Windows kit, you'll probably want to have a domain controller - which has to run Windows server.

    At least, not necessarily.

    Windows domains come in two basic kinds - NT4 domains and Active Directoy. The latter requires a win2k server box to act as DC, but the former can be made quite nicely using a Samba 3.0 box running Linux (or other unix-like OS)

    For testing purposes, I have a NT4 domain using a Samba DC - and a couple of windows boxes in it (when they're booted).

    A very slow / old box can be a Samba (NT4-style) DC - it doesn't require as much oomph as a true NT4 server (plus added bonus of not requiring a NT4 server licence) (a 16mb 486 would do it, slowly)

    Obviously for security testing, having a domain is a very good idea, as it's what the vast majority of windows boxes used by business have (it's fairly unusual to have standalone boxes, except in very small business, or in DMZ etc)


    Oh yes, one more thing - if you're going to spend money, it's probably better to get a KVM switch off ebay, and source very old / cheap boxes locally (transport cost is more than they're worth). Computer fairs are good for picking up old boxes cheaply.


  5. #5
    Just Another Geek
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Try to get your hands on VMWare (or something similar). This will easily let you double the machines you already have (if you have enough ram but that's cheap). Usually for testing purposes speed isn't that important as compared to functionality.
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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