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Thread: Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

  1. #1
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    Default Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

    Hello,

    I got this book for Christmas that I am REALLY excited about:

    Backtrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner's Guide: Master Bleeding ... - Vivek Ramachandran - Google Books

    I started reading it tonight and it says in order to set up the wireless lab you would need:
    Two laptops with internal Wi-Fi cards
    One Alfa wireless adapter
    One access point
    An Internet connection

    It also briefly mentions that you can use Virtual Box, but doesn't give any details. I currently have two VMs set up in my VMware Player: Backtrack and Windows XP. Is it possible to set up a wireless lab this way and still be able to carry out the exercises in this book (for any who may be familiar with it)? Would I need to go out and get an Alfa wireless adapter as well for things like packet injections.

    I'm very new to this and I'm hoping to build a foundation to work on. I'd really love to learn about wireless security and get some insights into Penetration Testing but I just don't have the room to set up a real wireless lab so I'd love to find a way to set up a lab that I could use to follow the exercises in this book using virtual machines. Any help would REALLY be appreciated!

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Administrator sickness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

    VMware will see your integrated wireless card as a wired one inside a VM hence the reason you need two laptops. There is however a way around this ... if you need two clients connected to an AP you could buy 2 USB wireless adaptors and attach each one to a VM this should work. Also note that in case you need to use a USB hub (for all the wireless cards) some USB hubs will not work correctly.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

    Quote Originally Posted by sickness View Post
    VMware will see your integrated wireless card as a wired one inside a VM hence the reason you need two laptops. There is however a way around this ... if you need two clients connected to an AP you could buy 2 USB wireless adaptors and attach each one to a VM this should work. Also note that in case you need to use a USB hub (for all the wireless cards) some USB hubs will not work correctly.
    Just so I understand - I would need to buy 2 USB Wireless WiFi Network Adapters and attach each one to each VM (the Backtrack VM and the Win XP VM)? From what I've read so far (and to be honest, I'm still on the first few chapters) it seems like the WiFi Network Adapater is used for packet sniffing and packet injections. Would I need two in order to be able to set up this lab correctly?

    Do you have any recommendations whether it would be better to just go out and get the hardware (2 laptops, the wireless adapter, and AP) vs using virtualization? I'm obviously VERY new to this so I didn't want to go all out on building a testing environment without first getting my feet wet.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

    So I've been reading up on this some more - the book makes it seem like the alternative way to set up the wireless lab it describes would be to get 1 laptop and install the "victim" OS (Win XP in this case). Then you could install BackTrack as a virtual machine on Windows XP. But it doesn't give you much detail past that. Would I still need to buy an access point or the Alfa wireless adapter? The book really does not give you much to go on. Also, does installing BackTrack on the "victim" OS seem like it would work?

    I would really appreciate anybody's help with this as I am hesitant to start putting money into this before I know what I'm doing.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

    One of them has to support injection (the one you will use in Backtrack) the other one doesn't need injection capabilities mandatory.
    As to which is better hardware vs virtualization it depends on you. If you want to spend more money and get another laptop + usb adapter than you can go for that if not virtualization.
    Back|track giving machine guns to monkeys since 2007 !

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I set up a similar lab using VMs?

    Quote Originally Posted by sickness View Post
    One of them has to support injection (the one you will use in Backtrack) the other one doesn't need injection capabilities mandatory.
    As to which is better hardware vs virtualization it depends on you. If you want to spend more money and get another laptop + usb adapter than you can go for that if not virtualization.
    I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying I need only one usb adapter (to use with Backtrack)? Would I still need a wireless access point?

    I definitely think I'm going the virtualization route for right now - this is just for my learning purposes, so I don't need an elaborate setup, just the basics to start building some knowledge in the area of pen-testing. I'll upgrade once I become more proficient.

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