In this tutorial we will discus how you can setup a lab for yourself to practice hacking on your system. At very basic level a hacker is in need of 2-3 systems with a Wired LAN or Wireless LAN. But if you are the one who has started just like me with just one laptop or computer then possibly there's no way you can match this setup. So following was my solution to start practicing with only one laptop or PC meeting above criteria of multiple computers connected in LAN. At most basic level following are your requirements.
First of all a computer which must have minimum following configuration.
A processor with 1.7GHz clock speed,
120GB + Hard disk
2GB RAM, Please note than your RAM must be above 1GB for practicing. If your RAM is less than 1GB or 1GB I 'll highly recommend you buy 512MB module extra or 1GB gigs for you.
A Virtual PC Emulator:
A virtual PC emulator is needed since I assumed you don't have multiple PC's to setup your lab, even if you have it I would prefer to advice you to use a Virtual PC Emulator. There are several options to pick from but our pick is “Oracle's Virtual Box”. Reason its open source means free, low on resources, supports all kind of network types, no problem to setup screen options, it automatically setups resolution once you install guest installation and have nearly all that features that a professional virtual PC emulator may have. Following is download link to virtual box latest version.
A professional choice is VM-Ware. You can purchase it from following link if you want to run it on Mac.
Though VM-Ware have several advantages over Virtual Box, virtual box is just good to go. Prefer it if you want to shed money.
An Online Synchronization Service:
If you think even that needs shedding money, then I want to assure there's again a free alternative available, its name is Drop Box. Go to www.dropbox.com and create your personal free account then download its setup file and install for synchronization.
A Static IP Address:
Now that will be problem to get a static IP address since a static IP Address may cost you nearly $100 I.e approximately Rs.5000. But don't worry about it we have a free alternative solution to counter problem of static IP. So when there'll be need I 'll clear how to tackle it else even if you have money to shed I will not recommend it.
A PC restore utility:
There are no free alternative to PC Restore Utilities so we will work out on evaluation version. Download Farconics Deep Freeze from following link
IP Address Hiding Utility:
Proxy Servers, Anonymizors and VPS are some IP address hiding options. We will discuss them when their need will come in to play.
High Speed Internet Connection:
Of course when you want to learn hacking you need a high speed Internet connection. Opt for a USB dongle by BSNL, TATA, Reliance as mobile broadband and BSNL land-line broadband is just much better option. If you don't have high speed connection and you work on slower connection like GPRS and dial-ups its hard to learn hacks done over Internet.
Before you proceed create a separate partition for installation of Virtual system, the partition must be at least 15GB in size. First of all download latest version of Oracle's Virtual Box and install it on your system. While installation it'll ask several times about installing various components just press OK for all of them because you'll need them all.
Watch following video tutorial on how to setup and install OS in Virtual System
Once installation is done virtual box will come up with several pop ups when you'll be using it, please read each pop up because they are your tutorials to master “Virtual System Environment”. Please please please, don't skip any of those pop ups. When your installation will be over you'll see virtual system isn't really working in full screen. To tackle it run virtually installed system click on devices and “Install Guest Additions”. From next time it will run in full screen.
Setting up virtual system is done, now jump up to the next part start your virtual system open web browser of virtual system and download Drop-Box application and sign in to it. Now onwards whenever you'll download any software for hacking paste it into Drop Box default folder, it'll synchronize it with your online storage. After installing and signing up Drop Box download Deep Freeze don't install it now. Shut down your Virtual System and copy virtual hard disk as backup in another folder, start system and install Deep Freeze, before installing it read its online manual so that you should not get problem using it. Now when your Deep Freeze evaluation time expires just delete older hard disk and copy the backup and start over again. This will keep your evaluation copy last forever. If you haven't yet understood what we actually did with virtual box then I should clear we just setup a Virtual LAN for our practice using just a single computer. So you can't now boast you don't have a LAN to practice or a remote host to practice. You can run two virtual systems simultaneously if you have at least 2GB RAM. This not only solves our problem of private LAN to practice but it indirectly also offers you remote host to attack on. Our personal say is don't install virtual system on Windows XP or Vista, get Windows 7 or Server 2008.
Lab setup tutorial is over now go and setup your systm to get started. Please ask if you have got any problems related to setup, if everything is fine please don't forget to convey me. Thanks for reading keep visiting.