CEH: Setting Up A Virtual Lab

CEH logo on black background

Pluralsight LogoThis post refers to the following Video’s on the Understanding Ethical Hacking module about setting up a virtual lab:

  • Video 3: How to build a lab to hack safely
  • Video 4: Installing and Configuring Your Windows Server VMs
  • Video 5: Installing and Configuring Your Desktop VMs

To see all posts about the ethical hacking course on pluralsight, click here

As you can see there is quite a bit of information that isn’t really worth remembering (especially if you are planning on taking the exam). Anyway, here’s my notes on how to setup the virtual lab (I used VMWare rather than Hyper V as I already had a VMware environment setup):

5 virtual machines

  1. Server 2012R2
  2. Server 2008R2
  3. Windows 8.1
  4. Windows 7
  5. Kali x64

On the host physical machine:

  • Data Execution prevention – turn on for essential Windows programs and services only.

Virtual Networking : Virtual Lab

In VMware Workstation:

  • Virtual Network Editor
  • VMnet2
  • Host only
  • Subnet IP: 192.168.0
  • Subnet Mask:

Windows Virtual Machines : Virtual Lab

VM Title EH-2012R2 EH-2008R2 EH-Windows8.1 EH-Windows7
Computer Name Server12 Server08 Windows8 Windows7
Processor 1 1 1 1
Network VMnet2 VMnet2 VMnet2 VMnet2
Memory 4096MB 2048MB 2048MB 2048MB
Hard Drive 120GB 120GB 120GB 120GB
Administrator Password Pa$$w0rd Pa$$w0rd Pa$$w0rd Pa$$w0rd
IP Address
Subnet Mask
Windows Firewall Disable Disable Disable Disable
Data Execution Prevention Turn on for windows only Turn on for windows only * *
Screen Saver * * Disable Disable

For the two server VM’s:

  • Internet Explorer Enhancement: Turn Off
  • Tools, Local Security Policy –> Account Policies –> Password Policy –> Password must meet complexity requirement – disable
  • Add Feature – SNMP services
  • When SNMP installed, run services.msc
  • snmp service -> properties -> security community name – read only – Public – accept snmp packets from any host

For EH-2012R2 VM only:

  • Add roles and features –> Web Server –> BITS, Bitlocker network, branchcache, client for nfs, data centre bridging, direct play, enhanced storage, failover clustering, gp management ink and handwriting service, Internet printing, telnet client –> next to install

Linux Virtual Machine : Virtual Lab

VM Title EH-Kali
Computer Name Kali
Processor 2
Network VMnet2
Memory 4096MB
Hard Drive 120GB
Root Password Pa$$w0rd
IP Address
Subnet Mask
Graphical Install Yes

Create local users on all Windows machines (inc servers)

Username bwayne dgrayson hjordon ckent
Full Name Bruce Wayne Dick Grayson Hal Jordon Clark Kent
Password batman robin green super
User Must Change Password Disable Disable Disable Disable

To automatically add the users using a script, copy the following and paste into a text file on each VM and title it addusers.bat or click here to download the zipped version (SHA-256 = A7B19AD11ED6F504871B63F24AE94BEB85A3F1E6C2D458F23307C0027B95795A).

@echo off
net user bwayne batman /add /fullname:"Bruce Wayne" /passwordchg:NO
wmic useraccount where "name='bwayne'" set passwordexpires=FALSE
net localgroup "Users" bwayne/add
net user dgrayson robin /add /fullname:"Dick Grayson" /passwordchg:NO
wmic useraccount where "name='dgrayson'" set passwordexpires=FALSE
net localgroup "Users" dgrayson/add
net user hjordon green /add /fullname:"Hal Jordon" /passwordchg:NO
wmic useraccount where "name='hjordon'" set passwordexpires=FALSE
net localgroup "Users" hjordon/add
net user ckent super /add /fullname:"Clark Kent" /passwordchg:NO
wmic useraccount where "name='ckent'" set passwordexpires=FALSE
net localgroup "Users" ckent/add

Finally, once the VM’s are setup, shut the machines down and take a snapshot so if anything disastrous happens you won’t have to do all this again. Once you have taken the 1st snapshot, start the VM’s backup and log in, once you are at the desktop take a 2nd snapshot so you can revert the VM’s back to this point in time.

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