Lab Setup

Given the nature of hacking and pen-testing in general, we recommend you conduct your research & work in an isolated virtual environment. Setting up a virtual lab is an essential skill.

* Recommend product for M1 Apple Mac

Run virtual machines on Mac M1

x86 Based Machines

Install VirtualBox , Oracle VM VirtualBox is available for many different operating systems, and installation depends on your host OS. If you have installed software before, installation should be straightforward.

Francesco Vantini

Configure NAT Network

For the virtual machines running on your host, you will most likely want to use a NAT network. A NAT network groups the systems using NAT and prevents systems outside of this network from directly accessing systems inside it, but letting systems inside communicate with each other and with systems outside using TCP and UDP over IPv4 and IPv6.

Setup Target Machines

For your target machines you can use OVA files for Linux and Windows. Linux VMs are free and you can get Windows VMs from here, Choose the VirtualBox file if using VirtualBox. You can also use a WarGame site like HackTheBox or get VMs from VulnHub.

Setup Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution that is tailored toward penetration testers and security researchers. It is pre-configured and can be used for penetration tests, security audits, and forensics. You can get Kali Linux from here

Now that your lab is setup
try some CTF's