Part 4: Create a Complete Virtual Environment for Penetration Testing

March 21, 2016 | Views: 12294

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Hello, Cybrarian community,

In Part 2, we learned how to install Windows Server and connect it to Pfsense. In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to create linked clones for Windows Server 2012.

Tutorial Requirements:

  1. VirtualBox
  2. Windows Server R 2012 virtual machine (Part 2)


Tutorial Guidelines:

  1. General Idea about Cloning
  2. Creating Linked Clones of Windows Server


Step 1:  General Ideas about Cloning

Cloning is one of the most essential features that most of the latest visualization software have, including VirtualBox and VMware. Cloning is a process of creating a virtual copy of the either of the hard drive of the computer, or in our case, the VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) of our virtual machine.

The benefits of cloning are limitless. Cloning can help save disk space as you don’t have to allocate new space for you virtual machine. The clone takes the same amount of space of the old one.

For example, if you allocate a new machine with 25GB, the clone will have 25GB too, no more no less.

Also, cloning saves time. You can create a machine and install its operating system and all the updates, then start testing on it all sort of things, like new attacks or testing some types of malware or Trojans without worrying about wrecking your machine and recreating it again You know that your original one is saved.


There are 2 main types of cloning:

  1. Full Clone: where you create a full copy of the machine with its updates and services.
  2. Linked Clone: is an advanced feature of cloning where it creates a new machine that linked to the original machine. In our case, the linked clones will be linked to the Windows machine and it would run different types of servers like Web Server, SQL server, Windows Deployment Services (WDS),or Exchange Server.

NOTE: Both of the machines, the original and the cloned one, should be saved in the same path.

Let’s start the actual process…

Step 2: Creating Linked Clones of Windows Server


    1- Fire up your VrtualBox and choose Windows Server machine. Right Click on it and choose Clone.



        – For now, we’ll call it Clone 1. Later, we can rename it as the type of server it is going to run on.


                – Choose Linked Clone and click clone



  • For the setting, you don’t need to change anything.

– Now open up your Pfsense box


– Try pinging from your cloned  machine. You should get a reply from Pfsense, as well as an Internet connection, too.



– Notice that your cloned machine has the same IP address as the original one. My Server IP is – the  same as the cloned one below.



NOTE:  To check the path of your virtual machine, you want to to transfer them to a new computer.

Right click on the machine and choose show in Explorer



  • Remember, if you’re transferring linked clone machines, you have to make sure that you transfer the base original machine too. Otherwise, it won’t work.

  • For full cloned machine, no worries. You can transfer them as an individual machines without any dependencies


For this tutorial, I’ll only keep it as one clone. Later, we’ll add more to run different type of servers.

That’s all  for this tutorial. Come back and stay tuned for more.


View Part 1: Create a Complete Virtual Environment for Penetration Testing – Part 1

View Part 2: Create a Complete Virtual Environment for Penetration Testing – Part 2

View Part 3: Create a Complete Virtual Environment for Penetration Testing – Part 3

View Part 5: Create a Complete Virtual Environment for Penetration Testing – Part 5

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  1. thanks for putting links to the other parts!
    comes in real handy!

  2. Oohh ! Very Great and useful tutorial, keep it up

  3. Thank you so much for this!

  4. Oh thanks! I was waiting on a link at the bottom of the page like with all the others once the next part was completed.

  5. Excellent – any time frame when parts 5 & 6 will be posted?

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