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Can anyone provide a good list of resources to learn network penetration testing? I am specifically looking for those having hands on exercises (kind of virtual labs/ISOs) which are free. I know web-apps like Mutillidae or even Google Gruyere are good resources for learning pentesting but these are good for web-app pen-testing. I am specifically searching for Network Pen-testing exercises. Thanks a lot!

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"Penetration Testing Practice Lab - Vulnerable Apps / Systems" – Tate Hansen Jan 21 '15 at 4:37
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Check out the following:

  • Metasploitable - The Metasploitable virtual machine is an intentionally vulnerable version of Ubuntu Linux designed for testing security tools and demonstrating common vulnerabilities.
  • Metasploitable 2 - The Metasploitable virtual machine version 2.
  • Damn Vulnerable Linux - Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is a Slackware and Slax-based live DVD. The distribution, purposefully stuffed with broken, ill-configured, outdated and exploitable software.

Edit: Fixed url to Metasploitable

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Thnx for the distros! The metaspoitable link is actually contains URL for metasploitable 2. Do you have the URL for Metasploitable (1) – TheRookierLearner Jan 6 '14 at 15:25
edited to fix the link, check it out. – Ajaxasaur Jan 6 '14 at 18:41

Check out They have a distro setup for the challenges they run

Good sources of info and Security Tube

If you want resources to work on at home then download Kali Linux (install it, don't run it as a vm or cd/usb iso), Damn Vulnerable Linux, Damn Vulnerable Web App, VM-Ware/ Virtuabox and dig out a copy of XP.

As a minimum, you need to learn how to use NMap, Wireshark & Metasploit though you can cheat a little with Metasploit and use Armitage instead.

If I can find any further good links tonight, i'll post them.

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Thanks for the first link! I was looking for a premade lab. – rackonnoiter Mar 29 '14 at 1:52

The folks in offensive security are offering great course in infrastructure Pentesting check it out at:

The course is comprehensive and will help you do real practice in their online labs, plus that its affordable.

I have some friends tried it and they are very happy with it.

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It can be a tough course if you have no previous experience – AndyB Jan 6 '14 at 8:12

Hope these helps,

Books :

  • Kali Linux Cookbook
  • Metasploit Penetration Testing Cookbook
  • Professional Penetration Testing, Second Edition: Creating and Learning in a Hacking Lab

Video :

P.S. The more you explore the more your learn. If you have the desire you will find the luck.

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The best would of course be

It provides you with a lot of "missions".

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