1 Year Virtual Hacking Labs

This month it’s exactly a year ago since we’ve launched The Virtual Hacking Labs after a year of hard work. We’ve created the Virtual Hacking Labs to provide everyone that wants to learn the practical side of penetration testing with an affordable online lab environment accompanied with extensive courseware demonstrating a wide range of techniques. In the past year we’ve expanded the courseware considerably by adding new chapters, introduced new vulnerable hosts on the penetration testing lab and implemented a lot of new features. One of these features is the current Lab Dashboard that was requested by one of our students. The Lab Dashboard allows students to track progress in the labs and take hints in case they get stuck at a specific lab machine. Apart from developing new course content and features, we’ve also expanded the number of lab environments and servers to host more students. At the Virtual Hacking Labs we maintain a low number of students per lab environment to make sure that every student can practice on his own pace and keep disruptions and unexpected machine resets to a minimum.

In the past year we were happy to welcome hundreds of students from over 55 different countries that found their way to The Virtual Hacking Labs and signed up for a membership. Not only beginners looking to advance in the field of information security and ethical hacking signed up, but also seasoned pentesters looking to sharpen their pentesting skills and acquire (ISC)² CPE credits/hours to maintain certifications. Finally we are also very grateful for receiving so much positive feedback from our customers in many e-mails, over social media and also in the reviews section.

The Penetration Testing Course

The Virtual Hacking Labs Penetration Testing Course is currently counting over 300 pages of courseware and 36 lab machines. The courseware is developed to cover the most important aspects of penetration testing today and is maintained on a regular basis to provide students with more techniques to be practiced in the labs. The Penetration Testing Course not only covers information gathering techniques, vulnerability assessments and exploitation of known vulnerabilities, but also web application penetration testing and privilege escalation. After finishing the course materials you’re ready to practice all techniques in the online lab environment counting over 36 lab machines. The lab machines are categorized by difficulty and labeled as “Beginner”, “Advanced” and “Advanced+” machines. When you’re stuck at beginner or advanced machines and need a little help to move forward, you can consult the hints available in the Lab Dashboard that will give you a nudge in the right direction. After rooting at least 20 vulnerable hosts you can submit a lab report with your lab progress to request the VHL Certificate of Completion.

The future of The Virtual Hacking Labs

In the near future we have a great deal of new features lined up for our students. Not only will we be introducing new lab machines and courseware updates with new subjects, such as buffer overflows and attacking management interfaces, but we’re also working on a second VHL Certificate of Completion for rooting advanced+ machines. The VHL Advanced+ Certificate of Completion will be presented to anyone that managed to root a soon to be announced number of Advanced+ lab machines + an extra pentest assignment. We’re expecting that the Certificate of Completion and lab will be available in the last quarter of 2018 (Postponed to Q1 2019).

Many students also requested a platform to communicate and reason with other students. To meet this request we have considered several platforms while paying special attention for one that is easy to maintain, fits the pricing model and is also easy to moderate in order to avoid spoilers for the lab machines. We’re currently testing out Rocket.Chat with the VHL Team and hoping to introduce a beta launch for VHL members soon.

Do you have tips or features requests to improve the VHL course? Sharing them with us will be very appreciated!

The Virtual Hacking Labs anniversary deals

For our first year anniversary we would like to thank our students for their loyalty, devotion and support. For all current students we have a discount available for the membership renewal passes. Check out the renewal section to purchase a discounted renewal. The discounted renewal passes will be available until Monday 21 May 08:00 Central European Time (CET).

Finally we want to thank everybody that helped us in the past year and welcome everybody that will join us in the second year of VHL!