Category Archives: InfoSec

Setting Up a Pentesting Environment based on Qubes OS – Step by Step

Qubes OS is a hypervisor based operating system. Qubes OS can host various operating systems such as Linux, Unix or Windows and run them in parallel. Qubes OS can therefore be used to host your own “hacking” laboratory. (source)

Introduction

Due to its virtualization-based architecture, Qubes OS seemed to be the perfect OS in order to set up a pentesting lab that is a) easy to use and b) is separated from your daily-use VMs in a secure way. Additionally, with Qubes OS you can easily import VMs from vulnhub.com or any other sources for testing purposes.

Within this article, we will discuss a step-by-step guidance on how to set this environment up. Preliminary conditions: Running Qubes OS (tested with Qubes OS 3.2), Internet connection, enough space on disk.

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On the Risk of Connecting and Collecting it All

The past has shown and the present demonstrates in an impressive way that protecting sensitive assets is hard – if not even impossible. Too many companies fail to protect their customer’s information properly and this situation will continue in the future. Normally, after a breach, the InfoSec community preaches that additional security controls need to be implemented: strong passwords should be picked by users and hacked ones need to be changed, 2-factor-authentication should be used, patches need to be implemented, data needs to be encrypted and many more.

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Accessing a usb-sys blocked and encrypted Qubes OS Partition

Since a USB controller assignment survives reboot, you may find yourself unable to access your system. (link)

Qubes OS does consider all USB devices by default as potentially evil. So in case you are serious about USB-based attacks on your Qubes-OS environment, you might want to install an USB qube such as sys-usb. Continue reading Accessing a usb-sys blocked and encrypted Qubes OS Partition