For years I’ve wanted to build a hacker lab akin to the OSCP or HackTheBox labs. I did tons of research, read blogs and wikis and how-to guides, learned all I could about the subject, and even built some prototypes with VirtualBox on my laptop. Yet I never allowed myself to spend the money.

In 2018, I was living on the road as a truck driver, so it was an impractical goal. In 2019, I was pursuing educational goals and obtaining my OSCP; I had the time and passion, but the budget was tight, and I didn’t feel comfortable spending hundreds of dollars on a hobby when we were living on a single income.

But in 2020, I landed a solid job, and it has driven and inspired me to produce new content, such as the No Skids Allowed! introduction to hacking, as well as the two previous PowerShell write-ups. My efforts have proven valuable to my team, as well as to the broader hacker community, and I’m overjoyed!

With this in mind, I finally decided I should take the plunge and buy the hardware to build my hacking lab. (I’m calling it HackerLab 9000, or hal9k for short.) I hope that this lab will enable me to learn and teach all sorts of exciting new information!

To kick things off, I’ve created a guide for how you can build your own HackerLab 9000! I originally wrote the guide to instruct myself on how I got everything working, in case I had to re-build the machine. But now that it’s written, I can release it into the world, and everyone can learn from (and improve upon) the material!

Let me know what you think!