An interesting question about servers...

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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I was wondering if theres any way to set up a virtual server on your own computer to test out your security knowledge and such. Is there a third party bit of software almostl ike VPC where you could set up a virtual server on your own computer? Sorry if this question is absolutly insane but I was just wondering.
Thanks
 

evildead

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Jun 18, 2001
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Virtual Server?

Im not sure what you mean by a virtual server but you can set one up on your computer and just not let the out side wold hit it... then just use your local loopback or... your IP. Are you worried about setting it up wrong? What kind of server are you talking about setting up? What kind of hardware to you have? Routers, switches, networkCards, etc... Whats your internet connection like? Do you have a real IP?
 

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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I was just wondering if there was some way to set up a program on my computer that would act like a server that I could try and break into (from said comp). I know I sound like Im aspiring to be a hacker but I can assure Im not, I was hopeing to learn a bit about network security and the like so that I can minor in the mis program here at college.
 

evildead

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Jun 18, 2001
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hmmm

I have never heard of a network/server emulation program and if there was such a thing, it wouldnt do much good becuase it would have to emulate a real server software and firmware exatly to be any good. Do you have more than one computer? I would load Linux on one if you have a old PC. You can get all kinds of hacker tools to hit your other computer and test your network security. You could make up a LAN with bogus IPs... hell, all you would need is a cross over cable and 2 network cards.

What kinds of servers are you intested in? mail, application, web, database, file, etc...?
 

macktheknife

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Jan 24, 2002
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OS X comes with an Apache server, right? I think you have to issue the command "sudo apachectl graceful" to fire it up. Then you can go to http://127.0.0.1 to access it. You can also install a Tomcat JSP/Servlet container that serves Java Server Pages and Servlets.
 

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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the funny thing is I have my old roomates crap ass gateway 300mhz machine I could dumb a server set up onto. So then the questions are

1. Can i just try to get at it over my local network (colleg lan)
a. would it be easier to do with the direct connection
like evildead was saying
2. Where can I find a good freeware server program
3. Also any info on how to set up that server on my own comp as
the other fellow suggested would be helpful. Since I will be
with my team and I may want to work on it then.

thanx

PS the other comp has a network card in it and so will my new laptop(drool), so would I just have to plug them into each other with a lan cable or is somethign more difficult required aside from some configuration on both ends. Any help would be great.
 

evildead

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Jun 18, 2001
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Originally posted by ooagentbender


1. Can i just try to get at it over my local network (colleg lan)
a. would it be easier to do with the direct connection
like evildead was saying

You can do it over the LAN with a hub or with a direct connect (cross over cable) It will give you the same effect. What do you mean by LAN? are you on a network? Like at a University? Do you have control over it?

2. Where can I find a good freeware server program

There is tons of free stuff out there, OS X and Linux come with stuff allready built in. What kind of servers are you talking about?


thanx

PS the other comp has a network card in it and so will my new laptop(drool), so would I just have to plug them into each other with a lan cable or is somethign more difficult required aside from some configuration on both ends.
Any help would be great.

Nope... they just have to have IPs that are under the same netmask so they can talk to eachother

 

Doctor Q

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Sep 19, 2002
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There are various types of server programs you could choose to install and test the security of. However, if you install any operating system (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, etc.), it will come with a set of services (i.e., server software) already installed. Some of these services (e.g., a web server) will already be running. Some of these services will be installed but not active. So you don't necessarily need to get additional software if you just want to test the security in general. Just turn on the services you like and experiment with the security of these already-installed services.

For a Windows system, look in the Services control panel for the list of installed services. From there you can turn them on and off.

For a Unix system, which services are active on which ports is generally controlled by file /etc/services and either file /etc/inetd.conf or the files in the /etc/xinetd.d directory.

I hope this helps.
 

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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how do I do that evildead, sorry im a n00b. I know a fair amount about unix but as far as the strength of my networking knowledge we just won't talk about it.
 

evildead

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Jun 18, 2001
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info

Give me a discription of your hardwar, hubs, swtiches, cables, computers,

Then tell me what OS's you are running or would like to run.

What Servers would you like to run?

I can help with any networking questions you might have. If your last post was refering to giving them IP adresses that are under the same netmask so they can talk, what I ment was give each computer an adress like this:

193.168.1.1
and
193.168.1.2

Do you still need to get out to the internet from one of your computers? This is just a test enviorment right? Do you want to beable to have this all hooked up and get out to the net? What is your connection like? Do you have any connection?
 

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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OK

Ok im set up in my dorm room with my laptop connected to the schools ethernet and my friends old computer is just sittin thier gathering dust.

Right now its running windows 98 I believe and I was thinking that I could set that up as a windows (or linux) server of some sort, and then useing my laptop try and break into it. THe laptop will have os x.2.4.

I don't mind having to switch the cable from my ethernet jack in the wall to the old computer for the purpose of trying to break into it. But it is connected to the schools ethernet if I can just try breaking into it that way.

So how would I set the computer up as a server (windows for right now is ok)?

How would I set it up so I can try to break into it? useing the direct connection through the network cards and/or my schools ethernet?

Thanks
 

Doctor Q

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Sep 19, 2002
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Usually, when you have more than one computer at a location (your dorm room), you'd want to protect your LAN (the two machines) from the public at large (everyone else on the school network), so they could do private file transfers and have other otherwise insecure communications. So you'd either use firewall software or firewall hardware. This case is kind of funny, however, since you want to test security anyway. Do you want to let others on the school network "see" your PC or let only your laptop see it?

The simplest setup would be to unplug your laptop from the school and directly connect it to the PC when you want to test its security (that sounds a lot better to me than "break into it"). If you let the whole school connect to your PC, somebody else will probably test its security for you!
 

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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Ok

I know the mac will auto detect nearly any network set up I have but what do I do with the pc to get it working properly.
 

Doctor Q

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Sep 19, 2002
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First, find out for sure if the PC is running Windows 98. If it doesn't say the O.S. version vertically up the left side of the menu when you click the Start button, I think the System control panel tells you.

If you want to hook the PC up to the school LAN, here's the best way to find out how: Use your laptop to go to the school web site. I'm sure they will have posted pages that tell the setup steps for any kind of computer and any operating system version, including a PC with whichever Windows release you have. Example for M.I.T.

Follow the steps on the PC. Then connect it to the LAN. If your dorm room has only a single Ethernet jack for the school LAN, you'll need a hub to be able to plug both computers in at the same time. Once both computers are on the LAN, you (and anyone else on the school LAN) can test your PC's security.

Have you decided whether you want to connect both to the school LAN or only to each other?
 

ooagentbender

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Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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Ok i suppose Ill just connect it to the lan, but does anyone have any idea of a way to set up a virtual server on my laptop for when I travel. I would still like that ability but if its impossible so be it.
 

peterjhill

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Apr 25, 2002
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If you want to be a Dr. you don't start cutting up people before you know ANYTHING about anatomy. I think that you should either purchase at a bookstore, or go to http://safari.oreilly.com/ (nothing to do with the mac browser) and read the following (at minimum):


TCP/IP Network Administration
Practical Unix & Internet Security (crucial)
DNS and BIND (optional)

There are others you could also read:
Ethernet: The Definitive Guide
IP Routing
IP v6 Essentials
Network Troubleshooting Tools

If this is for a class, then you need to check out the prerequisites. Something is missing. Not trying to dis you at all, mind you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to learn about networking and security. White hat hackers are cool. In Europe, there is a group that probes different network services, like ldap, snmp, imap, and hammer them until the find all sorts of unknown bugs. This forces development of better versions of code. Just last year, they found something like 26,000 messages you could send to an snmp server, that could crash a system. SUN, Cisco, Foundry, all the players were forced to come up with new software to protect the services. I think that is great.

If you start blindly hacking away, you will not learn much. Become friends with O'Reilly books, they really jumpstarted my knowledge and set me on my path into my current job.
 

ooagentbender

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 21, 2002
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No ive done my research on tcp/ip and I just want to get to work on the problem solving side of the security issue. Ill admit that I do need to learn alot more but at the same time I would like the oportunity to test out my theories as I learn. Thanks for the advice tho.

So does anyone have any idea how I can set up a virtual server on my comp or some furhter help with setting up the old windows PeeCEE as a server.
 

peterjhill

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Apr 25, 2002
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Seattle, WA
On the PC check out www.vmware.com

It is like virtual pc, but nicer. It lets you create virtual computers that you can install any x86 OS on, like BE, Windows, Linux, BSD, Darwin. It even has binaries to run under either Linux or Windows. IOW you could have the base OS be linux, then start up vmware and run windows in the virtual machine.