A Virtual Computer Security Lab for Distance Education

H. Vranken and H. Koppelman (The Netherlands)


Distance learning; Protection and security; Virtual laboratory; Virtualization.


We present a virtual computer security lab for distance education. The lab is a software environment that each student can install and run stand-alone on his own computer. The lab is composed of two virtualization layers: the first layer creates a virtual Linux machine on the student’s computer; the second layer offers an environment in which the student can configure and run a number of virtual Linux hosts connected in a virtual computer network. The student can perform security related assignments in the lab in various roles: carrying out attacks as a hacker, securing systems and networks as a system/network administrator, and experiencing the effects as a user. We discuss the software architecture and the software implementation of the virtual lab, as well as the didactic method and our experiences with the virtual lab.

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