OpenLabs Security Laboratory
The distance security laboratory provides an environment for remote experiments in security. By setting up a controlled network of machines and isolating it from other networks, you can experiment with potentially harmful software, without exposing the risk to anyone outside the experiment network.
Experimenting in the computer security field requires a controlled environment where software can be executed and contained within the experiment environment. You should also be able to perform possibly destructive operations, such as corrupting the operating system or exploiting network services.
It is possible to use advanced and specialised tools, that can be expensive or tedious to install.
Reservations can be done over the web. You choose a number of machines, what they should be installed with and a duration. There is a number of pre-configured installations to choose from, there is also the possibility to create more specialised installations.
The installations, or clones, are created by the teacher/supervisor. When a reservation is about to start, the reserved machines are prepared with the correct clones.
When the reservation starts, the machines are connected to a network containing only the reserved machines, that can only be accessed by the person that made the reservation. To ensure isolation, connections can only be initiated from the machine of the person experimenting. No connections can be initiated from the the experiment network.
The machines are controlled remotely with protocols such as SSH, VNC, Remote Desktop or X.
After a reservation is over, all data is wiped from the machines, to ensure that no private or harmful data is left behind.
Basically any operating system available for x86 is supported.
For example: Windows, Linux, Free/Open/NetBSD.
Currently the maximum number of reservable machines is 32. The possibilities to do advanced experiments with the laboratory network is limited.
The laboratory has more uses than just for security experiments. For instance, experiments with the operating systems that might leave machines in an unstable state. The laboratory can also be configured as a cluster for heavier calculations.