New Project! HOMELAB

I’m always on the lookout for new projects to keep me engaged, so when the opportunity came up this morning to get an old Cisco ASA 5505, I jumped on it.

That started the gears turning when I realized I could combine the new-to-me ASA with the Intel NUC I already have to start my own homelab. The NUC I have is pretty old, a 2013 model, that is already maxed out at 4GB of RAM. I’ve been using it as a media server with a connected 1TB HDD, but if I can get my hands on an upgraded one, I can build out my own hypervisor to run VMs. The whole purpose is to create a secured virtualized environment for me to practice malware reverse engineering, hacking, and dynamic analysis without putting my workplace or personal network at risk. Using the ASA, I can build out my own mini-sandbox where I can detonate malware at no risk to the outside. The best part is, the ASA comes with 2 SSL VPN licenses. I can remotely access my homelab from anywhere with an internet connection!

I’m still designing the details but the general idea is shown in my (badly drawn) sketch:

Here’s my wishlist:

  • New Intel NUC
    • i5 or i7 processor
    • 8+GB RAM
    • 128GB+ SSD (for Hypervisor and initial datastore)
    • 1TB+ HDD (for VM storage)
  • VMware Hypervisor
    • Kali Linux VM
    • Vulnhub VMs
    • Splunk/LogRhythm SIEM VM
    • Some sort of analytics VM to check ping status, connectivity, etc.

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