DetectionLab - Vagrant And Packer Scripts To Build A Lab Environment Complete With Security Tooling And Logging Best Practices

DetectionLab is tested weekly on Saturdays via a scheduled CircleCI workflow to ensure that builds are passing.

This lab has been designed with defenders in mind. Its primary purpose is to allow the user to quickly build a Windows domain that comes pre-loaded with security tooling and some best practices when it comes to system logging configurations. It can easily be modified to fit most needs or expanded to include additional hosts.
Read more about Detection Lab on Medium here: https://medium.com/@clong/introducing-detection-lab-61db34bed6ae
NOTE: This lab has not been hardened in any way and runs with default vagrant credentials. Please do not connect or bridge it to any networks you care about. This lab is deliberately designed to be insecure; the primary purpose of it is to provide visibility and introspection into each host.

Primary Lab Features:
  • Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/advanced-threat-analytics) is installed on the WEF machine, with the lightweight ATA gateway installed on the DC
  • Splunk forwarders are pre-installed and all indexes are pre-created. Technology add-ons for Windows are also preconfigured.
  • A custom Windows auditing configuration is set via GPO to include command line process auditing and additional OS-level logging
  • Palantir's Windows Event Forwarding subscriptions and custom channels are implemented
  • Powershell transcript logging is enabled. All logs are saved to \\wef\pslogs
  • osquery comes installed on each host and is pre-configured to connect to a Fleet server via TLS. Fleet is preconfigured with the configuration from Palantir's osquery Configuration
  • Sysmon is installed and configured using SwiftOnSecurity’s open-sourced configuration
  • All autostart items are logged to Windows Event Logs via AutorunsToWinEventLog
  • SMBv1 Auditing is enabled

  • 55GB+ of free disk space
  • 16GB+ of RAM
  • Packer 1.3.2 or newer
  • Vagrant 2.2.2 or newer
  • Virtualbox or VMWare Fusion/Workstation

DetectionLab now contains build scripts for *NIX, MacOS, and Windows users!
There is a single build script that supports 3 different options:
  • ./build.sh <virtualbox|vmware_desktop> - Builds the entire lab from scratch. Takes 3-5 hours depending on hardware resources and bandwidth
  • ./build.sh <virtualbox|vmware_desktop> --vagrant-only - Downloads pre-built Packer boxes from Vagrant Cloud and builds the lab from those boxes. This option is recommended if you have more bandwidth than time or are having trouble building boxes.
  • ./build.sh <virtualbox|vmware_desktop> --packer-only - This option only builds the Packer boxes and will not use Vagrant to start up the lab.
Windows users will want to use the following script:
  • ./build.ps1 -ProviderName <virtualbox|vmware_desktop> - Builds the entire lab from scratch. Takes 3-5 hours depending on hardware resources and bandwidth
  • ./build.ps1 -ProviderName <virtualbox|vmware_desktop> -VagrantOnly - Downloads pre-built Packer boxes from Vagrant Cloud and builds the lab from those boxes. This option is recommended if you have more bandwidth than time or are having trouble building boxes.

Building DetectionLab from Scratch
  1. Determine which Vagrant provider you want to use. Current supported providers are:
  • Virtualbox
  • VMware Workstation & Fusion
There are currently three ways to build the lab:
  • Recommended: Use the boxes hosted on Vagrant Cloud. This method should take ~2 hours total to download the boxes and provision the lab.
  • Build the boxes yourself using Packer. This method will take ~4 hours to build the boxes and another ~90-120 minutes to provision them for a total of 5-6 hours.
  • Provision the lab in AWS using Terraform. The lab can be brought online in under 30 minutes.
If you choose to use the boxes hosted on Vagrant Cloud, you may skip steps 2 and 3. If you don't trust pre-built boxes, I recommend following steps 2 and 3 to build them on your machine.
  1. cd to the Packer directory and build the Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 boxes using the commands below. Each build will take about 1 hour. As far as I know, you can only build one box at a time.
$ cd detectionlab/Packer
$ packer build --only=[vmware|virtualbox]-iso windows_10.json
$ packer build --only=[vmware|virtualbox]-iso windows_2016.json
  1. Once both boxes have built successfully, move the resulting boxes (.box files) in the Packer folder to the Boxes folder:
    mv *.box ../Boxes
  2. cd into the Vagrant directory: cd ../Vagrant and edit the Vagrantfile. Change the lines cfg.vm.box = "detectionlab/win2016" and cfg.vm.box = "detectionlab/win10 to cfg.vm.box = "../Boxes/windows_2016_<provider>.box" and "cfg.vm.box = "../Boxes/windows_10_<provider>.box" respectively.
  3. Install the Vagrant-Reload plugin: vagrant plugin install vagrant-reload
  4. VMware Only:
  1. Ensure you are in the base DetectionLab folder and run ./build.sh (Mac & Linux) or ./build.ps1 (Windows). This script will do the following:
  • Provision the logger host. This host will run the Fleet osquery manager and a fully featured pre-configured Splunk instance.
  • Provision the DC host and configure it as a Domain Controller
  • Provision the WEF host and configure it as a Windows Event Collector in the Servers OU
  • Provision the Win10 host and configure it as a computer in the Workstations OU
  1. Build logs will be present in the Vagrant folder as vagrant_up_<host>.log. If filing an issue, please paste the contents of that log into a Gist to help with debugging efforts.
  2. Navigate to in a browser to access the Splunk instance on logger. Default credentials are admin:changeme (you will have the option to change them on the next screen)
  3. Navigate to in a browser to access the Fleet server on logger. Default credentials are admin:admin123#. Query packs are pre-configured with queries from palantir/osquery-configuration.

Basic Vagrant Usage
Vagrant commands must be run from the "Vagrant" folder.
  • Bring up all Detection Lab hosts: vagrant up (optional --provider=[virtualbox|vmware_desktop])
  • Bring up a specific host: vagrant up <hostname>
  • Restart a specific host: vagrant reload <hostname>
  • Restart a specific host and re-run the provision process: vagrant reload <hostname> --provision
  • Destroy a specific host vagrant destroy <hostname>
  • Destroy the entire Detection Lab environment: vagrant destroy (Adding -f forces it without a prompt)
  • SSH into a host (only works with Logger): vagrant ssh logger
  • Check the status of each host: vagrant status
  • Suspend the lab environment: vagrant suspend
  • Resume the lab environment: vagrant resume

Lab Information

Lab Hosts
  • DC - Windows 2016 Domain Controller
    • WEF Server Configuration GPO
    • Powershell logging GPO
    • Enhanced Windows Auditing policy GPO
    • Sysmon
    • osquery
    • Splunk Universal Forwarder (Forwards Sysmon & osquery)
    • Sysinternals Tools
    • Microsft Advanced Threat Analytics Lightweight Gateway
  • WEF - Windows 2016 Server
    • Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
    • Windows Event Collector
    • Windows Event Subscription Creation
    • Powershell transcription logging share
    • Sysmon
    • osquery
    • Splunk Universal Forwarder (Forwards WinEventLog & Powershell & Sysmon & osquery)
    • Sysinternals tools
  • Win10 - Windows 10 Workstation
    • Simulates employee workstation
    • Sysmon
    • osquery
    • Splunk Universal Forwarder (Forwards Sysmon & osquery)
    • Sysinternals Tools
  • Logger - Ubuntu 16.04
    • Splunk Enterprise
    • Fleet osquery Manager
    • Bro
    • Suricata

Splunk Indexes
Index Name Description
osquery osquery/Fleet result logs
osquery-status osquery/fleet INFO/WARN/ERROR logs
powershell Powershell transcription logs
sysmon Logs from the Sysmon service
wineventlog Windows Event Logs
bro Bro network traffic logs
suricata Suricata IDS logs
threathunting Used for the ThreatHunting app

Installed Tools on Windows
  • Sysmon
  • osquery
  • AutorunsToWinEventLog
  • Process Monitor
  • Process Explorer
  • PsExec
  • TCPView
  • Notepad++
  • Google Chrome
  • WinRar
  • Mimikatz
  • Wireshark
  • Powersploit
  • Atomic Red Team

Applied GPOs

Known Issues and Workarounds
Issue: Vagrant reports: Message: HTTPClient::KeepAliveDisconnected: while provisioning.
Workaround: Run $ vagrant reload <hostname> --provision

Issue: Vagrant timed out while attempting to connect via WinRM after Win10 host joins the domain.
Workaround Documented in #21. Just run $ vagrant reload win10 --provision

Issue: Vagrant is unable to forward a port for you
Workaround: Documented in #11. There are a few possibilities:
  1. Try a vagrant reload <hostname> --provision. For whatever reason vagrant up doesn't fix conflicts but reload does.
  2. Check if something is legitimately occupying the port via sudo lsof -n -iTCP:<port_number>
  3. Follow the instructions from this comment: https://github.com/hashicorp/vagrant/issues/8130#issuecomment-272963103

Issue: Fleet server becomes unreachable after VM is suspended and resumed
Workaround: Documented in #22. The following commands should make it reachable without deleting data:
$ docker stop $(docker ps -aq)
$ service docker restart
$ cd /home/vagrant/kolide-quickstart
$ docker-compose start -d

Issue: Your primary hard drive doesn't have enough space for DetectionLab
Workaround: Documented in #48. You can change the default location for Vagrant by using the VAGRANT_HOME environment variable.

In the Media

A sizable percentage of this code was borrowed and adapted from Stefan Scherer's packer-windows and adfs2 Github repos. A huge thanks to him for building the foundation that allowed me to design this lab environment.


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