AWS Pen-Testing Laboratory - Pentesting Lab With A Kali Linux Instance Accessible Via Ssh And Wireguard VPN And With Vulnerable Instances In A Private Subnet

PenTesting laboratory deployed as IaC with Terraform on AWS. It deploys a Kali Linux instance accessible via ssh & wireguard VPN. Vulnerable instances in a private subnet.


  • Ids only defined for region "eu-west-1"
  • For other regions, kali ami id must be specified and metasploitable3 id (after building it)

  • [2021-06-02] AMI IDs changed to use Kali 2021.2
  • [2021-03-10] Use new Kali version 2021.1


  • Kali 2021.2 instance (private key is saved into kali.pem)
    • Wireguard VPN service: client file client_vpn.wg
    • Accessible via ssh/scp
    • Public Subnet
  • Vulnerable machine "Metasploitable" (ami build is public)
    • Private subnet
  • More vulnerable labs/machines/docker (to-be-done)

Features added
  • User management
    • Automatically create non privileged users in kali instance with rsa
    • Wireguard VPN client file per user
  • Command line audit logging in syslog
  • auditd enabled with sudo_log and users_log keys for auditing user actions (see also ausearch command)
  • ToDO: Forward terminal audit to CloudWatch or an S3 Bucket with write once policy

  • Requirements:
    • Terraform CLI install guide
    • AWS CLI install guide
    • $PATH configured for AWS CLI & Terraform
    • AWS account and configure credentials via aws cli: aws configure
    • Kali Linux Subscription in AWS Marketplace (version 2020.04)
    • Metasploitable3 AMI image previously built (public AMI available for eu-west-1 region) see

  1. Enable/disable vulnerable instances to be deployed setting 0 or 1 in variables.tf:
variable "deploment-control" {  type = map  default = {    #"instance" = 0 or 1, to disable or enable    "metasploitable3" = 1    "dvca" = 0  }  description = "Control which EC2 instances are deployed, 0 for none or 1"}
  1. Use terraform for deploy infraestructure
terraform initterraform planterraform apply -auto-approve   


Terraform outputs will show following entries:

  • ssh connection command for kali user (root via sudo)
  • wireguard client file for kali user will be automatically retrieved from kali server
  • scp command to retrieve wireguard client file (just in case defined terraform local-exec command fails)
  • For each of the normal users created in Kali instance
    • Private key file for ssh connection
    • Wireguard client file for VPN connectivity


Either connect to Kali via ssh or wireguard:

  • SSH: (Only command line) Use autogenerated private key (see terraform output)
KALI_IP=<KALI_IP>     # configure kali public ipssh -i kali.pem -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o IdentitiesOnly=yes [email protected]${KALI_IP}
  • Wireguard: Connect your local kali instance via wireguard (see client_vpn.wg generated file)
KALI_IP=<KALI_IP>     # configure kali public ipscp -i kali.pem -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no IdentitiesOnly=yes [email protected]${KALI_IP}:/home/kali/client_vpn.wg .####(local_kali)$ sudo apt-get install –y wireguard (local_kali)$ sudo gedit /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf # copy contents of client_vpn.wg(local_kali)$ sudo chmod 700 /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf(local_kali)$ sudo wg-quick up wg0(local_kali)$ ping  # test connectivity with kali instance in AWS

terraform destroy -auto-approve


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