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Virtual machines and NICs

post #1 of 7
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Each student in my security class had to setup a virtual machine to do some Labs dealing with Ethical Hacking (yes there is such a thing, they even have their own website and magazine). My question involves the setup of the virtual machine. We used Virtual box and I ask if there is any advantage to using a hardwired NIC for the virtual machine instead of the virtual NIC simulated with Virtual box? How about with HyperV in Server2008R2, is there any advantage to direct the virtual machine to a second NIC (either onboard or a card you add)? The Backtrack 4 tools work fine in Virtual box but for comparison I am going to setup a virtual machine in Server 2008R2 see if I can figure out how to tell the virtual machine to use the second onboard NIC offered on the ASUS P6X58D-Preminum I am using to run Server2008R2 on. Simply looking to compare a few different ways to do the same thing. Thanks
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post #2 of 7
Not an expert in the field... but a virtual NIC is different from a physical NIC so hacking options will differ.

Here is some info that is relevant: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4014/1...n-a-big-pipe/4
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post #3 of 7
In Hyper-V (and I assume it's the same for all other hypervisor) the guest OS cannot access physical network card, you have to use a virtualized NIC. However, it's a best practice (especially on high load host), on the host machine, to dedicate one NIC as the management interface and another NIC decicated to the VMs.

In terms of performance in Hyper-V, as long as you dont use the "legacy network adapter" virtual NIC, performance wont suffer much.

hope this helps
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post #4 of 7
just to add, in hyper-v if you want to dedicate a NIC to VMs only, create a new external network and uncheck the option to share the virtual network with the host OS.
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post #5 of 7
I'm not an expert either by any means, but I do have a mac at work running snow leopard 10.6.6 and virtual box software for a windows 98 guest. The Mac Pro that I'm using has 2 NIC interfaces and I am able to direct the windows 98 guest to use that second physical NIC. I needed to do that to enable a Cygwin X-Server.

On the other hand, I know nothing about hacking, ethical or otherwise
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post #6 of 7
With regards to your hacking training, I dont know what NIC features you need. However in Hyper-V you can enable mac spoofing so the guest OS is able to change the MAC address of the virtual NIC. I dont know if promiscuous mode can be enabled on virtual NIC tough.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks to all, I am getting some info flowing in but the entire Blackboard sysyem for the school has been up and down for 3 days (it is down now). The VM's were made because the Ethical Hacking tools run on Linux 2.6, it is not like the type of NIC is part of the hacking project. What really sparked my interest is what happened in Network connetions after you install a VM.I saw the changes made in Network connections in Win 7 and I did both a "ipconfig" and a "whatismy ip" on the two rigs I made VM's on (out of Virtual Box) and I could not explain why I got the results I did. My rigs are behind a Untangle box and the DHCP services of Untangle handed out the same static IP (of the 8 I have installed in some form inside Untangle) I found it odd that two rigs got the same "what the world sees" IP and that they were taken out of my pool of statics. An ipconfig showed that the VM's are on a totatly new network. It ended like this, the two rigs (when under Windows)stayed on their same un-routable (to the outside) IP's(assigned by Untangle) but the outside world sees them as on one of my statics. Then this new network got created (also of un-routable IP's for the VM's). I was searching for why this happened and I came across the idea of virtual NICS and hardwired NICS. My post has very little to do with Ethical Hacking except that was why we made the VM's. Has anyone heard of "Back Track 4"? it is just a group of tools like nmap for port scanning and such. This is the stuff they teach you when you go for the CISSP cert. I think it is along the line of "to catch a thief you must think like a thief".+ reps for shilo, hollywood, cookies for Duckie

EDIT: Now the big war in class is about using VMware as opposed to Virtual box. One student points out that VMware has a pen.testing product all assembled. Previously I had only used a VM when we had to use it for folding, I never tried to bring a VM into my tools for putting Lab papers together. I find Virtual Box allows for seemless moves from the box back into Windows (so I can do the technical part in the box but write my paper with Word)I would think that VMware allows this also. This class argument is another aspect of "free vrs. pay for", with most instructors pushing the free product. This "easy move around" ability is great as I did not at this time want to learn these aspects (speaking of file management and how to use a word processor in the Linux environment, that day will come I am sure) of working with Linux. I think the fact that the technical work is done in Linux 2.6 but the word processing part of the Lab gets done in a Windows environment (at least I have the choice to do the word processing part in a familar Windows environment) really says what area each product excels at. At least we are not forced to give up a tool we like (my Microsoft Office apps) to use great technical tools (speaking of the pen. testing tools).
Edited by PCCstudent - 3/10/11 at 1:42am
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