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.