This quick reference page provides a summary of the specifications of the MSEC pod.


This topology was designed through a grant initiative by the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) and the Network Development Group (NDG), funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program Department of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Award No. 0702872 and 1002746. The topology is designed to be used with a series of lab exercises mapped to CompTIA Security+® domains.

You may request virtual machine templates for the MSEC pod from CSSIA.


Lab Topology

MSEC Security Pod

Virtual Machines

A description of the virtual machines in the MSEC Pod is provided in the table below.

Virtual Machine Role
BackTrack 5 Attack BackTrack 5
Windows 7 Attack Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Red Hat Linux Victim Microsoft Windows 2003 Server (internal network)
Windows 2k3 Server Victim Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
pfSense Firewall Firewall
Sniffer Linux based Sniffer
BackTrack 4 Attack BackTrack 4
Windows 2k3 Server Victim Microsoft Windows 2003 Server (external network)

Virtual Machine Templates

The Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) provides virtual machine templates to install on the pod.

To request access to the preconfigured virtual machine templates from CSSIA:

  1. Go to the CSSIA Resources page:
  2. Select VM Image Sharing Agreement – Image Sharing Agreement.
  3. Select VM Image Sharing Agreement to open the request form.
  4. Complete and submit your access request by following the instructions on the request form.
  5. CSSIA will email a link, along with a username and password to access the download server. Access to the download server is provided only to customers who are current with their NETLAB+ support contract and are participants in the appropriate partner programs (i.e. Cisco Networking Academy, VMware IT Academy, and/or EMC Academic Alliance).
  6. Once access to the download server has been established, the virtual machines can be deployed directly to the vCenter Server by clicking on File > Deploy OVF Template in the vClient window and copying the link into the location field.
  7. The deployment will start after the username and password are entered.
  8. Each virtual machine is deployed individually.
  9. Please refer to the appropriate pod installation guide for the virtual machines you are downloading.

Please refer to the NETLAB+ Multipurpose Security Pod (MSEC) Install and Configuration Guide for details on installing the VMs on your NETLAB+ system.