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 CSSIA VM Image Sharing Agreement.
  3. Complete and submit your access request by following the instructions on the request form.
  4. CSSIA will provide, via email, password-protected download links. Access to the download links 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, Red Hat Academy, and/or Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy).
  5. Once all virtual machines have been downloaded, they can be deployed following the steps in the appropriate pod installation guide. Each virtual machine is deployed individually.