Penetration Testing Lab Setup:MS-SQL

Today you will learn how to install and configure MS SQL server in windows server 2019 operating system for penetration testing within the VM Ware. MSSQL is Microsoft SQL Server for database management in the network. By default, it runs on port 1433.

Table of Content

  • Configure SQL express setup
  • Feature Selection
  • Instance Configuration
  • Database Engine Configuration
  • Configure SQL Management Studio setup
  • Connect to server from windows 10


  1. Download setup file ENU\x64\SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe
  2. Download setup file ENU\x86\SQLManagementStudio_x86_ENU.exe from
  3. Download heidisql tool

Configure SQL express setup

Open the 1st download file for SQL server installation and run as administrator. Click on installation then go with New SQL Server standalone installation.

Here enables the checkbox for “I accept the license terms” and click on next.

Enable the checkbox for “use Microsoft update to check for update” to enhance the SQL server security and performance will install the update when you will click on next.

Now it will start installing SQL server Rules file on your system which takes some time. As soon as setup gets installed you will get new window screen of feature selection for your SQL server.

Feature Selection

Now select the features you want to install from the given image you can see I had enabled check box for following features.

  • Database Engine service
  • SQL Server Replication
  • SQL Client Connective SDK

Click on next.

Instance Configuration

Specify the name and instance ID for instance of SQL server. The directory structure, registry structure, and service names all replicate the instance name and a specific instance ID. Instance ID becomes part of the installation path.

  • Enter SQLExpress in the text filed for Name Instance
  • Enter SQLExpress in the text filed for Instance ID

After then click on next

You can select Default Instance also if an instance of SQL Server is not installed previously. It does not need a user to give the name of the instance to create a connection.

On Server configuration, Specify the service accounts and collation configuration. Microsoft recommends that you use a separate account for each SQL Server Service. Select the SQL Server Database Engine & SQL Server Browser Startup type Automatic. You can choose AQL Server Browser startup Type as per your requirement.

After then click on next

Database Engine Configuration

Specify Database Engine authentication for its security mode   

By default, sa is the administrator of MS SQL

Under the panel of authentication mode:

  • Click on mixed mode which is a combination of both type authentication SQL Server and Windows.
  • Type your password and confirm the password for the administrator account.

From the given image you can observe that selected user will be part of administrator account of SQL server who has the unrestricted access over database engine.

After then click on next and next.

Your SQL server 2016 installation completed successfully, here you can check the status for installed features.

Now open the SQL server configuration manager where you will see left and right panel.

Click on the protocol for SQL Express in the left panel and then after select protocol name “TCP/IP” in the right panel.

Go to TCP/IP protocol Properties

Under IP Addresses specify TCP port 1433 tab, Click on Apply and Enable the TCP/IP.

Now you can see, the TCP/IP is enabled as shown in the image.

Configure SQL Management Studio setup

Now open 2nd downloaded application for SQL server management setup and click on Install.

Now it will start installing SQL server Management Studia setup file on your system which takes some time once done will ask to restart.

Now login in to SQL Server using admin credential and click on connect.

Once you are login into SQL server then Right Click on SQLEXPRESS( SQL Server) and go to Facets

On the window, go to General tab left side, then on the right side explore the Facet and select Surface Area Configuration.

In the next window select True on XPCmdShellEnabled and apply.

Explore the security folder and create a new login account for other users.

Enter the user name as I had given “Raj” and set a password by choosing SQL server authentication for this user. From the given image you can observe that master is the default database.

Connect to server from windows 10

Run heidisql tool to connect with MS SQL Server through Raj user as given below:

Network type: TCP/IP





Hostname /IP:

User: Raj

Password: 123456

Port: 1433

HeidiSQL is a useful and reliable tool designed for web developers using the popular MySQL server, Microsoft SQL databases, and PostgreSQL. It enables you to browse and edit data, create and edit tables, views, procedures, triggers, and scheduled events.

Now click on open

Great!! We have successfully accessed the database system of the MSSQL server. You can modify or create a new table or new database and much more things.

Author: Rajesh Bora is a passionate Researcher and Technical Writer at Hacking Articles. He is a hacking enthusiast. Contact here

Penetration Testing Lab Setup: WordPress

In this post, we will demonstrate how to set-up our own Vulnerable WordPress CMS for penetration testing on Ubuntu 20.04, Docker and Windows using XAMPP server.  

Table of Content

  • WordPress Setup on Ubuntu 20.04
  • Install WordPress using Docker
  • Install WordPress on Windows Platform

WordPress Setup on Ubuntu 20.04

In order to configure WordPress in your Ubuntu platform, there are some prerequisites required for CMS  installation.

Prerequisites for WordPress

  • Apache
  • Database (MySQL/Mariadb)
  • PHP

Install Apache

Let’s start the HTTP service with the help of Apache using privilege account (as root), execute the following command in the terminal.

Install MySQL

For run WordPress, you will also need a database server. The database server is where WordPress content is saved. So, we are going to choose MariaDB-server as the required database for WordPress and execute the following command

Next, execute the following commands to protect remote root login for the database server.

Then respond to questions asked after the command has been executed.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]: Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]: Y

Install php

And at last, install the php php-MySQL and run the following command to install this application.

Create a Database for WordPress

To access the MySQL, enter the following command which will create a database for wordpress.

WordPress Installation & Configuration

Now, its time to download and install the WordPress on our localhost, with the help of wget command we have fetched the compressed file of wordpress setup and extract the folder inside the /var/www/html directory.

Then run the given command to change ownership of ‘wordpress’ directory as well permission for upload directory.

Now, till here we are done with the installation, to create a WordPress website we need to access the application over web browser on localhost by executing following and then complete the remaining installation process.

This will open the setup file and ask to choose your preferred language. I select English and then press the continue Tab.

Read the given content and press Let’s go to continue the activity.

To continue the activity, we need to enter the required details that will help the application to connect with database, thus it should be the same information that we have entered above at the time of database we have created for WordPress.

And if your above-given detail is correct, you will get the Installation page as we have here.

Now after that, it will ask you enter details for your Website which you want to host using WordPress CMS as shown in the below image and then finally click on install Tab.

Note: The User and Password asked before the installation is referred to your Database information, and the username and password asked after installed are referred to your application (CMS).

And once it is done, you will get application login page where you have to enter credential to access the dashboard of your CMS.

You will get the dashboard where you can write your content that to be posted on the website.

Open the wp-config.php file in wordpress directory and paste the following lines in it to access the website page.

And Finally, it is over here, and your WordPress is completely ready to go😊.

Install WordPress using Docker

Install WordPress through docker will release your effort of installing prerequisites for WordPress setup. It is a very easy and quick technique to configured WordPress. All you need to have some basic knowledge of Docker and its functionalities.

To install wordpress using docker, first, we will update the Ubuntu repository and then install the latest version of Let’s start the installation of docker packages with the apt command as below:

Docker Compose is used to run multiple containers as a single service. Let’s begin the installation of docker-compose with the help of apt by entering the following command.

After installing the composer for the Docker, we must create a directory by the name of WordPress. After creating the directory, we will create a .yml file that will contain the service definitions for your setup.

Now Paste the following text in the .yml and save the configuration. Source Code From here

Now run the docker image in detach mode using the following command

After doing all the configuration step-by-step, now access the localhost on port 8000 that will be hosting your WordPress Docker image and configure your WordPress site as done in the previous section.

You will get the dashboard where you can write your content that to be posted on the website. But here we need to make some changes inside the setting so that the wordpress after installation it will work properly. Thus, enter your localhost IP address with a port number on which your docker image is running.

And Finally, it is over here, and your WordPress is completely ready to go but over port 8000 as shown here 😊.

Install WordPress on Windows Platform

Installation of WordPress is also very easy as compared to ubuntu because to fulfil the prerequisites of LAMP Server we can use XAMPP that will complete the all required dependency like apache and MySQL for WordPress.

Now download the extract the zip file of WordPress inside the /htdocs folder in /xampp folder in C-Drive.

Now open the PHPMYADMIN in a web browser by accessing /localhost/phpMyAdmin and create the database for WordPress to store its data.

Now in order to configure wordpress, explore the /localhost/wordpress/ and then enter the detail for the database.

Note: By Default, XAMPP DB_User is root and DB_Pass is empty <blank>

So as per XMAPP database configuration, we entered the following details in the given record.

Now again repeat the same step as done in the above section.

You will get the dashboard where you can write your content that to be posted on the website.

To make it vulnerable WordPress platform in order to perform penetration testing I have installed some vulnerable plugin as highlighted in the image.

To know how we can go do WordPress Penetration testing read this article.

WordPress Vulnerable Plugin

Author – Paras khorwal is a Certified Ethical Hacker, Technical writer and Penetration Tester at Hacking Articles. Technology and Gadget freak. Contact Here

Penetration Testing Lab Setup:Cloud Computing

This article is all about setting up a Private Cloud on your local machine on ubuntu, docker and VM. But before it is installed and configured, you should know what the cloud is and why it is a very important part of IT organizations.

Table of Content

  • Cloud Computing
  • Benefits of Cloud Computing
  • Types of Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Computing Deployment Models
  • How cloud computing works
  • Installation of Own cloud in Ubuntu
  • Installation of OwnCloud using Docker
  • Bitnami Owncloud Stack Virtual Machines

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database, storage, applications, and other IT resources via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Whether you are using it to run applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or to support business-critical operations, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low-cost IT resources.

In other words, cloud computing means, storing and accessing information and programs over the internet instead of the hard drive of your computer. You can access as many resources as you need, almost instantly, and only pay for what you use.


Benefits of Cloud Computing

  • Cost Saving – Pay for what you use.
  • Agile deployment – Easy and fast access a broad range technology (database, storage, compute etc.) on as per the requirement.
  • Location Independent –Deploy your application in multiple physical locations around the world with just a click.
  • Disaster Recovery – No environmental disruption, no natural calamity effect.
  • Elasticity– Instantly scale up or down the amount of resources that actually need.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are three main types of models of cloud computing. Each type of cloud service and deployment method provides you with different levels of control, flexibility, and management.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) -It is a cloud computing offering in which a vendor provides users access to computing resources such as servers, storage and networking. Organizations use their own platforms and applications within a service provider’s infrastructure.

Example: Linode, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE)

  • Platform as a service (PaaS)– It is a cloud computing offering that provides users with a cloud environment in which they can develop manage and deliver applications. In addition to storage and other computing resources, users are able to use a suite of prebuilt tools to develop, customize and test their own application also can providers manage security, operating systems, server software and backups.

Example: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure,, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos.

  • Software as a service (SaaS)-It is a cloud computing offering that provides users with access to a vendor’s cloud-based software. Users do not install applications on their local devices. Instead, the applications reside on a remote cloud network accessed through the web or an API. Through the application, users can store and analyse data and collaborate on projects.

Example: Google Apps, Dropbox, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx,

Cloud Computing Deployment Models

  • Cloud (Public) – A cloud-based application is fully deployed in the cloud and all parts of the application run in the cloud. Applications in the cloud have either been created in the cloud or have been migrated from an existing infrastructure to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing.
  • Hybrid- A hybrid deployment is a way to connect infrastructure and applications between cloud-based resources and existing resources that are not located in the cloud. The most common method of hybrid deployment is between the cloud and existing on-premises infrastructure to extend, and grow, an organization’s infrastructure into the cloud while connecting cloud resources to the internal system.
  • On-premises (Private) – Private Cloud refers to the cloud solution dedicated for use by a single organization. The data centre resources may be located on-premise or operated by a third-party vendor off-site. The computing resources are isolated and delivered via a secure private network, and not shared with other customers.

How cloud computing works

Cloud computing gives you access to servers, storage, databases, and a broad set of application services over the Internet. A cloud services provider owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you provision and use what you need via a web application.

Hope, now you have a basic understanding of cloud computing. Let’s start the installation of Owncloud in multiple ways.

Installation of Own cloud in Ubuntu

OwnCloud is the market-leading open-source software for cloud-based collaboration platforms. As an alternative to Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, ownCloud offers real data security and privacy for you and your data. Store your files in one central location – protected from unauthorized access. Many features designed for absolute data security help you to work productively and securely.

Before starting the installation, I want to confirm that you should already have Ubuntu in PC or you can install ubuntu. As I already have Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Let’s start the journey together with below steps:

Install Apache2

OwnCloud requires a webserver to function. So, we install Apache2 on Ubuntu.

Install the MariaDB Server

After apache2 installation, run the commands to disable the directory listing and also to Restart the Apache2 services.

MariaDB is the database server. It is an enhanced, drop-in replacement for MySQL. MariaDB is used because it is fast, scalable and robust, with a rich ecosystem of storage engines, plugins and many other tools make it very versatile for a wide variety of use cases.

After installation of MariaDB , restart the service and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

Install PHP and its modules

Run the commands to add a third-party repository and upgrade to PHP 7.1

Now,  update and upgrade

Next, we  install PHP7.1  and related modules

After installation of PHP 7.1, open FPM PHP default file.

Create OwnCloud  Database

After the installation of all the necessary LAMP packages, we will continue to configure the servers. First, we create the OwnCloud Database. Below are the steps:

  1. Run the MySQL command to logon to the database server. In the next prompt, type the root password.
  2. Create a database called Owncloud.
  3. Create a  database user g nisha with the new password e.g 123(you Should put the strong password for security purpose).
  4. Then, we grant the user full access to the database.
  5. Finally, save your changes and exit.

Note: In the database, the command should be ended by a sign ; otherwise you will get an error.

Download Latest Owncloud Release

Visit for download and extract OwnCloud Files into the /var/www/html directory.

Then set the correct permissions for OwnCloud to function, change the ownership and mod e.g as we grant (Read Write Execute i.e 777) permission.

Configure Apache2

Configure Apahce2 site configuration file for OwnCloud. This file will control how users access OwnCloud content. Create a new configuration file called owncloud.conf as shown.

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted in yellow lines with your own domain name and directory root location and then save the file.

Enable the OwnCloud and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below and at last restart the Apache2 service.

Open the browser and put localhost(local IP ) e.g http://localhost/owncloud

You’ll be prompted to create an admin account and password. Connect to the database using the information you created and then click on finish setup.


Put the admin Credentials and continue.

Happy to see the final Picture of OwnCloud, now you can upload and store your data safely on Owncloud.

Installation of OwnCloud using Docker

Docker is a tool designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications by using containers. Containers allow a developer to package up an application with all of the parts it needs, such as libraries and other dependencies, and ship it all out as one package.

Let’s start the installation with the below steps :

Install Docker

To install docker, simply open the terminal of Linux and type the following command:

Once the docker is up and running, you can run or pull any image in your docker. As per the requirement, we are going to search owncloud image. When you run the following command, it will first check your local repository; if the image is not available there then it will pull it from docker hub.

Once you find your image, you can pull it into your container and download the Owncloud image.

The docker attaches command permits you to attach to a running container using the container ID or name you can use one instance of shell only though attach command or you can directly run the container with container id. ownCloud is accessible via port 8080 on the host machine. But if you crave to open a new terminal with a new instance of container’s shell, we just need run docker exec.

To log in to the ownCloud UI, open http://localhost:8080 in your browser of choice, where you see the standard ownCloud login screen, as in the image below.

Finally welcome to your owncloud platform to perform your services (upload, safety storage of data etc.)

Bitnami Owncloud Stack Virtual Machines

Bitnami Virtual Machines contain a minimal Linux operating system with ownCloud installed and configured. Using the Bitnami Virtual Machine image requires hypervisor software such as VMware Player or VirtualBox. Both of these hypervisors are available free of charge.

You can download from here

Login with default credential

It very simple, only just navigate to the web browser and explore VM IP as shown below.

Author: Nisha Sharma is trained in Certified Ethical hacking and Bug Bounty Hunter. Connect with her here