Where can I download vulnerable Windows OS images to practice penetration testing?

  • My objective is to learn and practice all the vulnerabilities and their exploitation on vulnerable OS.

    I’m voting to close this question because since this was asked, the community standards have changed to avoid asking "where can I get X?" type questions. Also, the top answers include dead links, which is a reason why this type of question does not age well.

  • Check out NIST's FDCC (Federal Desktop Core Configuration). They offer Windows XP and Vista downloads.

    http://nvd.nist.gov/fdcc/download_fdcc.cfm [mod note: link is dead]

    Ummm, wow. Not sure how they get away with giving those out. Also note that these *may* be at least partially patched. The VHDs were created well after the release of their OS's. Best bet to get a system in a known configuration is to build it yourself - get TechNet.

    Ah, those are also 120 day trial versions, which is how NIST get away with it! They've also been hardened, so not a great choice if you're looking for vulnerability examples. However, seeing those makes me suspect that you might be able to get hold of Microsoft's older OS trial versions if you look around microsoft.com enough.

    @GrahamHill **However** they do tell you all the hardening work and you can roll it back.

  • Rapid7's Metasploitable3 is a great resource and is intended to provide you with vulnerable Windows machines you can exploit with tools such as Metasploit (I recommend also trying to exploit these using other more manual means as well).

    You may also be interested in DetectionLab which is a small Windows Active Directory lab that focuses more on defense but can be used as an overall red/blue team playground with more modern operating systems.

    Both contain well-documented instructions on setup.

  • Not sure why everyone is saying there is no way to get free licensed Windows versions, since Microsoft provides VM Appliances expressly for security and dev testing purposes at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/ They currently have 90 day licensed versions of Win 7 through 10, all of which have unpatched vulnerabilities to exploit. Simply save a snapshot after activating so that you can restore it when the license expires. Before anyone questions the legality here, see Microsoft's instructions regarding extending the 90 day licenses, "These virtual machines expire after 90 days. We recommend setting a snapshot when you first install the virtual machine which you can roll back to later. "

    A 90-day license means that it is not free... Other answers have already dealt with time-restricted licenses.

    Free is free. OP specifically asks for vulnerable windows images to use in a testing environment. They're absolutely free for 90 days, and then you rearm, load the saved snapshot, or reinstall for another 90 days. Rinse, repeat. And that's all that's needed in a test machine. OP did not ask for unrestricted licenses.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM