Laboratory Exercise: Cyber Basics – Introduction to Password Auditing

This introductory lab has students conducting a password audit using John the Ripper, a free open source password cracking software tool, on a Linux computer.

Faculty Instructions

Resources required

This exercise requires a VirtualBox Kali Linux Virtual Machine running on a computer (laptop) or a Kali Linux VM running in the Virginia Cyber Range.

If you are using the Virginia Cyber Range Kali Linux VM, this lab exercise requires an account on The Range.  To sign up for an account on The Range, please visit our Sign-Up page.  Your students will also require an account on the Virginia Cyber Range; this will be explained in the setup of your course.

Virtual Environment: This exercise uses a single Kali Linux virtual machine. This exercise can also use the full four VM environment used for the Cyber Basics – Reconnaissance and Network Scanning Lab.

Cyber Basics – Introduction to Password Auditing Handout

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* NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework KSAs Addressed
  • K0119: Knowledge of hacking methodologies in Windows or Unix/Linux environment.
  • K0129: Knowledge of Unix command line (e.g., mkdir, mv, ls, passwd, grep).
  • K0158: Knowledge of organizational information technology (IT) user security policies (e.g., account creation, password rules, access control).
  • S0067: Skill in identifying, modifying, and manipulating applicable system components within Windows, Unix, or Linux (e.g., passwords, user accounts, files).
* NSA/DHS Center of Excellence (CAE) KUs Addressed
  • Cyber Threats
  • System Administration
  • Operating Systems Hardening

* Most courseware content maps to NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) and/or NSA/DHS CAE Knowledge Units (KUs). For more information on KSAs and KUs, please visit:

KSAs: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-181.pdf

KUs: https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_Knowledge_Units.pdf