Top 10 Vulnerable Operating Systems

Vulnerable Operating Systems

In the world of cybersecurity, hands-on experience is crucial for mastering the art of protecting systems. Virtual Machines (VMs) provide a safe environment for enthusiasts to practice penetration testing and explore various hacking techniques. In this article, we’ll delve into the top 10 Vulnerable Operating Systems designed for pen-testing and security training.



Metasploitable is a Linux virtual machine designed for security training and penetration testing. It allows users to practice on both Linux and Windows environments, with variants like Metasploitable 2 and Metasploitable 3. The platform comes preloaded with vulnerabilities like DVWA, WebDAV, TWiki, and phpMyAdmin. 

2.Damn Vulnerable Web Application:

Damn Vulnerable Web Application

   DVWA, a PHP-based software running on MySQL, is intentionally vulnerable. It’s a valuable resource for security professionals and web developers to test and understand web application security. DVWA includes vulnerabilities like CSRF, SQL injection, XSS, and file injection, providing a legal environment for skill enhancement.



Badstore, released in 2004, is built for understanding how hackers exploit web application vulnerabilities. Running on VMware Workstation, it includes vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, clickjacking, XSS, and password hash decoding. Badstore provides a realistic environment to practice and enhance cybersecurity skills.

4.Web Security Dojo:

Web Security Dojo

Web Security Dojo is a VM offering hands-on practice for web application security testing. Ideal for bug bounty programs, capture the flag (CTF) challenges, and ethical hacking, it features commonly used cybersecurity tools and industry guidelines. Web Security Dojo facilitates learning about web application vulnerabilities without requiring an internet connection.

5.Mutillidae 2:

Mutillidae 2

 Developed by OWASP, Mutillidae 2 is a free and open-source vulnerable web application. Loaded with over 40 vulnerabilities, it covers issues like HTML injection, clickjacking, SQL injection, XSS, and more. Mutillidae 2 is frequently updated, making it a valuable resource for web-security enthusiasts and those undergoing cybersecurity training.



Webgoat provides a de-facto interactive teaching environment for web application security. Designed for security professionals, it allows testing vulnerabilities commonly found in Java-based applications. Webgoat is an excellent platform to ensure that security tools function effectively in a real-world scenario.

7.Security Sheperd:

Security Sheperd

Security Shepherd, an OWASP product, is dedicated to security training for web and mobile applications. Used by both AppSec rookies and experienced engineers, it facilitates penetration testing and skill development. With a wide topic coverage, real-world examples, and scalability, Security Shepherd is an invaluable teaching tool for application security.

8.Buggy Web App:

Buggy Web App

bWAPP, a PHP-based software running on MySQL, is deliberately vulnerable, featuring 100 web vulnerabilities. It serves as a free and open-source platform for enthusiasts, students, and developers to learn about preventing web vulnerabilities. As an OWASP project, bWAPP offers a comprehensive learning experience.

9.Damn Vulnerable Node Application:

Damn Vulnerable Node Application

DVNA, a node.js web application, provides a legal environment for security professionals to test their tools and skills. With varying difficulty levels and a simple interface, DVNA offers documented and undocumented vulnerabilities. It often serves as a cyber range for capture the flag events.

10.Juice Shop:

Juice Shop

  Juice Shop is a sophisticated and modern insecure web application written in Node.js, Angular, JavaScript, and Express. A flagship project by OWASP, it is utilized by pentesting proxies and security scanners to test their tools. Juice Shop offers hacking challenges with a scoreboard to rank users based on their progress.

These virtual machines provide a legal and controlled environment for learning and testing cybersecurity skills. However, it’s essential to be aware and informed about the specific virtual machine you are using to ensure ethical and responsible use.

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