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Cybersecurity Lab

Location and Hours

Location: Germantown Campus, High Technology and Science Center (HT), Room 230

Fall 2023 Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
Help for CMSC135 and CMSC253 Monday through Friday 12:00 PM-5:00 PM

Our Cybersecurity Lab provides significant virtual computing and networking capabilities on the Montgomery College Germantown campus.  

Montgomery College is a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD)new window by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. See full designation statement.

The lab is not only used for academic competitions and research activities, but also provides opportunities to IT industry professionals for teaching, learning, and professional growth. In addition to supporting traditional students, Montgomery College is now uniquely positioned to train cybersecurity professionals and meet workforce development challenges with a learn-by-doing approach to education.

The Cyber Lab can host 100-plus virtual servers, 250-plus virtual desktops, isolated networks, and wireless and forensic technologies. Our resources include NETLAB, Events, and Tutoring Resources. This space is also available for group meetings of up to 30 people. You'll find a collaborative work space/lab with technology to elicit team work, including NETLAB+ servers with preloaded software to host real lab equipment, virtual machines, and lab content for trainees to complete labs at any location. Funded by the College and a TAACCCT grant, the facility enables the College to become a center of excellence in the high-demand field of cybersecurity.

Manufacturing Innovation Blog - Commonly Misused Terms in Cybersecuritynew window



Our NETLAB virtual machine environment includes lab exercises for Security+, A+, Ethical Hacking, and Cisco CCNA.

NETLAB is free to use for Montgomery College students, faculty, and staff. 


There are open lab hours here in the Cybersecurity Center (HT 230), for self-study, collaboration, and Cybersecurity Club activities (by request). 

Our lab monitors are here to direct students to NETLAB or other resources and maintain the lab rules (no food, drink, or loud or disruptive talking). 

Tutoring is available for certain subjects in the MAPEL Centernew window (SA 202) on the Germantown Campus. 

Do not assume that this lab provides tutoring for your class. Ask your instructor for suggested resources for the class that you are taking.

Recommendations: Manage your time wisely. Do not wait until the last minute for your questions, please work on it yourself as soon as possible and save your questions.

Other resources are also available in the Digital Learning Centersnew window on the Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campuses. Other campus resources include virtual tutoringnew window, help from an MC librariannew window, or technical supportnew window with Blackboard or Collaborate. Counseling and advisingnew window are a click away. The Writing, Reading, and Language Center (Germantown) offers eTutoring (writing submissions) and real-time online tutoring. Make an accountnew window and make an appointmentnew window.

Password Cracking Exercises (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

More Links:

MC students can order vouchers online from the CompTIA storenew window and get an academic voucher at a discounted price. You can then use this voucher to sign up for your examination appointment.

  • You MUST use an e-mail address that ends in .edu when placing the order.
  • Limit 3 vouchers for every 6 months or 6 vouchers lifetime total.

The Cybersecurity Club hosts workshops to educate students about a wide range of topics within the field. We also compete in cyber competitions such as the National Cyber League.

Spring 2023: The club meets Wednesday-Friday, from 11:00am-1:00pm in HT 230.
Join the Club Discord servernew window
Email contact: 

The club officers:  
Anthony Avelar, President 
Afeef Khan, Vice President 
Danielle Denny, Secretary 
Xavier Gascon, Treasurer


Virtual Machine Instructions

  1. Pick an operating system that you want to run as a virtual machine. Some useful downloads are in the links below. (You can either install a Kali Linux VM for cybersecurity purposes or a Ubuntu machine for general Linux command line purposes. Note that Ubuntu may need 2048 MB of memory nowadays to run.)
  2. Instructions: Download VirtualBox ( or VMware Player (VMware Workstation 15.1.0) or, depending on the type of 'Prebuilt Kali Linux Image' of Kali downloaded.
  3. If you have a ISO file, Create a New Virtual Machine, and insert the ISO CD. If you have an existing Virtual Machine, Open the existing Virtual Machine. When prompted: "Are you moving/copying this from another place?" click Yes.

Pick an operating system:

Note: Try not to run too many graphically demanding virtual machines at once. It can slow your PC down. It uses your PC's memory/RAM resources. Only run what you need to get done. To obtain the IP address, you can type 'ipconfig' in the terminal on Linux machines, or in Windows you can go to Start > cmd  or  Command Prompt > type 'ipconfig'  or   Start > Type in 'ncpa.cpl' > and double click on the interface > Local Area Connection Status > Details... > IPv4 Address.

All Montgomery College faculty, staff, and students have access to LinkedIn Learningnew window.

LinkedIn Learning is an on-demand learning solution designed to help you build new skills and advance your career.

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MC: A Center of Academic Excellence in Computer Defense (CAE-CD)

On January 31, 2022 the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Montgomery College a "Center of Academic Excellence in Computer Defense (CAE-CD)". The award recognizes Montgomery College as superior in the creation of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals who can help strengthen the vulnerabilities in our national infrastructure. As cyberattacks increase in both quantity and lethality, and target individuals as well as entire organizations, the demand for well prepared cybersecurity professionals has never been so great.

The Montgomery College Cybersecurity Program went through an intensive assessment and it was determined that students receive high quality technical training that will help them become leaders in a variety of cybersecurity disciplines. It was acknowledged that program graduates obtain extensive knowledge on how to address the varied cybersecurity threats that our nation currently faces.

The CAE-CD designation is an important achievement for Montgomery College. It recognizes that students are being educated in a manner that is endorsed by two of the most prominent cybersecurity employers in the nation: NSA and DHS.

As a result of this designation, students will be able to enrich their cybersecurity degree program by participating in studies and academic collaborations with government entities as part of their school’s CAE-CD designation.