Laforge - Security Competition Infrastructure Automation Framework

Laforge enables rapid development of infrastructure for the purpose of information security competitions. Using a simple and intuitive configuration language, Laforge manages a dependency graph and state management and allows for highly productive remote collaboration. The Laforge engine uses a custom loader to do multi-dimensional, non-destructive configuration overlay. A good analogy to this is Docker - when you build a Docker container, it builds it up layers at a time. It's this power that has inspired us to build Laforge. It's certainly a niche` project, but we certainly have found an incredible use for it.

  • Cross platform
  • Portable - installs as a stand alone native executable.
  • Use what you enjoy - Bring Your Own Scripting Language (Y)
  • Fast.
  • Build once, clone to n number of teams (security competitions paradigm)
  • Collaborative - makes working in distributed groups very efficient


What is Laforge?
Laforge is a framework that lets you design and implement security competitions in a scalable, collaborative, and fun way! You write configurations in Laforge Config Language and use the CLI tool to inspect, validate, build, and connect to remote infrastructure with. Historically, it's primarily supported Terraform as it's "backend" (generates sophisticated terraform configurations), but this will be changing rapidly over the coming weeks and months. Laforge currently powers all of the infrastructure management for the National Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition and has supported game deployments of >1400 unique nodes.

Why was it created?
Three reasons:
  • Security professionals aren't the most well versed with operations/infrastructure/devops tools. They have a steeper than most learning curve, especially when asking volunteers to try and figure it out in their off work time. To make it easier for people, we wanted to make a tool that basically did the hard part for them.
  • As we dug in, we noticed that the commonly used automation frameworks available had a number of painpoints when it came to building security competition infrastructure. There are things that have to occur in security competitions that aren't supported in the real world:
    • wide compatibility with lots of operating systems and software
    • Mass "clone" ability - snapshot a game infra and clone it 10-20x - one for each team.
    • Flexibility to deploy the same stacks to a wide set of possible infrastructure - VMWare, AWS, GCP, etc.
  • Because competitions deserve it! We work with some of the most passionate people on these projects and anything that can make our shared experience better is a win win in our book.

Why not current DevOps tools?
No need to go into a flame war over this tool or that. We frankly like them. Our biggest complaint across the board is that given how fragmented they are, it's hard to ever be really good at any one of them. We enjoy Terraform and it's been our primary backend since the beginning.

How does it scale?
We have used the various iterations of LaForge to generate competition environments with hundreds of total hosts for almost 30 teams. In short, it can scale as large as your imagination (and budget / resources) allows. Furthermore, we have used this tool across a team of over 15 volunteer developers each working on their own components and have used that feedback in the most recent versions.

What about performance?
Depending on the complexity of your environment, building LaForge output may take seconds or minutes. In the end you will spend more time spinning up systems in the environment of your choice with Terraform or Vagrant than you will generating the relevant configurations for either of them.

Is it production-ready?
If by production, you mean developing live competition environments, LaForge has been used for over three years in a "production" capacity. If you mean live systems at your company or organization, it will probably work well, but use at your own risk.

$ go get

Quick Start
laforge configure
laforge init
laforge example <model>

Object Models
  • Network
  • Script
  • Environment
  • AMI
  • DNS Record
  • Identity
  • Command
  • Remote File
  • Host

  • Replace YAML
    • Language Definition
    • Configuration Semantics
    • Parser & Lexer
    • Dependency Chaining & Mgmt
    • Loader
    • Graph Relationships
    • Object Definitions
  • Replace CLI
    • build subcommand
    • configure subcommand
    • deps subcommand
    • download subcommand
    • dump subcommand
    • env subcommand
    • example subcommand
    • explorer subcommand
    • init subcommand
    • query subcommand
    • serve subcommand
    • shell subcommand
    • status subcommand
    • upload subcommand
  • Replace Rendering Engine
    • Builder interface designed
    • New BuildEngine done
    • BuildIssue error type
    • validations package
    • null builder implementation (spec as of now)
    • Template engine WIP
  • Backends
    • Terraform
    • Vagrant
    • Native (pure scripts & laforge)
    • AWS-SDK
    • Docker
  • Bugs
    • It's literally an alpha preview, there definitely are some.
  • Enhancements
  • Performance
    • Explore more concurrency pipelines in the loader and builder
  • UI/UX Improvements
    • More documentation +++
    • More examples ++
    • Laforge Web UI
  • Moonshots
    • Laforge Server & Gateway
    • Cnditional Logic in Syntax
    • Remote Includes

Hall of Fame
mentors, contributors, and great friends of Laforge
  • @1njecti0n
  • @emperorcow
  • @vyrus001
  • @bstax
  • @cmbits
  • @tomk
  • @brianc
  • @rossja
  • @kos
  • @dcam
  • @davehughes
  • @mbm
  • @maus
  • @javuto

  • National CPTC and the CPTC Advisory Board who's been so patient with me as I worked through this.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology For giving us a place to expiriment and advance both the technology as well as the workforce of our industry.

Laforge - Security Competition Infrastructure Automation Framework Laforge - Security Competition Infrastructure Automation Framework Reviewed by Zion3R on 6:02 PM Rating: 5