Metasploit is a vulnerability exploitation tool used by penetration testers and forensic investigators. It is a popular exploit framework to help identify vulnerabilities in networked systems, computer applications, and operating system kernels. In this blog post, we will discuss what Metasploit is and how to use it for hacking purposes.
What is Metasploit?
Metasploit Framework, better known as simply Metasploit, is a vulnerability exploitation tool used by penetration testers and forensic investigators. It is a popular exploit framework to help identify vulnerabilities in networked systems, computer applications, and operating system kernels. Metasploit is based on an open-source project called Rapid7 that develops tools for penetration testers. With Metasploit’s help, the user can find security vulnerabilities in remote machines. Moreover, it can also be used to perform several other tasks such as exploitation of vulnerabilities and privilege escalation. The tool does this by providing a set of exploitation modules through an easy-to-use interface. In addition to the core functionality, Metasploit provides a database of exploits and tools that can be used for penetration testing. This database is available to the user through a friendly web interface. The tool can be installed on most operating systems, including Linux, OS X, and Windows. It also has several support features such as a plugin framework, a community database of exploits, and a web interface for managing access rights. Metasploit’s components
Modules of Metasploit
Metasploit consists of many modules, each designed to take advantage of a specific security vulnerability. The user can choose the module that suits their purpose, or they can write their custom code in Java or Ruby. Each module performs a specific action when executed. Modules are divided into several categories like exploits, auxiliary modules, payloads, etc. These categories are listed below:
These enable you to find and exploit vulnerabilities in remote systems. By using this module you can discover local vulnerabilities in the target system and take control of it remotely. You can also use this module to modify your target’s environment so it compromises the remote system.
These are designed to integrate Metasploit with other security tools. They make the entire operating system more versatile and flexible. For example, a module called ‘Web Server’ is designed to help you manage a web server, as well as scan for vulnerabilities through the webserver.
In these modules, you can create custom code that can be used to transfer data from one host to another host. This is useful when you want to transfer data from one network interface card (NIC) on a target machine to another NIC of the same machine.
Metasploit uses basic programming languages like C++ and Java for its demonstration purpose. While using Metasploit the user has to write the exploit in any of its available languages, load it into Metasploit and run it. It is said that penetration testers prefer Ruby over Java due to its simplicity.
How does it work?
Metasploit is installed on the attacking machine. Here, the attacker uses Metasploit to scan for vulnerabilities in remote systems. When a vulnerable system is found, an exploit is written for that vulnerability and deployed against the target system. The exploits act as Trojan horses; they have deployed accidentally when the user clicks on a malicious link or opens an email attachment that contains malicious content. The exploits then function as a backdoor to the remote system. This allows the remote system to be accessed by the attacker.
Metasploit has several exploits that allow access to a remote system. These exploits first identify a vulnerable part of a target’s operating system and then send it back with malicious code. This code is used to break into the target machine and allows the attacker to hijack control over it remotely. Once this is done, and exploit takes advantage of some problem within the system and uses it to gain the required access rights.
For example, assume there is a computer connected through the Internet with IP address 192.168.1.10 and there is another computer on the Internet with IP address 192.168.1.11. In this example, a Web server running on IP address 192.168.1.11 has a vulnerability that allows the attacker to take control over the server remotely. This exploit is written in Ruby and deployed by Metasploit to take control over the system running on the Web server. From here on, an exploit can be run against any of Metasploit’s payloads, which are written in different languages like C++, Python, etc. These payloads can be used to download and execute any other module or exploit with ease.
Editions of Metasploit
The tool has two editions: Community and Enterprise. The Community edition is available free of charge, unlike the Enterprise version which has additional features such as additional post-exploitation modules and private exploit modules for customers using the enterprise subscription model. Metasploit is commonly used in penetration testing to find security vulnerabilities in networked systems, computer applications, and operating system kernels. The tool can also be used to perform other tasks such as exploitation of vulnerabilities and privilege escalation. The tool does this by providing a set of exploitation modules through an easy-to-use interface. This allows penetration testers to focus on exploitation rather than needing to deal with complicated configuration options that are required for the exploitation of actual vulnerabilities.
Uses of Metasploit
Thus Metasploit can be considered as a command-line-based framework for exploiting software faults flaws in the system/network/OS/application etc. It is used mainly by ethical hackers, hackers, crackers, etc. As Metasploit is freely distributed without charge, it is also used by less experienced users. As a result, Metasploit has been the recipient of numerous security advisories. According to several organizations, Metasploit is one of the most severe security vulnerabilities on the Internet. Several organizations have issued recommendations to disable or remove all instances of Metasploit on systems managed by them. According to the Finnish computer emergency response team CERT-FI, “Metasploit is a serious concern for our clients. A Metasploit attack on your organization could be very costly – besides being illegal, it’s even illegal in many places.