Metasploit in penetration testing
22
Aug

What is Metasploit and how is it used in penetration testing?

Metasploit is a popular penetration testing tool because it makes hacking easier than it would otherwise have been. The Metasploit Framework has a suite of extensively used tools that offer a broad platform for pen-testing and exploit development.

Learn how to install Metasploit or even create your own ethical hacking tools by joining the EC-Council’s community of Licensed Penetration Testers (LPT) today. LPT Certification is what differentiates the expert pen-testers from the learners. So, unless you are nothing short of a professional penetration tester, do not attempt the LPT practical exam.

Do hackers use Metasploit?

Hackers who conduct their penetration testing under legal terms can use Metasploit. Metasploit is fundamentally a white-hat hacking tool which can be used for vulnerability assessment and for defending an organization’s network. Although, this hasn’t stopped hackers from using it for their own ulterior motives.

This is not surprising because Metasploit is a powerful technology for both white and black hat hackers to exploit the Ports and IP Addresses in it.

What is the purpose of Metasploit?

Metasploit is a computer security tool that offers information about software vulnerabilities, IDS signature development, and improves penetration testing. This tool can be used to execute and develop exploit code against a remote target device. Since Metasploit is an open-source platform, hackers can simply customize it and apply it with other OS.

By using Metasploit frameworks, your team of Licenced Penetration Testers can utilize ready-made or custom code and present it into the enterprise’s network to explore all the vulnerable spots. Another added benefit of Metasploit during threat hunting is that once vulnerabilities are recognized and documented, the information obtained can be applied to resolve systemic flaws and prioritize solutions.

History of Metasploit

In 2003, H. D. Moore created Metasploit as a portable network framework using Perl. The Metasploit Framework was later rewritten in Ruby by 2007. Two years later, Rapid7 purchased the Metasploit Project. Since then, the project has grown intensely from its initial 11 exploits to include over 1,500 exploits and with more payload options.

Before Metasploit was created, penetration testers typically executed probes through physical penetration testing (that is, manually). They employed a range of tools that could not be guaranteed that they would support the platform they were assessing. Pen-testers also had to write their own codes themselves and manually introduce them into the network.

Furthermore, remote testing possibilities were introduced through Metasploit. Before then, organizations spent a small fortune on inhouse security professionals. Despite intense competitions from Core Impact and Canvas, Metasploit remains one of the most popular vulnerability assessment frameworks and the de facto for exploit development. Likewise, it has become a norm for zero-day reports to add a Metasploit module as evidence of concept.

What port does Metasploit use?

By default, Metasploit uses port 3790 to run its features. Once you’ve installed Metasploit, you can use it to access information about the target either by using OS fingerprinting, port scanning, and applying a vulnerability scanner to look for loopholes into the network.

What is Metasploit written in?

Metasploit is a Ruby-based open-source, modular penetration testing program, made up of a suite of tools that helps you test your network security vulnerabilities, simulate attacks, and escape detections.

Metasploit Modules

A Metasploit module is a software that is capable of executing a precise action, like exploiting or scanning. All the task that you can execute with a Metasploit Framework is covered within its module. As such, Metasploit modules are the core features of this framework.

There are different types of modules and each module type depends on the type of action the module performs and the purpose for the module. Metasploit allows you to either load modules at runtime or after msfconsole has been initiated. Metasploit affords you the following modules

Exploit

An exploit module is a tool applied to take advantage of system vulnerability to create access to the target system. This module performs a series of commands that target a particular weakness detected in an application or system.

Examples of an exploit module include web application exploits (such as WordPress exploit), code injection, or buffer overflow.

Payloads

These are sets of malicious codes that run after an exploit has effectively infiltrated a system. this module includes a set of instructions that should be performed by the target system after it is compromised. Payloads allow you to control the way you would like to connect to the shell and craft your motive for the target system after you might have obtained control of the system.

The payload comes with diverse features, ranging from a few lines of code to small applications. It can open a command shell or Meterpreter. A Meterpreter is an innovative payload that permits you to write DLL files that strategically generate new structures as you need them.

Post-Exploitation code

This module helps you to test deeper penetration. It allows you to gain further access and collect more information about an exploited target system. Examples of this module are application and service enumerators, and hash dumps.

Auxiliary functions

These are supplementary tools and commands that do not require a payload to run. Auxiliary modules can be applied to execute random functions that may not necessarily be linked with exploitation. Examples of axillary modules are DoS (denial of service attacks), SQL injection tools, sniffers, fuzzers, and scanners.

Encoders

These are tools used to convert codes or information. The encoding of shellcode is crucial for exploitation. Encoders are sensing devices that offer feedbacks that can be used to determine digital signals.

Listeners

Listeners are malicious software that conceals themselves to gain access to a system. They are particular handlers in the Metasploit Framework that can relate to the sessions produced by payloads.

A listener can actively sit listening for incoming connection or it can be implanted in a bind shell and sit waiting for a connection on the testers system. A bind shell is a type of shell that sits inactive and listens for an attacker to make connections or send instructions.

NOPs

NOP is short for No Operation and it is the instruction that keeps the payload from crashing. A NOP generates a series of arbitrary bytes that can be applied to bypass standard IDS/IPS NOP sled signatures.

Is Metasploit still relevant?

Metasploit originally began as a suite of exploits, which afforded users the capacity to re-use great chunks of code across diverse exploits. Nevertheless, its present feature offers wide-ranging capabilities for the development and development of reconnaissance, exploitation, payload encoders, post-exploitation, and other security purposes.

Metasploit allows you to work creatively with identified weaknesses by providing you with the right tools. You can use Metasploit to exploit the vulnerabilities in your organization’s network and increase your network’s security by taking advantage of the identified weaknesses to gain entry and fix those issues.

Moreover, Metasploit Framework is an outstanding learning platform for individuals who wish to comprehend the “realm” of overflows and create new methods through dealings with real-world vulnerabilities, rather than running with preconceived scenarios with preconceived explanations.

Is Metasploit illegal?

Metasploit in itself is not illegal. What makes it illegal is what it is used for. However, when you try to gain unauthorized access to information that isn’t yours, it then becomes an illegal activity, punishable by law.

If you use Metasploit to hack your own system, it is completely legal because the only authorization you need is your own consent. This could also be a grey area in some situations. Let’s assume you try to jailbreak an iPhone that you own. Although it’s ethical hacking, and it’s not strictly illegal.

However, Apple doesn’t authorize root access to their files. They may thwart your access by revoking your warranty. They even offer a certain amount of money for penetration testers that can present vulnerabilities detected in Apple software through their program.

The best way to avoid controversy and risks when using Metasploit is to read in-depth legal guides about Metasploit. Also, ensure you always obtain written authorization from the target network users before commencing any sort of hacking.

You can also take a penetration testing course online to learn more about compliance issues guiding penetration testing. Sign-up now for our Licensed Penetration Tester Certification Program

About EC-Council’s LPT (Master): Licensed Penetration Tester Certification

The LPT (Master) certification program is the climax to EC-Council’s entire penetration testing training online. Beginning from the Certified Ethical Hacker Program (CEH) to the EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) Program, LPT simulates a physical penetration test, accompanied by an additional report to the client.

The LPT exam is an 18-hour long, rigorous exam. The exam is hands-on only with no prior course or written exam preceding the hands-on exam. The LPT exam requires you to prove your mastery in conducting a full Blackbox penetration test of a network provided to you by the EC-Council. There’s no time to waste, as you’ll be facing a ticking clock! For more information about the world’s most advanced Penetration Testing program, click here!

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