History of Metasploit Tool
Created under the Metasploit Project, it was originally developed in 2003 by HD Moore as a Perl-based portable networking tool. Metasploit has been a most loved device among IT and security experts beginning around 2003. Initially written in Perl in 2003 by HD Moore, Metasploit was changed in Ruby in 2007. The it Venture was gained by Rapid7 in 2009.
Since then, Rapid7 has developed a commercial edition of it– it Pro. Metasploit Pro allows users full automation of penetration testing, along with other advanced features, including:
- manual exploitation
- Antivirus and IPS/IDS Evasion
- proxy pivot
- Post Scan Modules
- session cleanup
- Credential Reuse
- Social engineering
- payload generator
- pivoting VPN
- Vulnerability validation
- Web application testing.
This framework has become the ideal development and mitigation tool to exploit. Before Metasploit, pencil testers had to perform all probes manually using a variety of tools that may or may not have supported the platform they were testing, writing their own code by hand, and pushing it into networks manually. Remote testing was virtually unheard of and that limited a security specialist’s reach to the local area and companies spending a fortune on internal IT or security consultants.
Who uses Metasploit?
Due to its wide range of applications and open source availability, Metasploit is used by everyone from the evolving field of DevSecOps professionals to hackers. It is useful for anyone who needs a reliable and easy-to-install tool that will get the job done regardless of platform or language being used. The software is popular with hackers and widely available, reinforcing the need for security professionals to become familiar with the framework even if they don’t use it.
Metasploit now includes over 1,677 exploits organized across 25 platforms, including Android, PHP, Python, Java, Cisco, and more. The frame also carries nearly 500 payloads, some of which include:
- Command shell payloads that allow users to run random scripts or commands on a host.
- Dynamics that allow testers to generate unique payloads to evade antivirus software.
- Meterpreter payloads that allow users to control device monitors via VMC and take over sessions or upload and download files.
- Static that allow port forwarding and inter-network communications.
How does it work?
The architecture of the Metasploit Framework consists of the following parts:
Interfaces are the different platforms through which users can access the Metasploit Framework.
There are four interfaces available:
- MSFConsole (Metasploit Framework Console) – The most widely used Metasploit interface, the Metasploit Console allows users to access the Metasploit Framework through an interactive command line interface.
- MSFWeb – A browser-based interface that allows users to access the Metasploit framework.
- Armitage – Developed by Raphael Mudge in 2013, Armitage is a Java-based graphical user interface that allows security teams to collaborate by sharing their access to compromised hosts.
- RPC (Remote Procedure Call): Allows users to programmatically drive the Metasploit Framework using HTTP-based Remote Procedure Call (RPC) services. In addition to Metasploit’s native Ruby, RPC services can operate through other languages, such as Java, Python, and C.
The libraries contain the different functions of the Metasploit Framework that allow users to run exploits without writing additional code.
There are three Metasploit libraries:
- REX: enables the most basic tasks; contains Base64, HTTP, SMB, SSL and Unicode.
- MSF Core – Provides a common API and defines the Metasploit Framework.
- MSF Base – Provides an easy-to-use API.
The Metasploit Framework uses software called modules that are used to perform tasks such as scanning and exploiting targets.
There are five main types of Metasploit modules, classified according to the tasks they perform:
- Payloads – Payloads are shellcodes that perform user-intended actions once an exploit has compromised a targeted system. They can be used to open Meterpreters or shell commands. Meterpreters are sophisticated payloads that are used during a cyberattack to execute code and perform further exploratory tasks.
- Exploits – Execute scripts to exploit system or application weaknesses and gain access to target systems.
- Posts (Post-Exploitation Modules) – Posts allow users to perform deeper information gathering and further infiltrate a targeted system post-exploitation. For example, publications can be used to perform service enumeration.
- Encoders – Encoders hide payloads in transit to ensure they are properly delivered to the target system and avoid detection by antivirus software, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS).
- NOP (No Operation): NOP generators create random sequences of bytes to bypass intrusion detection and prevention systems.
- Helpers: Helper modules include vulnerability scanning, port scanning, fuzzers, sniffers, and other exploitation tools.
Tools and plugins
Tools and Plugins are add-ons to the Metasploit framework that extend its functionality. For example, the pattern_create tool is often used during exploit development to form non-repeating string patterns; The pentest plugin helps to perform common tasks performed during penetration testing.