The Metasploit Framework

When HD Moore released Metasploit in 2001, it completely changed the computer security industry for better and forever. Everyone now, could use the available exploits, load a payload, and run on the target machine, and bingo! Access Granted.

The Metasploit Framework is an open-source tool, which provides a framework for security researchers, with the most common purpose to be able write their own exploits and use already existing exploits released by other security researchers. It is based on the theory of point, click and root.

Metasploit also comes with a forensic toolkit to beat the forensic analysts. The tools are collectively categorized inside MAFIA or Metasploit Anti Forensic Investigation Arsenal. It consists of tools such as Timestomp, Slacker, Sam Juicer and Transmogrify.

Metasploit comes in five different interfaces which are :






MSF Architecture

The Metasploit Framework consists following components : Tools, Plugins, Library, Interfaces, Plugins and Modules.

The Library consists of three components namely Rex, MSF Core and MSF Base. Rex : Rex stands for the Ruby Extension Library, which is the basic library for most of the tasks.

MSF Core :  MSF Core provides the most basic APIs needed in the Metasploit Framework.

MSF Base : It provides the simplified APIs to be used in the framework.

Before going into the exploitation we could perform using Metasploit, let us understand some important terms.

Vulnerability : Vulnerability is a weakness or a security hole existing in a system, which allows a user to reduce a system information’s privacy or cause unintended behavior.

Exploit  : Exploit is the usage of a vulnerability in order to cause unanticipated behavior on target system.

Payload : The actual code which runs on the target system in the exploitation process. Once the exploit is complete, the payload executes, in order to perform the action intended by the attacker, such as giving a meterpreter shell, adding a new user account etc.

Encoding : Encoding is a mechanism to obfuscate the payload so that it won’t be catched by the target system IDS signatures or Anti-viruses.

Jobs : The running tasks in the Metasploit framework

Post-Exploitation : Steps carried out once we’ve got access to the target system such as Escalating our priviliges, installing backdoors, etc.

Auxiliary Modules : To provide enhanced functionality to the penetration tester by allowing them to fingerprint and perform Vulnerability Assessment.      

Metasploit was originally used to developed custom exploits. In this chapter, we will be going through both of the portions : how to use available exploits , and how to write our own exploits.  We will also be looking at the various encoding methodologies in order to bypass the AntiViruses and IDSes.

The student is assumed to possess basic knowledge of how to download and install the Metasploit framework on his system, be it Windows, *nix or Mac.


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