How does Meterpreter work

Hacker check: How to test your PC with Metasploit

Arne Arnold

Test your computer and mobile device for security vulnerabilities with exactly the hacking tools that professionals use. We show how this works and how you can better protect your hardware afterwards.

EnlargeWe introduce you to the frameworks that hackers use for attacks.
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Professional hackers use sophisticated attack tools to break into computer systems. We will show you how you can use these tools against your own devices and thus uncover the weak points in your network. If you then close this, you will be much better protected against attacks by professional hackers in the future.

Penetration tests using frameworks: three providers of attack tools

In most cases, professional hackers use special frameworks for their attacks on networks and computers. These gather all the tools required for as many different attacks as possible under one surface. The so-called exploits are also part of the framework. These are programs or at least parts of code that can exploit newly discovered security gaps in software.

There are three major frameworks in the digital security industry. On the one hand, there are the purely commercial frameworks of Immunity and Core Security as well as the Metasploit system. The latter started in 2003 as an open source project with just eleven exploit codes. Over the years, the number of existing exploits in Metasploit has increased to around 1,500, particularly due to the voluntary work of security researchers.

For some years now, Rapid 7 has also been selling Metasploit in a commercial version. The still available, free open source version is also available from Rapid 7 or from Github.

Even the BSI recommends penetration tests

When it comes to attacks using special hacking systems, most people think of criminals who want to illegally gain access to computer systems. In fact, frameworks like Metasploit are used completely legitimately and legally. And always when either the administrator of a network carries out these attacks for test purposes on his own system or a security company attacks the company networks on behalf of a company.

If you operate a network with PC, NAS and mobile devices yourself at home, you are your own administrator. Accordingly, you can also legally attack your own IT with Metasploit in order to uncover weak points in the devices.

See also:Security for USB sticks: you need to know that

Even the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) recommends such test attacks (penetration tests) and has published instructions on how to do this. In it, the BSI describes the following five steps as the ideal procedure for pentests:

1. Obtaining information: Which IP addresses can the destination be reached via?

2. Scan of the target system: Which services / programs can the attacker address (port scan)?

3: System and application detection: Analysis of the services offered by the system, such as the FTP server, with the aim of finding out or guessing the exact program version.

4. Research for vulnerabilities: After it is known which programs and systems can be reached, security gaps in these programs can be searched for.

5. Exploitation of weak points: In the last step, the actual attack takes place, which in the worst case results in complete access to the target system.

You can find the full recommendation of the BSI here. Other recommendations list further steps and above all mention the times at which the penetration tester consults with the target company, i.e. his client. Because only in rare cases does a blind test take place in which the IT managers of the target system do not know that they are being attacked by pentesters. Much more often, they are at least informed about the time of the attack. At least there was a thorough exchange of contact details (telephone numbers, email addresses) on both sides. This is necessary so that in an emergency, for example when systems fail, you can exchange ideas about the reasons.

If you attack your own systems yourself, the five steps above still apply. Because you also need to know which IP address your devices can be reached via, and very likely you will not know by heart which FTP server is running on your NAS.

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EnlargeIf you want to know how many attack codes, such as exploits, auxiliaries and payloads, are in your Metasploit installation, the banner command can help.

How to get the Metasploit hacking system

You need the Metasploit framework so that you can start testing your systems. The download of the free version of Metasploit via the project page on Github works reliably.

EnlargeVia the website it is possible to find out the associated IP address for a web address.

How to install the hacking system on a test computer

Computer: To attack your own IT, you should use a test computer. Ideally, this has its own connection to the Internet. Because the test is supposed to check whether you can be attacked from the Internet. If the test computer has WiFi, you can set up your own internet connection, for example via your smartphone. The prerequisite is that your mobile network provider supports tethering. These detailed step-by-step instructions explain how to establish this connection.

Linux: Metasploit is available as a 32-bit and a 64-bit version for Linux on the website Anyone who is familiar with Linux can use the Kali-Linux distribution. It is a Linux version optimized for pentests. It already contains the complete Metasploit Framework. This has the advantage that all the dependencies of the metasploit packages are already met. A point that should not be underestimated. To use Metasploit under Kali, first start the two init scripts:

Then start the Metasploit console using the command

Windows 10: