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Enumerate Installed Programs on Windows

Hello aspiring hackers. In this howto, we will see how to enumerate installed programs a Windows system after compromise.  This is a POST exploit in Metasploit which means this exploit is only available when we get a meterpreter session on the target system. Once a Windows system is hacked, privilege escalation is the next step. One of the ways to escalate privileges in a Windows system would be to find vulnerabilities in the programs installed in our target Windows system. We can do this manually but Metasploit has a post module to do exactly this. Let us see how to use it.

Send the current meterpreter session to background and load the enum_applications module as shown below. Just like any other POST module, it needs only one option, the session id of the meterpreter session we just sent to background.

Set the session Id and execute the module as shown below.

As you can see, the module successfully gave us the programs installed on our victim’s system. Now we can search for any vulnerabilities in those programs which we could be used in privilege escalation.  That is how we enumerate Installed programs in Windows. 

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Vulnerability Assessment by hackers : Part 2

Vulnerability Assessment is the process of evaluating the weakness of a system or network. It identifies the vulnerabilities in a system or network and helps black hats to devise exploits to get access to a target system or network. We developed this Vulnerability assessment by hackers article to give readers an idea as to how hackers perform vulnerability assessment.  For example, imagine I am a black hat who performed a Nmap scan on the target (in this case, Metasploitable). The target has displayed so many banners of the services running.

Continue reading Vulnerability Assessment by hackers : Part 2

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SMTP enumeration with Kali Linux

Enumeration is the process of collecting information about user names, network resources, other machine names, shares and services running on the network. Although a little bit boring, it can play a major role in the success of the pentest. In the previous howto, we saw how to perform SMB enumeration and got some usernames on our target. So we don’t need to perform SMTP enumeration. But we may not be so lucky that SMB enumeration will be successful on every network. For networks like these, we may need to enumerate other services like SMTP.

First let me give you a basic introduction of SMTP. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. As the name implies, it is used to send email. It uses port 25 by default. If you ever sent an email, you have definitely used SMTP. SMTP servers talk with other SMTP servers to deliver the email to the intended recipient. Luckily this all happens behind the scenes and we don’t have to break our heads to understand this. But there are some things we have to understand about SMTP that will help us in enumeration.

As the term “simple” implies, SMTP server can only understand simple text commands. Sender of the mail communicates with a mail receiver by issuing these command strings and supplying necessary data. Some of the important commands are

1. HELO – sent by a client to introduce itself.

2. EHLO – another way of client introducing itself to server

3. HELP – used to see all commands.

4. RCPT – to identify message recipients.

5. DATA – sent by a client to initiate data transfer.

6. VRFY – verify if the mailbox exists.

7. QUIT – to end the session.

SMTP enumeration can be performed in many ways. The easiest way to do this is by connecting to the SMTP service port of the target with telnet (we have seen this in scanning and banner grabbing).

As you can see, we got successfully connected. From here, we can verify manually if each user exists or not. If you remember the article on SMB enumeration, we already have some usernames available. Lets use the VRFY command to check if users “user”, “msfadmin” and “root” exist in this system.

Yes, they exist. Similarly, let us test if user kalyan exists. As you can see in the above image, the user kalyan doesn’t exist. Nmap also has a script to perform SMTP enumeration. We can use the script as shown below.

By default, Nmap uses RCPT method to check if a particular user exists. Unfortunately for me, it gave unhandled status code here. This Nmap script can be modified to use different methods. Here I changed it to use VRFY method to enumerate users. I have only scanned port 25 to remove the clutter. But still it gave me the same error.

There is another tool in the arsenal of Kali Linux which is built specifically for SMTP enumeration. Its called smtp-user-enum. Here let us test if a user called “root” exists on the target system as shown below.

Since user “root” exists, I’m assuming other users like “msfadmin” and “user” also exist. While performing SMB enumeration, we created a wordlist which can be users on the target system. Now let’s enumerate if all the users in that wordlist exist. It can be done as shown below.

All the users we got during SMB enumeration exist. That’s good. In this case, we already have the wordlist of usernames (we got during SMB enumeratin). What if we don’t have the exact wordlist. We can use different wordlists present in Kali Linux. These wordlists are present in /usr/share/dirb directory.

What We Achieved?

We got some usernames which may be useful to us while exploiting the system in future. All these usernames have a recipient email address to them.

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Windows Post exploitation recon with Metasploit

Hello aspiring hackers. Till now we have seen various ways of hacking windows, escalating privileges and creating a persistent backdoor for later access. After we have successfully created a backdoor, it’s time to perform further reconnaissance. Windows post exploitation recon helps us in gathering further info about our target network. This can be helpful to us in finding more vulnerable systems to hack and pivot.

If you have observed carefully while starting Metasploit, it has number of modules specified as “post”. Some of these are useful in recon. For us to do post recon we need to first hack the system and get metertpreter session on it. Now let us see how to perform this recon with Metasploit.

The first module useful in reconnaissance in the arp scanner. Arp scanner helps us to identify any hidden devices in the network. Hidden devices are those devices which don’t respond to normal requests like ping etc. For example, some firewalls intentionally don’t respond to ping requests. ARP scanning can detect these devices.

The checkvm module helps us to find out if the machine we hacked is a virtual machine, which in this case is true.

The dumplinks module will parse .lnk files from a user’s Recent Documents folder and Microsoft Office’s Recent Documents folder, if present. Windows creates these link files automatically for many common file types. The .lnk files contain time stamps, file locations, including share names, volume serial numbers, and more.

In some cases, we need to know what are the applications installed in the system we hacked. For example, in a case where we cannot escalate privileges and maybe a vulnerable program installed in the target can help us in privilege escalation. The enum_applications module exactly does that.

We can see in this specific case, there are only two programs installed.

The enum_logged_on_users module helps us in finding out the users logged in.  This may help us in knowing the usernames of the system.

In our case, we go to know the username as “admin”.

The enum_shares module will list the shares of both configured and recently used shares on the compromised system. My target doesn’t have any shares.

The enum_snmp module will enumerate the SNMP service on the target, if installed. It will also enumerate its community strings.

In our case, there’s no SNMP service installed.

The hashdump module does exactly what it says. It dumps the password hashes from the target system as shown below. May I remind you that meterpreter already has this hashdump function.

The usb_history module retrieves the history of usb devices connected to the target system. In my case, no USB devices were connected to the target.

The most interesting of all these is the lester script. The lester script suggests local exploits for the target system. This script automatically searches and lists exploits for the targeted system. Now you may question why do we need exploits for the system we already hacked. Well maybe to escalate privileges or find an exploit which gives us more power on the system.

That’s all for today folks. I will be back soon.

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WordPress User enumeration with Metasploit

Good morning friends. Not all vulnerabilities are unauthenticated, sometimes we require credentials to exploit a vulnerability like the WordPress ajax loadmore Php upload exploit we saw in one of  previous howtos. But how do we get these credentials. Metasploit has an auxiliary module for WordPress user enumeration. Let’s see how this exploit works.

Start Metasploit and load the wordpress user enumeration exploit as shown below. Type command “show options” to see the options we can specify. We can see a variety of options. All the options are self explanatory but let us see some of the options.

The “BLANK_PASSWORDS” option if set will check if any of the users are without any password. The “VERBOSE”option will display more clearly what the module is doing. The “USERNAME” and “PASSWORD” option will check for single username and password respectively. The “USER_AS_PASS” option will check whether the username itself is being used as password. The USER_FILE and PASS_FILE are used to specify file for usernames and passwords to enumerate respectively. The VALIDATE_USERS option will first validate if user exists on the target even before trying to crack his password. The “USER_PASS” file option allows us to specify the same file for username and password as shown below. Here I have specified a wordlist consisting of most common passwords as the USER_PASS file.

When we execute the module, we can see that it will first validate all the usernames.

What if we know the username? The first question is how will we know the username. Just go through one of our previous howto : WordPress vulnerability assessment  with WPSCAN. The tool gave use a hint that username is “root”. Now we will set the username as root, specify a common password dictionary as password file as shown below.

When I run the script, it confirms that the username is valid and tries all words in the dictionary as password one by one.

After some time we can see that we successfully cracked the password for user “root” as “123456”.


Never use not only common passwords but also common usernames for your websites. Still most of the people tend to use common usernames like admin, administrator etc. and common passwords.