5 min read

Security over the web is of the highest priority these days as most of our transactions and storage takes place on the web. Our systems are ripe for cracking by hackers. Don’t believe me? check out the below video.

How can we improve our security belts around our system? Metasploit is one solution cybersecurity professionals look at to tight-lock their security with no risk of intruders.

Metasploit, an open source project, allows individuals or organizations to identify security vulnerabilities and develop a code using which network administrators can break into their own code and identify potential risks. They can then prioritize which vulnerabilities need to be addressed.


The Metasploit project offers

  • Penetration (pen) testing software
  • Tools for automating the comparison of a program’s vulnerability
  • Anti-forensic and advanced evasion tools

Some tools are also built-in the Metasploit framework.

The Metasploit Framework  is a collection of tools, libraries, modules and so on. It is popular among cybersecurity professionals and ethical hackers to carry out penetration testing or hacking. They can use it to exploit vulnerabilities on a network and also make Trojans, backdoors, botnets, phishing and so on. You can check out our article on 12 common malware types you should know, to know about the different malware types. The Metasploit Framework is supported by various operating systems including, Linux, MAC-OS, Windows, Android and so on.

One can use metasploit in both free and paid versions, where the free version(Metasploit Framework and Metasploit community)can be used to find out basic exploits. However, a full paid version(Metasploit Pro) is preferred as it allows one to carry out deep pen-tests and other advanced features. A paid version offers:

  • Collects integrations via remote APIs
  • Automate several tasks, which include smart exploitation, penetration testing reports, and much more.
  • Infiltrates dynamic payloads to evade the top antivirus solutions

Also, in order to use this hacking tool, one can make use of the different interfaces it offers.

Metasploit Interfaces

Msfconsole

Msfconsole is one of the highly popular interfaces in the metasploit framework. Once you have a hang of this interface and its syntax, it will provide a coherent access to all the options within the Metasploit Framework. Some advantages of msfconsole include:

  • With the msfconsole, one can access all the features in the MSF
  • Most stable and provides a console-based interface
  • With msfconsole executing external commands is possible
  • One can experience a full readline support, tabbing, and command completion

Msfcli

Msfcli enables a powerful command-line interface to the framework. Some features of this interface include:

  • Support for the launch of exploits and auxiliary modules.
  • Great for use in scripts and basic automation.

However, one should be careful while using msfcli as variables are case-sensitive, and are assigned using an equal to (=) sign.

MsfGUI

Msfgui is the GUI of the framework and a tool to carry out demonstrations to clients and management. The msfgui:

  • provides a point-and-click interface for exploitation
  • a GTK wizard-based interface for using the metasploit framework

Armitage

Developed by Raphael Mudge, Armitage, is an open source Java-based frontend GUI for the metasploit framework. Its primary aim is to assist security professionals to understand hacking, by getting to know the true potential of Metasploit.

Advantages of using Metasploit

One can automate each phase of penetration testing

Metasploit allows pentesters and cyber professionals to automate all phases within the penetration test. This is because, the amount of time required to carry out a complete and thorough pen-test is huge. Metasploit automates tasks; right from selecting the appropriate exploit to streamline the evidence collection and reporting of the attack.

Credentials can be gathered and reused

Credentials are the keys to any network, and the biggest prize for a penetration tester. With metasploit, one can catalog and track user credentials for reporting. Professionals and hackers can also make use of these credentials across every system in the network using a simple credential domino wizard.

Become a next-Level Pen Tester

If one has already worked with Metasploit framework for years together, its pro version is definitely the next step to head for. With Metasploit Pro, the expert can easily move through a network using the pivoting and antivirus evasion capabilities. They can also create instant reports on the progress and evidence. The best part is, one can seamlessly use custom scripts by going into the command line framework.

Metasploit in competition with other pentesting tools

Metasploit is not the only tool that offers penetration testing but it is one of the preferred ones. There are a number of other tools in the market that can give Metasploit a tough competition. Some of them include Wireshark, Nessus, Nmap, and so on.

Wireshark is a famous network protocol analyzer. It can read captured information from other applications and is multiplatform. The only con it has is, it has a steep learning curve.

Nessus is a vulnerability scanner and a popular tool among the professionals in security. It has a huge library of vulnerabilities and respective tests to identify them. It relies on the response from the target host to identify a breach. Here, metasploit is used as an exploitation tool to identify if the detected breach could be exploitable.

Nmap (Network mapper) is a highly competent pen testing tool used for network mapping or discovery. On comparing with metasploit, it has a rudimentary GUI as compared to Metasploit.

Metasploit is moving into web application security with its 3.5.0 release. The community has also added native PHP and Java payloads, which makes it easy to acquire advanced functionality through web application and Java server vulnerabilities. The community plans to port more exploits and modules to the metasploit platform. Additional modules that target embedded devices, hardware devices, etc.and BUS systems, such as K-Line could be added in the near future.

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