Metasploit is one of those programmes that crosses boundaries. It can be used as a scanning tool to discover weaknesses or vulnerabilities in computers. It also contains a useful database of exploits or methods of taking advantage of weaknesses in operating systems discovered by a thriving community of users.
The framework also comes with a wide variety of 'payloads' which are sections of code that can de delivered by the exploit being used. The choice of exploit used, depends upon the vulnerabilities detected in the scan and the operating system.
The payload delivered depends upon the exploit being used and what the hacker's goals are. These may vary from 'owning' the machine to quietly listening and spying on the user.
The use of scanning tools like Maltego and especially The Harvester demonstrated how easy it is to collect email addresses on a big scale. These can be used to deliver 'spam' emails or used in a more subtle way as part of social engineering attacks.
Social engineering is more than sending spam mail. It includes all techniques attacking the weakest link in the security chain, the user. Attacks can vary from simple targeted phishing attacks, to cloning web sites to deceive visitors into believing they are on a genuine site so that their credentials can be collected.
There is extensive range of social engineering tools that come with Kali Linux, a few of which we are going to look at. All of them are invaluable tools for pen-testers who attempt to engineer entry into target machines.
- Social Engineering Toolkit (SET): As the name implies, this is an extensive framework of very powerful modules which can be called up and activated through the terminal
- Ghost Phisher: A powerful GUI programme that can be used to launch man in the middle attacks (MITM) by setting up your VM as a fake server.
- Backdoor-factory(BDF): A useful program for preparing 'patches' which if delivered to a target machine create back doors that will allow remote access a hacker.
- U3-pwn: A popular tool based on Metasploit for creating 'payloads' for memory cards and USB devices which can be used to deliver payloads to exploit vulnerabilities in machines, perhaps by leaving it on a desk.