How To: Hack Apache Tomcat via Malicious WAR File Upload

Web applications are a prime target for hackers, but sometimes it's not just the web apps themselves that are vulnerable. Web management interfaces should be scrutinized just as hard as the apps they manage, especially when they contain some sort of upload functionality. By exploiting a vulnerability in Apache Tomcat, a hacker can upload a backdoor and get a shell.

How To: Using MicroPython for ESP8266 Microcontrollers

For anyone interested in using cheap, Wi-Fi-connected microcontrollers like the ESP8266, the Arduino programming language can be a barrier to entry. Based on C++, Arduino requires knowledge of more computer science than languages like Python. Fortunately for beginners, setting up MicroPython on an ESP8266 allows anyone to write Python on affordable microcontrollers in a matter of minutes.

How To: Crack Wi-Fi Passwords with Pyrit

Pyrit is one of the most powerful WPA/WPA2 cracking tools in a hacker's arsenal, with the ability to benchmark a computer's CPU speeds, analyze capture files for crackable handshakes, and even tap into GPU password-cracking power. To demonstrate how quickly it can hack a WPA/WPA2 password, we'll use it to play a Wi-Fi hacking CTF game anyone can practice for less than $10.

How To: Use Metasploit's John the Ripper Module to Quickly Crack Windows Hashes

There are many password-cracking tools out there, but one of the mainstays has always been John the Ripper. It's a powerful piece of software that can be configured and used in many different ways. Metasploit actually contains a little-known module version of JTR that can be used to quickly crack weak passwords, so let's explore it in an attempt to save precious time and effort.

How To: Find Hidden Web Directories with Dirsearch

One of the first steps when pentesting a website should be scanning for hidden directories. It is essential for finding valuable information or potential attack vectors that might otherwise be unseen on the public-facing site. There are many tools out there that will perform the brute-forcing process, but not all are created equally.

How To: Identify Missing Windows Patches for Easier Exploitation

No operating system is stricken with as many vulnerabilities as Windows, and it's often a race to release the latest patches to fix things. From an attacker's point of view, knowing which patches are present on a Windows machine can make or break successful exploitation. Today, we will be covering three methods of patch enumeration, using Metasploit, WMIC, and Windows Exploit Suggester.

How To: Identify & Abuse Sudo Misconfigurations with SUDO_KILLER

Sudo is a necessity on most Linux systems, most of which are probably being used as web servers. While the principle of least privilege is typically applied, sudo misconfigurations can easily lead to privilege escalation if not properly mediated. Which brings us to SUDO_KILLER, a tool used to identify sudo misconfigurations that can aid in privilege escalation.

How To: Brute-Force SSH, FTP, VNC & More with BruteDum

Brute-forcing is an easy way of discovering weak login credentials and is often one of the first steps when a hacker finds network services running on a network they gain access to. For beginners and experienced hackers alike, it's useful to have access to the right tools to discover, classify, and then launch customized brute-force attacks against a target. BruteDum does it all from a single framework.

How To: Get Root Filesystem Access via Samba Symlink Traversal

Samba can be configured to allow any user with write access the ability to create a link to the root filesystem. Once an attacker has this level of access, it's only a matter of time before the system gets owned. Although this configuration isn't that common in the wild, it does happen, and Metasploit has a module to easily exploit this security flaw.

How To: Hack UnrealIRCd Using Python Socket Programming

UnrealIRCd is an open-source IRC server that has been around since 1999 and is perhaps the most widely used one today. Version 3.2.8.1 was vulnerable to remote code execution due to a backdoor in the software. Today, we will be exploiting the vulnerability with Metasploit, examining the underlying code to understand it, and creating our own version of the exploit in Python.

How To: Securely Sniff Wi-Fi Packets with Sniffglue

Sniffing packets over a network is an easy way for hackers to gather information on a target without needing to do much work. But doing so can be risky if sniffing packets on an untrusted network because a payload within the packets being captured could be executed on your system. To prevent that, Sniffglue sandboxes packet sniffing to provide an extra layer of security.

How To: Gather Target Information with Metasploit Post Modules

Post-exploitation information gathering can be a long and drawn-out process, but it is an essential step when trying to pivot or establish advanced persistence. Every hacker should know how to enumerate a target manually, but sometimes it is worth it to automate the process. Metasploit contains post modules that can quickly gather valuable information about a target, saving both time and effort.

How To: Get Root with Metasploit's Local Exploit Suggester

So you've managed to get a shell on the target, but you only have measly low-level privileges. Now what? Privilege escalation is a vast field and can be one of the most rewarding yet frustrating phases of an attack. We could go the manual route, but like always, Metasploit makes it easy to perform local privilege escalation and get root with its exploit suggester module.

How To: Fingerprint Web App Firewalls with Wafw00f & Nmap

Web application firewalls are one of the strongest defenses a web app has, but they can be vulnerable if the firewall version used is known to an attacker. Understanding which firewall a target is using can be the first step to a hacker discovering how to get past it — and what defenses are in place on a target. And the tools Wafw00f and Nmap make fingerprinting firewalls easy.

How To: Spot Fake Businesses & Find the Signature of CEOs with OSINT

Businesses leave paper trails for nearly every activity they do, making it easy for a hacker or researcher to dig up everything from business licenses to a CEO's signature if they know where to look. To do this, we'll dig into the databases of government organizations and private companies to learn everything we can about businesses and the people behind them.

How To: Find Passwords in Exposed Log Files with Google Dorks

You may not have thought of dorks as powerful, but with the right dorks, you can hack devices just by Googling the password to log in. Because Google is fantastic at indexing everything connected to the internet, it's possible to find files that are exposed accidentally and contain critical information for anyone to see.

How To: Use Google Search Operators to Find Elusive Information

Google is an incredibly useful database of indexed websites, but querying Google doesn't search for what you type literally. The algorithms behind Google's searches can lead to a lot of irrelevant results. Still, with the right operators, we can be more exact while searching for information that's time-sensitive or difficult to find.

How To: Set Up a New MacOS Computer to Protect Against Eavesdropping & Ransomware

While MacOS computers have been spared from some of the most famous malware attacks, there is no shortage of malicious programs written for them. To keep your computer safe from some of the most common types of malware, we'll check out two free tools. These tools can automatically detect ransomware encrypting your files and watch for unauthorized access to your microphone and camera.

How To: Check Your MacOS Computer for Malware & Keyloggers

While you might suspect your MacOS computer has been infected with malware, it can be difficult to know for sure. One way to spot malicious programs is to look for suspicious behavior — like programs listening in on our keyboard input or launching themselves every time we boot. Thanks to free MacOS tools called ReiKey and KnockKnock, we can detect suspicious programs to discover keyloggers and other persistent malware lurking on our system.

How To: Share Wi-Fi Adapters Across a Network with Airserv-Ng

If you want to carry a variety of network adapters without looking suspicious, a perfect solution is accessing them through Airserv-ng. Tucked away in the Aircrack-ng suite, this tool allows a hacker to plug any number of network adapters into a Raspberry Pi and access them over a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.

How To: Enumerate SMB with Enum4linux & Smbclient

SMB (Server Message Block) is a protocol that allows resources on the same network to share files, browse the network, and print over the network. It was initially used on Windows, but Unix systems can use SMB through Samba. Today, we will be using a tool called Enum4linux to extract information from a target, as well as smbclient to connect to an SMB share and transfer files.

How To: How QR Codes Can Exploit Phones & Other Scanners

QR codes are everywhere, from product packaging to airline boarding passes, making the scanners that read them a juicy target for hackers. Thanks to flaws in many of these proprietary scanning devices, it's possible to exploit common vulnerabilities using exploits packed into custom QR codes.

How To: Phish for Social Media & Other Account Passwords with Blackeye

Social media accounts are a favorite target for hackers, and the most effective tactics for attacking accounts on websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are often based on phishing. These password-stealing attacks rely on tricking users into entering their passwords into a convincing fake webpage, and they have become increasingly easy to make thanks to tools like BlackEye.

How To: Beat LFI Restrictions with Advanced Techniques

One of the most common web application vulnerabilities is LFI, which allows unauthorized access to sensitive files on the server. Such a common weakness is often safeguarded against, and low-hanging fruit can be defended quite easily. But there are always creative ways to get around these defenses, and we'll be looking at two methods to beat the system and successfully pull off LFI.

How To: Phish Social Media Sites with SocialFish

Phishing is the easiest way to get your password stolen, as it only takes one mistake to log in to the wrong website. A convincing phishing site is key to a successful attempt, and tools to create them have become intuitive and more sophisticated. SocialFish allows a hacker to create a persuasive phishing page for nearly any website, offering a web interface with an Android app for remote control.

How To: Upgrade a Dumb Shell to a Fully Interactive Shell for More Flexibility

One of the most exciting things as an ethical hacker, in my opinion, is catching a reverse shell. But often these shells are limited, lacking the full power and functionality of a proper terminal. Certain things don't work in these environments, and they can be troublesome to work with. Luckily, with a few commands, we can upgrade to a fully interactive shell with all the bells and whistles.

How To: Find Vulnerable Webcams Across the Globe Using Shodan

Search engines index websites on the web so you can find them more efficiently, and the same is true for internet-connected devices. Shodan indexes devices like webcams, printers, and even industrial controls into one easy-to-search database, giving hackers access to vulnerable devices online across the globe. And you can search its database via its website or command-line library.

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