Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

02:58 PM
Connect Directly

New Metasploit Version Released

Version 3.3 is faster and includes support for Windows 7

A new version of the open-source Metasploit hacking tool -- Metasploit version 3.3 -- was unleashed today and includes faster start-up speed for the console and utilities, as well as hundreds of fresh exploits and other features.

HD Moore, creator of Metasploit and chief security officer at Rapid7, which last month purchased the wildly popular open-source penetration-testing tool, says most of the development work on the new version came prior to the Rapid7 acquisition.

"This is really a community release. It took 11 months to develop," Moore says.

Metasploit 3.3 comes with 445 exploits, 216 auxiliary modules, and hundreds of payloads. The new release, which fixed 180 bugs from the previous one, now provides Windows payload support for NX, DEP, IPv6, and Windows 7.

But perhaps the most noticeable feature about the tool is that it's colorful, according to Moore. "The console has fancy colors for the prompt and the logo...when you're doing a highly automated job, it's easier to see errors as they come through," he says.

The Windows version is portable, too: "You can install it to a USB key and take it with you," Moore says. That lets penetration testers run Metasploit remotely on their "targets," he says.

Metasploit includes Linux installers and supports version 1.9.1 of the Ruby interpreter; its database functionality is now enabled by default. Oracle exploit support includes modules for exploiting database-level privilege escalation flaws and Web-based Oracle services, and the MSSQL and Oracle login modules brute-force passwords from a dictionary file. And all TCP-based client-side exploits can be launched via HTTP proxies, for example.

Another change in the new Metasploit version is it supports the use of socially engineered attacks via familiar and trusted tools, like Notepad or Word documents. "One thing that was driving us crazy the last few months" was that some antivirus products were able to detect the custom executable binary template Metasploit used to embed shellcode for social engineering attacks, according to Moore.

Now Metasploit can embed shellcode into any existing binary. "It will now take an existing benign executable like Notepad or Word and inject directly into that binary," Moore says.

As part of version 3.3, the Metasploit Meterpreter tool -- which lets developers write code in DLL files and execute everything in memory without writing anything to the victim machine's disk, where it could be detected -- can now capture traffic from a "target" using an in-memory sniffing feature.

And don't expect to wait so long for the next version of Metasploit. From now on, new Metasploit versions will arrive rapid-fire given the use of Rapid7's vast lab resources to better develop and test new features and functions. The next version will be out around February or March, Moore says.

"We've been going with 12-month releases the last three years," he says. "What we're trying to do is get more releases going forward [and more regularly]," says Moore, who blogged about the new Metasploit penetration tool release today.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
4 Tips to Run Fast in the Face of Digital Transformation
Shane Buckley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Gigamon,  12/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Orca has arbitrary code execution due to insecure Python module load
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
RubyGem omniauth-facebook has an access token security vulnerability
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
JBossWeb Bayeux has reflected XSS
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
node-connect before 2.8.2 has cross site scripting in methodOverride Middleware
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Progress Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX through 2019.3.1023 contains a .NET deserialization vulnerability in the RadAsyncUpload function. This is exploitable when the encryption keys are known due to the presence of CVE-2017-11317 or CVE-2017-11357, or other means. Exploitation can result in remote cod...