Book Review: Kali Linux Network Scanning Cookbook

Everything you ever wanted to know about scanning (and then some)!

Kali Linux Network Scanning

Security Guru and trainer Justin Hutchens has recently released an exceptional book on network scanning with Kali Linux. The book starts out with the very basics of network scanning and progresses through stages to more advanced scans and even exploitation.

All the basics are present, like using Nmap, ARPing, Scapy and other tools to perform varied levels of discovery, port scanning and fingerprinting.  You are then masterfully shown how to greatly expand the capabilities and functions of these tools by using scripting.

But it doesn’t stop there, you then move on to using scanning tools and Burp Suite to perform Denial of Service attacks, SQL injection and Metasploit attacks. Because really what is a scanning book without including offensive attacks?  🙂

The book is easy to read and follow using step-by-step instructions and screen views. It is setup in sections (called “Recipes”) so that if you want to know how to perform Layer 4 discovery using Scapy or DoS attacks with Nmap, you just go directly to that particular section.

I have worked with Justin on a couple projects and he is one of the most talented security teachers and authors that I have ever met. He covers material in this book that I have never seen covered anywhere else. If you have any interest in network scanning or want to learn a lot more about it, get this book!

Available at Packt Publishing and

*** UPDATE *** Original print quality issues have been rectified according to the publisher.

Detecting OpenSSL-Heartbleed with Nmap & Exploiting with Metasploit

You can now quickly detect the OpenSSL-Heartbleed vulnerability very quickly on a network using the ever popular nmap command, and with the latest modules from Metasploit you can quickly see the exploit in action.

For this tutorial I will be using a WordPress server and Kali Linux running in two separate VMWare virtual machines.

For a vulnerable server, I used one of Turnkey Linux WordPress VMs.  There are security updates available for Turnkey’s WordPress, but during the VM setup, and for this tutorial, I purposefully told the VM NOT to install the security updates so I could test for the OpenSSL vulnerability.

Once the WordPress VM was configured (just answer a few simple questions) I then fired up my Kali Linux VM.

Nmap has created a Heartbleed script that does a great job of detecting vulnerable servers. The script may not be available in your version of Kali, so you may have to manually install it.

Detecting Exploit with Nmap

If the Open-Heartbleed script is not already included in your nmap install, you will need to manually install it.

This is pretty easy, just visit the OpenSSL-Heartbleed nmap Script page, copy and save the nmap nse script file to your nmap “scripts” directory as seen below:

Heartbleed nmap script save

You will also need the nmap “tls.lua” library file, save this to the nmap “nselib” directory as seen below:

Heartbleed nmap tls library

That is it, we can now use the heartbleed script in nmap to detect vulnerable systems.

To use the command the syntax is:

nmap -sV --script=ssl-heartbleed <target>

All we need to plug in is the IP address of our target test WordPress site, in this instance:

heartbleed nmap script command

And if the target machine is vulnerable we will see this:

nmap heartbleed vulnerable detected

Risk Factor: High

Exploiting with Metasploit

Now that we know we have a vulnerable server, we can use the latest Metasploit OpenSSL-Heartbleed module to exploit it. (Note: you can use the module to detect vulnerable systems also)

Update metasploit to get the latest modules. Just type “msfupdate” at a Kali command prompt:


Now run “msfconsole” to start Metasploit and you will be presented with the Metasploit console:

Metasploit prompt

Next search for the heartbleed modules:

heartbleed search

Notice there are two, we will just be using the scanner.

Type, “use auxiliary/scanner/ssl/openssl_heartbleed“:

heartbleed metasploit module

We are just going to set two options, “set VERBOSE” to true and we need to “set RHOSTS” to our target IP address as seen below:

verbose rhosts

And finally, just “run” the exploit:

heartbleed leaked data

If you click on the picture above, you will see that Metasploit communicated with the server and was able to pull random data from the server’s memory.

The important thing to note here is that it pulls random data from memory. There is no guarantee that you will find account credentials, session cookie data or critical data every time you run this. But the danger is in the fact that it could display sensitive data.

Thus the best practice (if you haven’t already) is to check your systems for the heartbleed vulnerability and patch them immediately. After the systems are patched change any passwords on the effected machines.

As always, never run security scans or checks on systems that you do not own or have approval to scan.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to learn more about Kali Linux and Metasploit, check out my latest book on Amazon, “Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux“.

Hakin9 Exploiting Software April Issue is Out!

The April issue of Hakin9 Mobile Security is out. This month’s magazine features the article “Cisco IOS Rootkits and Malware: A practical guide” by Jason Nehrboss:

Propagating the worm code into a new router can either be quite easy, difficult, or impossible. There are many variations of supported IOS code and hardware platforms. The author discusses the use of and demonstrates an IOS Embedded Event Manager rootkit and worm. When a router is infected it can be leveraged into a powerful malware platform. Capabilities demonstrated are network packet captures, reverse shell connections, a spam module, and a mini malware httpd server leveraged with ip address hijacking. In this article you will learn how to exploit critical network devices, network traffic traversing these devices and act as a launch point for further attacks into a network You will also learn about a self replicating IOS worm with stealth features and self defense mechanisms, all with platform independent code.

Also in this issue Craig Wright continues his excellent series on exploit creation. This month’s article is entitled, “Taking control, Functions to DLL injection“:

DLL injection is one of the most common methods used by malware such as a rootkit to load it into the host’s privileged processes. Once injected, code can be inserted into functions being transmitted between the compromised code and a library function. This step is frequently followed with API hooking where the malicious code is used to vary the library function calls and returns. This article is part of a monthly series designed to take the reader from a novice to being able to create and deploy their own shellcode and exploits. With this knowledge, you will learn just how easy it is for sophisticated attackers to create code that can bypass many security tools. More, armed with this knowledge you will have the ability to reverse engineer attack code and even malware allowing you to determine what the attacker was intending to launch against your system.

Other articles include:

  • Deceiving Networks Defenses with Nmap Camouflaged Scanning By Roberto Saia
  • Exploiting Software By Swetha Dabbara
  • Cross Site Request Forgery – Session Riding By Miroslav Ludvik and Michal Srnec
  • Data Logging with Syslog: A troubleshooting and auditing mechanism By Abdy Martinez
  • Social Engineering – New Era of Corporate Espionage By Amar Suhas

Check it out!