Metasploit development moves fast. Blindingly fast, fueled by tons of open source contributors -- which is one of the reasons why we moved away from our tried and true SVN repository and on to GitHub. Now that we're on a more modern, more social development platform, we have all new ways to get overwhelmed with the pace of change on the Framework, especially since contributor code is that much easier to integrate now. So, in order to ensure that the more notable week-over-week changes get their due, I'll be publishing a weekly blog post with a headline-style overview of the latest changes that ship out with our scheduled weekly updates.

FastLib Library Compression

Long-time Metasploit Framework users like to complain about Framework's start-up time. Measured in seconds, it does sometimes feel like it takes a lot longer, especially when you're developing new Framework functionality and restarting a lot.

To be fair, it takes a few cycles to get all those hundreds of thousands of lines of interpreted Ruby code from the disk into memory. However, in the spirit of alleviating this popular pain point, we've included an alpha version of FastLib. Developed in-house, Fastlib is an open source project that should help knock a couple seconds off that dreaded startup time. Like the rest of Metasploit Framework, it's open source, so if you have other complex Ruby projects, you might want to take a look at the implementation over on GitHub at https://github.com/rapid7/fastlib.

In addition to speeding up library loads, FastLib supports compression, obfuscation, and custom encryption. The integration of FastLib into the Metasploit Framework allows modules to be combined into FastLib archives and loaded from any module directory in the standard load path. FastLib alpha-quality and likely to change as the code continues to improve. A future blog post will detail methods for optimizing a Metasploit Framework installation for embedded devices using FastLib.

New Exploits

Legacy applications are the bread and butter of penetration testing -- those usually forgotten, universally unloved, and sometimes rogue applications that are quietly waiting to provide a foothold into the organization's critical infrastructure. In that vein, we have new modules this week for legacy versions of IPSwitch WhatsUp Gold and Serv-U FTP Server. We also have exploits for the recently disclosed vulnerabilities in CCMPlayer and Avid Media Composer, submitted by community contributors Rho and vt, respectively.

Availability

For those of you who rely on the msfupdate command to track Framework development, you already have these sitting in your local checkout. For readers who prefer the packaged updates for Metasploit Community and Metasploit Pro, you'll be able to install the new Framework hotness today when you check for updates through the Software Updates menu under Administration.

For more details on what's changed and what's current, please see Jonathan Cran's most excellent release notes.