We just released Metasploit 4.6.0, so applying this week's update will get you the brand new version. While Chris has a delightful blog post of what all is new in Metasploit Pro, let's take a look at what's exciting and new between Metasploit 4.5.0 and today's update to 4.6.0.

138 new modules

First off, the hacker elves have been cranking out a ton of module content since we released 4.5.0 back in December, 2012. Between then and now, we've got 138 new modules. That's 1.1 new modules per day, including those days that other people call "weekends" and "holidays." Of those, we have 80 new exploits, 44 new auxiliary modules, and 12 new post modules.

Of course, most of the module commits don't originate with us here at Rapid7. Over this release, we have 86 distinct committers contributing to Metasploit, and only 11 of them are employed here at Rapid7. It's this overwhelming strength of the Metasploit exploit development community that keeps me super-excited to do Good Work every day. Seriously, thank you all for that. I'm getting all verklempt here.

A stroll down diff lane

Of course, we did a little more than just sling exploit code for 4.6.0. We also moved the ball forward on a whole bunch of core development and security research. Here are the highlights:

  • We got serious about unit testing. Exploit writers are notorious for writing quick, throw-away code, born of the race to get a working PoC together before the next guy (and the next patch!). Since Metasploit Framework is largely written by exploit devs, this habit has been really hard to combat. That said, on the road to 4.6.0, we integrated Travis-CI to run our growing library of RSpec tests. We're a long way from done there, of course, but we've made some pretty significant progress.
  • We detailed our peer code review practices for landing new code and new modules. Open source security development means taking risks, leaving your comfort zone, and suffering the slings and arrows of code review. Believe me, it's a lot easier to just pile on hack after hack when you're sitting in your closed-source cubicle farm, but developing in public means that we get to review and critique code from all comers. In the end, we hope we're being helpful, and fewer mistakes are repeated for next time.
  • We ported a bunch of 0day for Metasploit users. This kind of fast turnaround immediately puts the tools to test and validate remediation directly in the hands of the people who are best positioned to help: you. In addition, Metasploit exploits are now making it into other projects' regression testing cases, and are used to teach the next wave of security researchers how to quickly turn a found-in-the-wild 0day into a useful, safe, and effective exploit module.
  • We implemented a pretty novel new Postgres payload delivery system -- just in time for the recent wave of Postgres vulnerabilities! Nothing proves a vulnerability better than popping shells.
  • We invented a portable Ruby command exec payload to take advantage of the wave of Rails vulnerabilities announced these last couple months. While getting a rails server to print "hello world!" on the console is all well and good, it's really all about the shells.
  • We updated msfupdate to fully take advantage of our Git-based source code control systems, as well as to use the Metasploit Community and Pro edition update systems. We recognize that most Metasploit users really just want stability and security in their updates, and tracking along a source code tree isn't usually the way to get there. So, now installed versions of Metasploit (including Kali-installed Debian packages) will only update once a week, after the usual in-house QA and validation.
  • We turned exploited endpoints into Hollywood-hacker spy systems. Thanks to a user bug, we found that the record_mic feature of Meterpreter had been broken for a little while. So, we fixed it, wrapped it up in a post module, added a webcam activation module and some CCTV controller, and unleashed these A/V-centric modules into the world. I have no idea if real espionage agents actually do this kind of thing or not, but now you can prove that they can on your next pentest engagement. After all, that's kind of the point of a penetration test -- you want to be able to simulate what a real adversary could do in order to bring attention to the real risk of vulnerabilities.
  • We put together some UPnP modules to help people scan their enterprises for misconfigured and buggy UPnP endpoints. You are blocking and watching UDP port 1900 by now, right?
  • We asked you nicely to msftidy.rb your modules as part of a Git pre-commit hook. Since we started automating msftidy, the module quality we've been seeing shot up considerably, and we've been able to move new modules through the pull request queue a lot faster with a lot fewer common mistakes. Of course, as a result, we now get more pull requests. I'm sure there's an economics lesson about friction in there somewhere.
  • We started using a new heap spray technique for our many browser-based exploits. This was on the heels of some very excellent training and collaboration with the Corelan Team. Now, with a little luck, we can write more reliable exploits all the way through Internet Explorer 10, as well as Firefox 54 (or whatever their latest version is by the time this post goes live).
  • We now support Kali as an installation target. This was a huge accomplishment, thanks to the teamwork between Rapid7 and Offensive Security, getting a stable, supportable build into the hands of Kali Linux users worldwide. Assuming this ends up working out as we expect, we should be able to start supporting other platforms, such as Ubuntu, Debian, and Mint, with proper Debian packages. (We're also experimenting with a for-real Homebrew tap for you Mac OSX guys, but shhh it's not official yet.)
  • We pushed the envelope on WAP/Router hacking by landing a metric ton of exploit and auxilary modules targeting Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear devices, as well as putting together command execution payloads custom built for MIPS computing environments.

So, yeah. Been a busy four months or so. All of those bullets start with the word "we," and like I said, that's not just Rapid7 folks; it's all of you who pitched in with your work, patience, smarts, and gumption to get this thing out the door. Thanks!

Module roundup

If you're upgrading from 4.5.0 to 4.6.0, here's the laundry list of security testing goodness you have to look forward to. Let's be careful out there!

Availability

If you're new to Metasploit, you can get started by downloading Metasploit for Linux or Windows. If you're already tracking the bleeding-edge of Metasploit development, then these modules are but an msfupdate command away. For readers who prefer the packaged updates for Metasploit Community and Metasploit Pro, you'll be able to install the new hotness today when you check for updates through the Software Updates menu under Administration.

For additional details on what's changed and what's current, please see Brandont's most excellent release notes.