Last updated at Thu, 11 Jan 2024 20:08:02 GMT

Last month, we gave you a list of the top 10 most searched Metasploit exploit and auxiliary modules from our exploit database (DB). These stats are collected by analyzing searches on in our webserver logs, not through usage of Metasploit, which we do not track for privacy reasons.

We were curious how the list changed month over month, and now we have the first results for May 2012. As expected, most exploits only moved around a little but we also have 2 fun new entries. Here they are, annotated with Tod Beardley's excellent comments:

  1. Microsoft Server Service Relative Path Stack Corruption (CVE-2008-4250, MSB-MS08-067): A four year old vulnerability that tends to give the most reliable shells on Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP. It's also got a great pile of language pack targets. All of Metasploit's exploits provide US English targeted shellcode, a few might provide Chinese, Spanish, French, or other popular languages; this one has targets in pretty much every language you've ever heard of. This exploit is also not ancient, so it's reasonable to expect to find some unpatched systems in a medium to large enterprise vulnerable to it. More on this topic at Microsoft's Security TechCenter. Up 1 place from #2 since last month.

  2. MS12-020 Microsoft Remote Desktop Use-After-Free DoS (CVE-2012-0002, MSB-MS12-020): This is the 2012 RDP Bug, where it was implied -- but never proven in public -- that a pre-auth bug in RDP can allow for remote code execution. This is likely the most popular module we have due to both recency bias and because there was an unusual level of spontaneous organization of the Metasploit developer community to search for the correct path to remote code execution. So far, nobody's gotten RCE yet (in public), but the Metasploit module provides the most clues. More on this topic in an article on ZD Net. Down 1 place from #1 since last month.

  3. Microsoft Server Service NetpwPathCanonicalize Overflow (CVE-2006-3439, MSB-MS06-040): A six year old vulnerability that's notable in that there's no official patch from Microsoft for this on Windows NT 4.0. This was discovered after NT went end-of-life, so if you need remote root on an NT machine (and there are still plenty out there), this is going to be your first choice. More on this topic in at Microsoft's Security TechCenter. Same position as last month.

  4. CCTV DVR Login Scanning Utility: This auxiliary module rocketed to the top ten list with our recent guest blog post by Justin Cacak. The module scans for CCTV DVR video surveillance deployments by CTRing, MicroDigital, HIVISION, and a bunch of other rebranded devices. The module targets port 5920, which a lot of CCTV owners might not even realize is open, and tries default credentials (as well as optionally allowing more thorough bruteforcing). Since Justin's research and this module was was picked up by Slashdot, Wired, and other tech news outlets, it's not surprising to see it hit the top 10 list. New entry this month.

  5. PHP CGI Argument Injection:This module from mid-May of 2012 exploits CVE-2012-1823, a vulnerability in the way PHP-CGI handles parameters passed on GET requests. The vulnerability was discovered during a capture-the-flag exercise at NullCon in January 2012, and the bug's life cycle is pretty thoroughly documented over at De Eindbazen. Here's the short story: this bug, which allows for command execution via GET requests to PHP-CGI installtions, has been knocking around PHP installations since 2004. It was first reported to PHP in January of 2012 (yes, eight years after it was introduced), subsequently leaked accidentally in May of 2012, and actively exploited shortly thereafter. More info on this on a blog at Serge Security. New entry this month.

  6. Microsoft RPC DCOM Interface Overflow (CVE-2003-0352, MSB-MS03-026): A nine year old vulnerability that used to be the de-facto standard exploit for Windows machines - this is the RPC DCom bug, and it affects ancient NT machines. It was most notable in that it was used by the Blaster and Nachi worms to transit networks. It's now pretty much a case study in stack buffer overflows in Windows, so it's got a lot of historical value. If memory serves, this was the most reliable exploit in Metasploit v2. More info on that at Windows IT Pro. Down 2 places from #4 since last month.

  7. Microsoft Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 SMB Client Infinite Loop (CVE-2010-0017, MSB-MS10-006): Not sure why this module is popular -- it's a client side DoS. Historically, it's a neat DoS, since it demos a bug in Windows 7's kernel, but all the module does is crash Windows 7 clients after you get a user to connect to you. More info on that at The H Security. Down 2 places from #5 since last month.

  8. Adobe PDF Embedded EXE Social Engineering (CVE-2010-1240): This module exploits CVE-2010-1240 in Adobe Reader. The idea is that you can embed and execute a Meterpreter PE Executable in a PDF, and when the user opens the PDF, surprise shells! Since it's on this list, it's probably the most popular social engineering-style module. More on this topic in at the National Vulnerability Database.  Down 2 places from #6 since last month.

  9. Apache mod_isapi <= 2.2.14 Dangling Pointer (CVE-2010-0425): Although this is an exploit in Apache, don't be fooled! It's only exploitable on Windows (so that knocks out the biggest chunk of Apache installs at the time of this module's release), and it's only a DoS. Again, kind of a mystery as to why it's so popular. More info on that at Technolyze Blogs. Down 2 places from #7 since last month.

  10. Microsoft Windows Authenticated User Code Execution (CVE-1999-0504): The PSExec module is a utility module -- given an SMB username and password with sufficient privileges on the target machine, the user can get a shell. It's not sexy, but it's super handy for testing payloads and setup. Even though it's a lowly #10, I'd bet it's the most-used module in classroom and test environments. More on this topic in at the National Vulnerability Database. Down 1 place from #9 since last month.

Do you have your own theory on why the exploits are trending the way they are? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

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