Exploit Design Goals

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When writing exploits to be used in the Metasploit Framework, your design goals should be minimalist.

  • Offload as much work as possible to the Framework.
  • Make use of, and rely on, the Rex protocol libraries.
  • Make heavy use of the available mixins.

Just as important as minimal design, exploits should (must) be reliable.

  • Any BadChars declared must be 100% accurate.
  • Ensure that Payload->Space is the maximum reliable value.
  • The little details in exploit development matter the most.

Exploits should make use of randomness whenever possible. Randomization assists with IDS, IPS, and AV evasion and also serves as an excellent reliability test.

  • When generating padding, use Rex::Text.rand_text_* (rand_text_alpha, rand_text_alphanumeric, etc).
  • Randomize all payloads by using encoders.
  • If possible, randomize the encoder stub.
  • Randomize nops too.

Just as important as functionality, exploits should be readable as well.

  • All Metasploit modules have a consistent structure with hard-tab indents.
  • Fancy code is harder to maintain, anyway.
  • Mixins provide consistent option names across the Framework.

Lastly, exploits should be useful.

  • Proof of concepts should be written as Auxiliary DoS modules, not as exploits.
  • The final exploit reliability must be high.
  • Target lists should be inclusive.




Exploit Development > Exploit Design Goals