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powermole allows you to connect to a target destination host via one or more intermediaries, offering a variety of modes (FOR, TOR, FILE, and INTERACTIVE) to perform a variety of tasks

Project description

This program will let you perform port forwarding, redirect internet traffic, and transfer files to, and issue commands on, a host without making a direct connection (ie. via one or more intermediate hosts), which would undoubtedly compromise your privacy. This solution can only work when you or your peers own one or more hosts as this program communicates with SSH servers. This program can be viewed as a multi-versatile wrapper around SSH with the ProxyJump directive enabled. Powermole creates automatically a ssh/scp configuration file to enable key-based authentication with the intermediate hosts.

How it works

Terminology:

  • Tunnel is an established connection from localhost to target destination host through intermediate hosts (called Gateways).
  • Agent is a python module running on the target destination host. It performs various functions.
  • Instructor sends data and instructions to the Agent by utilizing a forwarded connection provided by Tunnel.

This cli package uses the lib package to create a Tunnel and models the specific Instructor to communicate with the Agent (on the target destination host). The Agent communicates directly with the operating system of the host on which it resides. The Agent is responsible to redirect internet traffic (TOR mode), put files (FILE mode), and issue commands (INTERACTIVE mode). For port forwarding (FOR mode), the program simply relies on SSH itself. The Agent also responds to heartbeats send by localhost to check if connection is still intact.

../img/illustration_how_it_works.png

For more details, including illustrations, please consult the powermole/lib repository on GitHub.

Requirements (software)

  • Every host (except local host, ie. the _client_) needs a running SSH daemon.

Requirements (functional)

  • The solution doesn’t work with Windows, only on Linux (tested Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora).
  • The client and all intermediate hosts (Gateways) have Python >3.6 as their default interpreter.
  • You need at least 1 intermediate host (Gateway).
  • You have the associated SSH identification file (i.e. the private key) for these intermediaries.
  • Due to security reasons, SSH password login is not supported.
  • This program don’t require root privileges on client (to be confirmed).

Installation

If you use the standard packet manager:

$ pip install powermolecli

or if you use pipx:

$ pipx install powermolecli

Usage

Issue this command for help:

$ powermolecli --help

usage: powermolecli [-h] [--config-file CONFIG_FILE]
           [--log-level {debug,info,warning,error,critical}]

powermole allows you to connect to a target destination host via one or more intermediaries, offering a variety of modes (FOR, TOR, FILE, and INTERACTIVE) to perform a variety of tasks

optional arguments:
  -h, --help       show this help message and exit
  --config-file, -c CONFIG_FILE
                   The location of the config file
  --log-level, -L {debug,info,warning,error,critical}
                   Provide the log level. Defaults to info.

Issue this command to actually execute the program.

$ powermolecli --config-file ~/powermole.json

Use option “–log-level debug” to print every activity in the program.

$ powermolecli -c ~/powermole.json -l debug

The JSON file contains directives to enter one of the modes listed below:

  • TOR mode
  • FOR(warding) mode
  • INTERACTIVE mode
  • FILE mode

In TOR mode, the target destination host acts as an exit node (in TOR terminology).

../img/illustration_tor.png

In FOR(warding) mode, connections are forwarded to the target destination host, on which, for example, an email server (e.g. Postfix) is running and a local email client want to connect to its listening ports.

../img/illustration_forwarding.png

In INTERACTIVE mode, a rudimentary terminal interface is provided which enables the user to interact with the target destination host.

../img/illustration_command.png

In FILE mode, files are transferred from client to the target destination host.

../img/illustration_file.png

Configuration

To enable TOR mode

Edit the JSON document in the configuration file to incorporate the keywords mode, gateways, destination, and optionally application. When application is specified, the program will start the application of choice once the Tunnel is ready. In the example below, the program drills through 3 hosts and ends at host #4. Hitting ctrl + c in terminal will dismantle Tunnel (and stop application)

{
"mode":         "TOR",
"gateways":    [{"host_ip": "10.10.1.72",
                 "user": "root",
                 "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_be_vm"},
                {"host_ip": "10.10.2.92",
                 "user": "root",
                 "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_it_vm"},
                {"host_ip": "10.10.3.52",
                 "user": "root",
                 "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_es_vm"}],
"destination": {"host_ip": "10.10.4.31",
                "user": "root",
                "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_gr_vm"},
"application": {"binary_name": "firefox",
                "binary_location": "/usr/bin/firefox"}
}

To enable FOR(warding) mode

Edit the JSON document to incorporate the keywords mode, gateways, destination, forwarders, and optionally application. When application is specified, then the program will start this application once the Tunnel is ready. Hitting ctrl + c in terminal will dismantle Tunnel (and stop application)

{
"mode":         "FOR",
"gateways":    [{"host_ip": "10.10.1.72",
                 "user": "root",
                 "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_be_vm"}],
"forwarders": [{"local_port": 1587,
                "remote_interface": "localhost",
                "remote_port": 587},
               {"local_port": 1995,
                "remote_interface": "localhost",
                "remote_port": 995}],
"destination": {"host_ip": "10.10.2.92",
                "user": "root",
                "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_it_vm"}
}

To enable INTERACTIVE mode

Edit the JSON document to incorporate the keywords mode, gateways, and destination. Hitting ctrl + c in terminal will dismantle Tunnel.

{
"mode":         "INTERACTIVE",
"gateways":    [{"host_ip": "10.10.1.72",
                 "user": "root",
                 "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_be_vm"],
"destination": {"host_ip": "10.10.2.92",
                "user": "root",
                "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_it_vm"}
}

To enable FILE mode

Edit the JSON document to incorporate the keywords mode, gateways, destination and files.

{
"mode":         "FILE",
"gateways":    [{"host_ip": "10.10.1.72",
                 "user": "root",
                 "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_be_vm"}],
"destination": {"host_ip": "10.10.2.92",
                "user": "root",
                "identity_file": "/home/vincent/.ssh/id_rsa_it_vm"},
"files":      [{"source": "/home/vincent/amsterdam_de_jordaan.jpg",
                "destination": "/tmp"},
               {"source": "/home/vincent/amsterdam_nine_streets.jpg",
                "destination": "/tmp"}]
}

Planning

The format of the configuration file will be modified to include:

  • the MACHINE_DEPLOY_PATH (default: /tmp/)
  • the LOCAL_PROXY_PORT (default: 8080)
  • for mode FILE “direction”, which can have value UPLOAD|DOWNLOAD (note: only UPLOAD is available)

Also, in a next release, no installation of any Linux package will be necessary. All dependencies with OS binaries will be replaced by native code.

Development Workflow

The workflow supports the following steps

  • lint
  • test
  • build
  • document
  • upload
  • graph

These actions are supported out of the box by the corresponding scripts under _CI/scripts directory with sane defaults based on best practices. Sourcing setup_aliases.ps1 for windows powershell or setup_aliases.sh in bash on Mac or Linux will provide with handy aliases for the shell of all those commands prepended with an underscore.

The bootstrap script creates a .venv directory inside the project directory hosting the virtual environment. It uses pipenv for that. It is called by all other scripts before they do anything. So one could simple start by calling _lint and that would set up everything before it tried to actually lint the project

Once the code is ready to be delivered the _tag script should be called accepting one of three arguments, patch, minor, major following the semantic versioning scheme. So for the initial delivery one would call

$ _tag –minor

which would bump the version of the project to 0.1.0 tag it in git and do a push and also ask for the change and automagically update HISTORY.rst with the version and the change provided.

So the full workflow after git is initialized is:

  • repeat as necessary (of course it could be test - code - lint :) ) * code * lint * test
  • commit and push
  • develop more through the code-lint-test cycle
  • tag (with the appropriate argument)
  • build
  • upload (if you want to host your package in pypi)
  • document (of course this could be run at any point)

Important Information

This template is based on pipenv. In order to be compatible with requirements.txt so the actual created package can be used by any part of the existing python ecosystem some hacks were needed. So when building a package out of this do not simple call

$ python setup.py sdist bdist_egg

as this will produce an unusable artifact with files missing. Instead use the provided build and upload scripts that create all the necessary files in the artifact.

Documentation

Contributing

Please read CONTRIBUTING.md for details on our code of conduct, and the process for submitting pull requests to us.

Authors

  • Vincent Schouten - Initial work - LINK

See also the list of contributors who participated in this project.

License

This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE.md file for details

Acknowledgments

  • Costas Tyfoxylos
  • MisterDaneel (developer of pysoxy)

History

0.0.1 (13-05-2020)

  • First code creation

0.1.0 (13-05-2020)

  • first commit

0.1.1 (13-05-2020)

  • pypi complains filename has been used, increment version

0.1.2 (13-05-2020)

  • entry_point modified

0.1.3 (13-05-2020)

  • program blows up when no config file is provided - fixed

0.1.4 (15-05-2020)

  • bug fixed (connections would freeze after a few minutes) + else branches added + wrote few lines of code for debugging purposes

0.1.5 (15-05-2020)

  • bug is really fixed now (connections would freeze after a few minutes)

0.1.6 (16-05-2020)

  • cli refactored due to changes in API of lib: the constant GROUP_PORTS has to be passed to several classes and the new method named tunnel.periodically_purge_buffer() has to be invoked once

0.1.7 (16-05-2020)

  • dependency file(s) updated as newer version of lib has become more stable

0.1.8 (17-05-2020)

  • cli refactored due to changes in API of lib: class Assistant to Instructor renamed + critical bug fixed in new lib version

0.1.10 (04-07-2020)

  • dependency file updated as powermolelib bumped to version 2.0.1

0.2.0 (04-07-2020)

  • bug in powermolelib fixed, therefore Pipfile updated to include latest version

0.3.0 (04-07-2020)

  • bug in powermolelib fixed, therefore Pipfile updated to include latest version

0.4.0 (04-07-2020)

  • bug in powermolelib fixed, therefore Pipfile updated to include latest version

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