Metasploit and Nessus

Metasploit provides flexibility to penetration testers as it can support some of the most important tools inside the framework like Nessus and Nmap. You can initiate Nessus scans directly from the metasploit console, import existing scans and actually operate Nessus from inside the framework.

The main advantage is that the information is centralized between these tools since Nessus and Nmap scans are stored in the Metasploit database in an organized manner. Therefore it is possible to launch a Nessus scan via Metasploit, identify a vulnerability and then execute the appropriate exploit without leaving the framework and saving pentesting time.

The first step is to start and connect the postgresql database to Metasploit:


Starting the Database and Verification of Connectivity

If the database is not created you can initiate it with the following command:


Building the Metasploit Database

Then you can load the Nessus plugin:


Load Nessus Inside Metasploit

Before you can operate Nessus via Metasploit you need to authenticate with your existing credentials:


Nessus Authentication via Metasploit

Metasploit requires the policy UUID before the creation of a new nessus scan and the scan ID in order to execute it:


Launching a Nessus Scan

When the scan is finished the list of vulnerabilities that Nessus has discovered can be generated:


Listing Nessus Vulnerabilities

Metasploit can divide also the number of findings by host and criticality:


List of Findings by Host

Existing Nessus scans can also imported to Metasploit.


Importing existing Nessus Scan to Metasploit Database

Running Nessus or Nmap via Metasploit in a large pentest can help the penetration tester to manage his results effectively, save project time and therefore to conduct a quality assessment.

List of Tools for Pentest Rookies

It is difficult sometimes for someone without any experience that he wants to join the field of the penetration testing to establish which tools he should know as a starting point. Based on what the industry usually expects from rookies during the interview or in their first year if they join the company that is hiring, the following list has been created as a pointer with the most common tools.

These tools can cover the basics in an infrastructure and in a web application penetration test. Of course all of these should be used in a safe lab environment and not across the Internet.

Interview Tips

An interview is an opportunity for someone to chase something better for his career. It is the time that he needs to shine and demonstrate that he has the professional behaviour. Being professional it means two things: responsibility and maturity.

There are some generic rules that every interviewee should follow in order to impress and increase his possibilities to have a job offer. Except of the technical knowledge a good candidate should focus on the below:

  • Think before you answer any question
  • Know your CV fully and be ready to respond about it
  • Wear professional clothes
  • Arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the interview
  • Perform a background check on the company
  • Perform a background check on the interviewer
  • Give clear answers and concise
  • If you don’t know an answer admit it
  • If you don’t understand a question ask for clarifications
  • Be ready to ask questions about the role and the company
  • Be polite and enthusiastic
  • Thank the interviewer for his time at the end of the interview

Common Windows Commands for Pentesters

Every penetration tester should be fluent with the Windows command prompt since various commands could be used in different stages of a penetration test like domain recon and post exploitation.

Of course there are plenty of windows commands to use and the purpose of this post is not to cover all of them but only those that are needed during an exam certification, interview or a basic penetration test.

The following commands are considered the most common:

  • whoami – List the current user
  • net share – View current network shares
  • net use X: \\IP_Address\c$ – Mount a remote network share
  • net localgroup – Retrieve the local groups
  • net localgroup Administrators – Retrieve local administrators
  • net user pentestuser pentestpass /add – Add a new user to the current host
  • net localgroup Administrators pentestuser /add – Add pentestuser to the local administrators group
  • net user pentestuser /domain – View information about a domain user
  • net group “Domain Admins” /domain – Retrieve domain administrators
  • net config server/workstation – View the domain name of current host
  • net view – List all hosts in the current workgroup or domain
  • net view /domain – List all domains available
  • net user /domain – List all the domain users

Practical Skills for Technical Interviews

If your job interview requires a practical component then you need to prepare in certain areas. Obviously due to time constraints it is not possible for a candidate to cover everything in his preparation and future employers doesn’t expect that as well. However candidates need to demonstrate that they know how to perform basic penetration testing activities up to level and are confident.

Employers usually they are looking for candidates that they know already how to perform the basics as it will take less working time to train them and they can be billable faster.

The following skills are required for almost any technical interview:


  • Scan a Subnet Network to Identify Hosts
  • Nmap – TCP/UDP scan and Service and Version Detection
  • Metasploit – Search and Configure Modules
  • Meterpreter – Dump hashes and Privilege Escalation
  • Unix – NFS Export, Connect to a Share Folder, Telnet Authentication Bypass
  • Windows – Netapi vulnerability
  • Database – xp_cmdshell

Web Application

  • Authentication Bypass
  • Modify Cookie Values
  • Reflected and Stored Cross Site Scripting
  • SQL Injection
  • Command Execution
  • File Inclusion (RFI and LFI)


List of Pentest Blogs to Follow

Most of the penetration testers have their own blog or website where they share their research, techniques or personal tools. Keeping a list of well-known blogs to follow it will allow you to learn about a specific technique which it cannot be found on books or a new script that will assist you during your daily penetration testing activities.

Below is a list of some of the most popular blogs which are recommended to follow and read:


List of Books for Pentest Rookies

For the people that they want to make a start into the penetration testing industry it is really important to build their knowledge in a structure way. Books can provide guidance and build the foundation knowledge that is required for a start.

In nowadays there are plenty of books written by penetration testers for penetration testers that provide technical examples so it would be easier for the reader to understand them and obtain as well some practical skills.

The skills that someone will require by reading a technical book and following the examples in his home lab environment will not only be useful for a potential job interview but on his day to day job as well.

As a starting point the following books are recommended: