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Introducing PoshC2 v6.0

We are pleased to release the latest version of PoshC2 – v6.0. Version 6.0 includes a number of significant and exciting features, in addition to the usual plethora of bug fixes and small improvements. In this blog post, we take a look at some of the more significant changes and feature rich enhancements to make it easier for operators.

Download PoshC2 v6.0

You can download PoshC2 v6.0 from GitHub:

github GitHub: https://github.com/nettitude/PoshC2

Postgres Support

Reporting and auditing actions is an essential part of any C2 framework. As operators, we need to reliably determine all actions that have performed, in case there’s an incident as well as for accurate reporting. PoshC2 normally uses SQLite databases in the project directory to store its data, but we found that for large projects or a very high number of implants the performance of this database can become an issue and start to slow down.

For this reason, we’ve added support for Postgres databases, allowing teams to point their PoshC2 install at a Postgres instance and have the project data stored in a performant database on a separate server, if desired.

Using Postgres in PoshC2 is easy, simply change the DatabaseType value in the config.yml from SQLite to Postgres, and set the PostgresConnectionString as follows. The only other thing to note is you must create the database manually before adding the connection string.

That’s all there is to it!

Daisy Chaining

Daisy chaining implants has been an incredible feature of PoshC2 for some time now. The ability to have one implant beacon to another existing implant allows operators to compromise environments that can’t reach the Internet, by having communications route through an active implant that can. These implants can be daisy-chained to an arbitrary length which is extremely useful and powerful, but sometimes setting up daisy-chaining felt a little arcane, and if you didn’t make the right sacrifice to the right deity at the right time it may not work and troubleshooting the issue was not the easiest.

To help with this, we’ve added a wizard. Simply run startdaisy from the implant you want to use as the daisy server and it will guide the operator through the different options and situations before starting the daisy server on the current implant, and generate new daisy payloads that can be used to connect to this instance.

Once the daisy implant has been obtained, the operator can simply run startdaisy on that implant if they want to go deeper, or just use the implant as they would normally if one layer pivoting is all that’s required.

It should be noted that binding to a non-localhost IP address requires elevation, but daisy-chaining can still be used on the localhost without elevation. This is useful for elevation of privilege attacks, for example, creating implants as other users that cannot or should not have traffic leaving the environment, such as SYSTEM implants.

Dynamic Code Execution

Most red teams need the ability to quickly adapt to situations, to take advantage of fleeting opportunities or tackle difficult problems innovatively and creatively.

To help with this, we’ve added a quick and easy way of being able to write and run code down on a C# implant. PoshC2’s ‘Dynamic Code’ feature creates a DynamicCode.cs file in the project payloads directory. This file can then be edited at will in your editor of choice and run in the implant instantly.

Once done, saving it and running dynamic-code from a C# implant will compile this code and execute it in memory, on the target, on the fly.

This should enable teams to prototype and run their own code snippets or C# scripts quickly, allowing them to improvise, adapt and overcome obstacles they encounter.

AMSI Bypass

We’ve also updated the AMSI bypass for C# implant as well as help obfuscate the initial PowerShell cradle, which may help when fighting off Windows Defender. There were recently a few good blog articles from the security community that have helped us with this, as follows:

@_RastaMouse also has a GitHub repository that has the AMSI ScanBufferBypass that is leveraged in the C# implant shellcode, which evades the System.Reflection.Assembly.Load methods. Hopefully this means you can have more success on engagements rather than fighting with Windows Defender in order to help improve your client’s security posture.

Sharp PowerShell

Another significant change is the addition of PowerShell execution in the C# implant.

By using the sharpps command, operators can execute PowerShell in memory on the target from a C# implant, effectively adding the full power of PowerShell and the PowerShell implant to the C# implant. Similarly, modules can be loaded using the pslo (PowerShell loadmodule) command.

#OpSec Warning: Note that while PowerShell.exe is never touched or used, this will load the System.Management.Automation.dll into memory for the implant process when a sharpps or pslo command is first run.

SharpSploit integration

SharpSploit is a fantastic resource and has been included with PoshC2’s modules for some time now, but usage had been quite manual through the run-dll command.

We have started to integrate SharpSploit into PoshC2 more in order to leverage this tool more easily, starting with its Mimikatz commands:

We will continue to expand in this area over the next few months, so watch this space.

Indicators of Compromise

A key consideration when using a C2 framework is the Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) it has, and how well known they are.

Many of PoshC2’s IoCs are well fingerprinted, but can be altered in the config.yml file, such as the UserAgent string, default migration process, server header and more.

Previously, the HTTP responses that were returned by the server were simple inline pages in the configuration file, making it difficult to alter these to reflect real HTML pages. These have now been pulled out into standalone files in resources/responses folder so they can be easily edited.

A file is randomly selected and used as a response for HTML requests.

Searching history

PoshC2 already allows interactive command searching similar to bash using the Ctrl-R key combination, but a much requested feature was the ability to search through the command history in a similar way to the searchhelp command, which returns a list based off a regex search.

A searchhistory command has now been added which does exactly this, allowing operators to find all relevant commands, helpful both on engagements and when reporting, or even updating your notes with the cool commands you used during a live engagement.

C# Portscanner

Rob Maslen’s (@rbmaslen) PortScanner module has been added to PoshC2 and integrated into the C# implant so we can now fully utilize this in engagements where the PowerShell implant may get detected.

This fast and effective port scanner is loaded and run in memory by the C# implant and can be executed as shown below. It will also show closed ports for when you may need to tunnel through the network using already pre-approved ports on the firewall.

fpc script improvements

The fpc (Find PoshC2 Command) script is installed by PoshC2 to help with reporting and logging. When run from the command line, it allows users to search the PoshC2 database for commands or command output containing certain keywords. Rich Hicks (@Console) has significantly enhanced this script by improving its output to include the user and timestamp that run the particular command, in addition to adding a new filter for the taskId.

This script has also been updated to add support for Postgres.

RedELK Support

Working with @OutflankNL we’ve helped add support for PoshC2 to their awesome RedELK tool. This Red Team SIEM provides phenomenal oversight and insight into the actions being performed both by the Red Team and by the Blue Team when investigating an incident caused by that C2 instance, alerting the Red Team that they have been compromised. For more information, see the RedELK page here: https://github.com/outflanknl/RedELK.

Download PoshC2 v6.0

You can download PoshC2 v6.0 from GitHub:

github GitHub: https://github.com/nettitude/PoshC2

Roadmap

We still have a lot of planned improvements for PoshC2. Some of the prioritised changes are below:

  • Refresh the documentation.
  • Continue improving the ease of configuration for PoshC2’s IoCs (Indicators of Compromise), such as the HTTP responses and URLs used.
  • Provide the community with increased detections for PoshC2’s default IoCs, such as behavioural IoCs, yara rules and so on.
  • Continue refactoring PoshC2 for ease of development and testing.
  • Link pre-compiled third-party modules to their respective repositories for credit, updating, investigation etc.
  • Move to ISO standard date formats (yyyy-MM-dd).
  • Add an (optional) embedded RedELK Red Team SIEM to PoshC2’s C2 server.
  • Update Nettitude’s Red Team Training Course to cover in detail advanced usage of PoshC2 and knowledge of its IoCs, including altering core behavioural and static IoCs.
  • Add a python3 dropper.

Other Updates

A large number of other updates and fixes have been added in this version, some of which are briefly summarised below. For updates and tips check out @nettitude_labs, @benpturner and @m0rv4i on Twitter.

  • Updated SharpHound to the latest version 3.0.4
  • Kali Linux is the supported Operating System of choice now, with the Dockerfile building from the base Kali rolling image.
  • Clockwork SMS support has been retired and Pushover support enhanced, with the ability to set the API keys from the Implant Handler.
  • The Implant Handler display has been altered slightly, with labels on the right and displayed in blue.
  • Modules are now no longer loaded from the modules directory if a full path is specified to the loadmodule command.
  • The C# dropper now explicitly states the format it expects numbers, such as jitter, to avoid formatting issues when implants are running in other locales.
  • Beacon times will only be updated in the UI and server side when a beacon successfully accepts the beacon update task.
  • Implants will now retry up to five times to POST task data back if the request fails.
  • Kevin-Robertson’s Powermad module added (Thanks to Roxana Kovaci (@rkovaci)).
  • Install Script now checks it is running as root and exits if now with a user friendly message (Thanks to @jaredstroud).
  • Add m0rv4i’s SharpCookieMonster module.
  • Added updated PowerUpSQL from @NetSPI and new SweetPotato.exe module from @CCob
  • Added a sharp command safety check in the PS implant to catch commands that are likely for the C# implant and prompt for confirmation.
  • Update Rubeus module (Thanks to Tom MacDonald (@BaffledJimmy))
  • Updated the SharpHound3 help for increased operational security and stealth (Thanks to Ross Bingham (@PwnDexter))
  • Added ability to auto-hide implants that have not beaconed in for over 30 beacons with the –a option to the implant handler.
  • Added a static warning to the top of the ImplantHandler in red when the Kill date is less than 7 days away (thanks to @Felix).
  • Fixed: Encryption of special characters in commands could silently fail, particularly critical when entering a password with a special character in it.
  • Fixed: Generated HTML reports being truncated
  • Fixed: Various Upload and Download-file issues. (Thanks to @clhefton and @chppppp)
  • Fixed: Missing mono assemblies for installing on Ubuntu
  • Fixed: startanotherimplant-keepfile command not working in Python implant
  • Fixed: SharpSocks support via Domain Fronted URLs.
  • Fixed: Mimikatz credential parsing for creds command.
  • Fixed: Python2 dropper didn’t work in Python versions before 2.7.0 (Thanks to @RustyBower).
  • Fixed: PowerShell implants install-servicelevel-persistence (Thanks to @developerbart)
  • Fixed: Typo in backup folder name when starting PoshC2 with a different configuration (Thanks to @er28-0652).
  • Fixed: Many, many issues with the PoshC2.psm1 PowerShell module for PoshC2 on Windows via Docker (Thanks to @justin-p).
  • Fixed: Various SharpSocks issues (Thanks to Roxana Kovaci (@rkovaci)).
  • Fixed: Kill date format handling inconsistent across locales (Thanks to @KidneyThief).
  • Fixed: Python dropper.sh now explicitly uses python2 (Thanks to @clhefton).

Making PoshC2 More Accessible With a $5 VPS

Users may find it difficult to host a PoshC2 server as it requires a Windows host, either directly connected to the Internet or in a position to be NAT’d through a firewall from an Internet facing C2 proxy. In this short post we’re going to show you how you can solve this problem in under 30 minutes with a $5 VPS.

For this to work you will need to create a small VPS from any provider. In this tutorial we’re going to use Digital Ocean, but feel free to use AWS, Azure, Vultr or one of the other providers out there.

First, start by creating a simple $5 per month  Digital Ocean droplet, using Ubuntu 16.04 or similar. The reason we’re using Ubuntu 16.04 is their tutorial for OpenVPN has been developed on this version, and we want to keep it simple. Once you’ve created the droplet, it should look something like this in your Droplets tab:

The next thing we need to do is get the host updated with the latest security patches, so perform an apt-get update and upgrade.

When you’re all up-to-date, we’ll install Apache2 which will be used as both the native web server and the proxy with which to forward all PoshC2 communication traffic through to your Windows host. It is important to note we only want the communications traffic to be forwarded and no other URLs.

To start this off, install apache as per the instructions below and enable the modules to allow proxying with Apache.

  • apt-get install apache2
  • a2enmod ssl
  • a2enmod rewrite
  • a2enmod proxy
  • a2enmod proxy_http
  • a2enmod headers
  • service apache2 restart

Once the default Apache2 install has completed, we find it easier to completely delete all files in the ‘sites-enabled’ and ‘sites-available’ folders of /etc/apache so that we can start from a fresh config, but this is purely an optional thing so do whatever best suits you and your setup. With one config file, we split out the virtual hosts and have both HTTP (port 80) and HTTPS (port 443) in one place.

The file we’re going to create for this postis called proxy.conf and should be located in the sites-available folder – /etc/apache2/sites-available/proxy.conf

The configuration should look something like the one below. Obviously yours may differ slightly if you decide to use multiple ports or have different virtual hosts with multiple names going through the same Apache server. However, to keep things simple, this is the default configuration without the rewrite rules applied.

Enable this site in Apache2 by either creating a symlink or by running this command:

  • a2ensite proxy.conf

This should then create a symlink in the sites-enabled directory as follows:

  • /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/proxy.conf -> /etc/apache2/sites-available/proxy.conf

Once you’re all done, restart your Apache2 service to ensure you have no errors.

  • service apache2 restart

The next thing you need to do is add your PoshC2 Apache Rewrite rules to the configuration.  This is where it can get quite complex depending on what you want the rules to do. As an example, when performing a Red Team engagement, your C2 infrastructure should be sufficiently locked down and should only allow implants from the correct IP address range of the Customer.

To add whitelisting on the C2 proxy, create a file with all the IP addresses that are known to be the client. There is a slight nuance with Apache as you have to add the list like this ( /etc/apache/whitelist):

Once you have the whitelist, you can use a function in the rewrite rules called RewriteMap to add the IP address list, to then use in the rewrite conditions. Here is a simple Rewrite Rule which will take the list above – if this is not found it will not process the rewrite rule. You have to do this for each rewrite rule you want for each URL. In this case we are applying to the /connect path as this is where the implant gets the stager, but if you customize the PoshC2 URLs then this may be different.

To complete the full Apache config, use the link below as a guide, but note you may need to change this for your PoshC2 setup as you customize the URLs for better evasion. Don’t forget that if you do change your URLs when setting up PoshC2 there is a file called apache2.conf in the root directory which created the rewrite rules for you. This does not add a whitelist but you can do this using the above config.

Now we have the Apache2 web server with our rewrite rules, we need to connect our Windows host to the this VPS using OpenVPN. I’m not going to walk through the exact steps to setup OpenVPN as there is a really good step by step guide which should take no more than around 20-30 minutes to follow and setup:

Once you’ve followed the guide to setup OpenVPN on the host in TUN mode, you can drop your client config onto your windows host. The OpenVPN server.conf configuration should look similar to this. This one is hosted over TCP 53 as we have 443 in use by the Apache Web Server.

Next, following the instruction in the Digital Ocean tutorial, create a client configuration file which matches the server settings and key files you setup and download this to your Windows host. Use the following link to install the Windows client, which should add a small icon to the task bar where you can import your configuration file to and connect.

At this point you should be nearly done. Once you get OpenVPN to successfully connect to the VPS, you can provide the Windows IP address in the Apache2 rewrite rules as the PoshC2 server and it will direct all traffic aimed for PoshC2 directly to the host. Remember that with this setup you will need to provide the external IP address or host name of the VPS as the PoshC2 server as shown in the image below – otherwise the payloads and droppers will be created with the wrong C2 server.

Having this kind of setup makes it extremely easy to deploy PoshC2 and should take no more than around 30 minutes of setup to have things fully weaponised and ready to go. Check out the latest updates for PoshC2 v3 from the blog below which induces a socks proxy (SharpSocks) to allow RDP via a HTTPS beacon.

PoshC2 – new features

There have been a few cool updates to PoshC2, our public Command & Control (C2) software, since we first released it. In this post, we’ll walk you through some of these new features so that you can try them out for yourself.  We encourage you to give it a go and get involved. Read more