BackTrack in your back pocket

or Accessing a BackTrack server via mobile phone in some vaguely secure way

The Objective
Set up a Backtrack system that is accessible over the internet from the phone in my pocket. What can I say? I like to practice my metasploit syntax while waiting in the doctor's office. Oh, and I'd also like to do it as cheaply as possible and in some relatively secure fashion.

The Solution
BT4 R2 under VMWare
This would allow me to move it around as well as maintain a “Known Good” snapshot

This would allow me to access the system from any computer that had a tunneling ssh client, specifically my phone

Secure it
a good password, changed frequently (even better to use certificate authentication for ssh) frequent reverts to the “Known Good” snapshot tunnel VNC through SSH changing the default SSH port from tcp/22 port knocking in order to gain access
note: sample configuration files will be in the Speaker Notes where appropriate

First, you will need BackTrack
"BackTrack is a Linux security distribution." "Whether you’re hacking wireless, exploiting servers, performing a web application assessment, learning, or social-engineering a client, BackTrack is the one-stop-shop for all of your security needs. BackTrack is a Linux-based penetration testing arsenal that aids security professionals in the ability to perform assessments in a purely native environment dedicated to hacking." This was all cribbed directly from their website: This is also where you can download the latest release. Make sure you download the one for VMWare. (I know. I know. It doesn't really matter for you hardcore geeks)

Why VMWare?
VMWare allows us to not have to dedicate a whole system to just BackTrack. BackTrack has been kind enough to provide a VMWare virtual appliance. VMWare also provides us the the ability to take a "snapshot" of the system. This means if the system ever gets breached or you screw up configuration you can always return to your "Known Good".

Booting up under VMWare
You can download VMWare Player for free (with registration) from: Extract the BackTrack files and open up the one with the ".vmx" extension. Login with userid: root / password: toor No need to start XWindows, but if you really want to, type: startx

'toor'? Really? You gonna keep that?
The default password is 'toor'. Change this immediately with: passwd

Configure the local firewall
We want to setup the BackTrack firewall to block all but necessary traffic. You will need to decide now which ports you are going to use for port knocking and ssh. In this example we will use the following: port knocking: tcp/1111, tcp/2222, udp/3333 ssh: tcp/4444 Feed your config file to iptables-restore iptables-restore < /etc/iptables.rules

* sample configuration file in the Speaker notes

Enable Networking
The BackTrack server is configured for DHCP, but the interface is disabled by default. You can enable it with: /etc/init.d/networking start For static IP address you will need to edit: vi /etc/network/interfaces* You can set networking to auto-start on a reboot with: update-rc.d networking defaults

* sample configuration file in the Speaker notes

Update BackTrack
Now that we have internet access, it's a good time to get the OS up to date. apt-get -y update apt-get -y upgrade apt-get clean

Enable and configure SSH
SSH will be your primary access to BackTrack. Luckily most of the tools you will use in BackTrack are run from command-line anyway. Edit the config file to change the default SSH port. * vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config Generate your ssh encryption keys (Do not enter passphrases) ssh-keygen -t dsa -f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key ssh-keygen -t rsa -f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key Start the ssh server and set it to auto-start on a reboot /etc/init.d/ssh start update-rc.d ssh defaults

Advanced configuration using certificate based authentication is at the end of this presentation * sample configuration file in the Speaker notes

Port Knocking
You can think of port knocking as a "secret knock" used to remotely open and close the ssh port. Backtrack will start with all ports closed. After you send it a special sequence of packets, the port knock server will issue a command to open the ssh port. After you are finished using ssh, you send it a different sequence to close the port again. We will use knockd as our port knock server.

Port Knocking install and configuration
To install knockd: apt-get install knockd Edit the config file to set-up the ports you want to use: vi /etc/knockd.conf Start knockd in daemon mode: knockd -d -i eth0 Is this just "security through obscurity"?

* sample configuration file in the Speaker notes

Start VNC
Even though we will rarely use a gui or XWindows, why not have it? At the very least, it looks more impressive when you show off. Start VNC (you will be prompted to set a password): vncserver We will access VNC through an SSH tunnel.

Take a picture, it'll last longer
Take a VMWare snapshot and call it "Known Good". Every now and again you can restore this snapshot in VMWare and come back to exactly this point in your configuration. VM -> Snapshot -> Take Snapshot

Dynamic DNS
If you don't have a static IP address you will probably want to setup dynamic DNS on host. This is a free service that will keep a hostname always registered to whatever your current, ISP assigned, IP address. You can run the client on any machine behind your router. There are many options. Here are two:

Configure the your Internet router
Your internet or wireless router will need to be configured to forward external ports for both SSH and port knocking to the BackTrack system. This is usually available in your router administration.

Client side
That is it for the server. You now have it configured for port knocking, ssh, vnc and remote access over the internet. Now it's time to configure the client. You will need two clients. One for port knocking and one for ssh/vnc. My examples will be for the iPhone, but most smart phones will have these types of clients available. Links for Android clients are listed later.

iPhone:Install and configure KnockOnD
I chose KnockOnD as my port knocking client. Mainly because it's free, ad free and it works.

iPhone : Install and configure iSSH
iSSH is not free. As of this writing it's about 10$USD. But it has benefits that the others do not have. Not the least of which is that it allows for tunneling VNC.

Android clients
For ssh/vnc use ConnectBot ConnectBot

For port knocking use knock-android Knock-Android

Amaze your Friends and Family

Amaze yer friends with your incredible 500P3R L337 H4X0R skills

Flush all iptables rules /sbin/iptables --policy INPUT ACCEPT /sbin/iptables --policy OUTPUT ACCEPT /sbin/iptables --policy FORWARD ACCEPT /sbin/iptables -F verify SSH is working without the rules verify knockd, ssh, vnc are running ps ax | grep knockd

verify ports netstat -an verify iptables iptables -L -n kill processes killall knockd killall sshd vncserver -kill :1

Advanced: SSH Certificate Authentication
Server setup
Change into your local .ssh config directory cd /root/.ssh Generate a RSA key pair (make sure to set a password) ssh-keygen -v -t rsa Authorize the key for 'root' access to the ssh server cp authorized_keys

Advanced: SSH Certificate Authentication
Client setup
Copy your public key to an iPhone note. cat /root/.ssh/id_rsa Sync your iPhone and copy the note to your iPhone clipboard. Import (Paste) it to iSSH from General Settings > Configure SSH Keys > Import Key... Change your Connection to "Use Key" authentication Verify connectivity

Advanced: Disable Password Authentication
Server setup
Edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config* PasswordAuthentication no ChallengeResponseAuthentication no Edit the config file to change the default SSH port /etc/init.d/ssh restart

* sample configuration file in the Speaker notes

I hope you found this useful. The original version of this presentation can be found at:

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