#open-source #module #exploit #payload #path #module-path #non

app catsploit

An open-source modern exploitation framework inspired by Metasploit

2 releases

0.1.2 Mar 2, 2023
0.1.0 Mar 2, 2023

#245 in Filesystem

Custom license

1.5K SLoC


Catsploit is an open-source modern exploitation framework inspired by Metasploit.

Catsploit is currently in early development and the project is aiming to attract contributors who are interested in building the next generation exploitation framework in Rust. The project is intended to stay 100% open-source with no premium version, and is licensed under GPLv3.


To install as a crate: cargo install catsploit

To build from source:

git clone https://github.com/tirax-lab/catsploit
cd catsploit/catsploit
cargo build --release
sudo cp ./target/release/catsploit /usr/local/bin

Example Usage - Exploiting the VSFTPD v2.3.4 Backdoor

In this exploitation a virtual machine with Metasploitable2 is running at, which has a vulnerable VSFTPD server running:

  • The default reverse shell nc_mkfifo_reverse_tcp payload has its LHOST set to which is where VMware routes back to the host machine
  • The VSFTPD exploit has its RHOST set to and the default RPORT is 21 for the FTP server
  • When run is called, the exploit runs and the payload runs a pretask which starts a listening TCP server for the shell connection
  • The exploit is successful and the payload executes on the Metasploitable2 system, the listening TCP server receives a connection and a root shell is opened




  • Module Types, catsploit currently has exploit and payload module types defined. Auxiliary, Evasion, Encoder, and many other module types should be created
  • More modules, more exploits, payloads and others written so that catsploit becomes usable in a general pentest
  • Better documentation for new users, tutorials, videos, etc.

Code Structure

  • The catsploit directory contains only the code to create the CLI app, such as the user input loop and dealing with setting module options. catsploit interacts with the catsploit_lib library
  • The catsploit_lib directory contains the library. catsploit_lib contains the functional code for carrying out tasks with Catsploit. For example the Exploit trait and also the individual modules such as the Vsftpd234Backdoor exploit

This structure of a split between the CLI app and the library allows other custom applications to hook into catsploit_lib and use its functionality. For example an axum server could be written in the future to allow calling of catsploit_lib code from a website.

Automated Testing

Some points on automated testing within Catsploit:

  • Tests are written for logical functionality. For example in catsploit_lib/src/core/exploit/remote_tcp.rs, tests are written for the both connect and custom_connect but not for opts. A test could be written for opts that iterates through the values looking for RHOST etc., but this makes the changing the opts function more involved for not much benefit
  • Tests are not written for functions that only print to STDOUT with no side effects. Example being print_exploit in catsploit/src/cli/info.rs
  • It's fine to modify a functions parameters and code block solely to make it more testable. For example show_exploits in catsploit/src/cli/cmd/show.rs takes a boolean indicating if the function is running in a test or not, to prevent it from printing the full exploit table to STDOUT during tests. There may be possible ways to block the STDOUT printing in the tests using closures etc., that wouldn't need to modify the show_exploits function signature. The added complexity and development time for that isn't worth it to avoid a simple parameter change.

Running Tests

To run tests for both the catsploit library and the CLI application:

cargo test --manifest-path=catsploit_lib/Cargo.toml && cargo test --manifest-path=catsploit/Cargo.toml


~193K SLoC