Protecting your network by pen testing it

This post is for educational purposes and any use of these tools against a network without explicit permission could be illegal.   Metasploit is designed to identify weaknesses in networks and hardware/software on a network.  Do NOT use metasploit for other reasons.

Want to protect your network and the computers in your network?  You can get updates for your operating systems (Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows or whatever) along with updates for third party programs yet you can still be unsecure.    When updating these products, you also have to remember firmware and updates for wireless devices, access points, bridges, firewalls, routers, switches, SCADA devices, robots, mobile devices, printers and any device on your network.


Metasploit Community is free and allows for a free scan of your network or server. Although limited (Try Pro for details and Brute Force), Metasploit Community is a first step in finding open services and ports on your operating system, hardware devices such as routers and other devices.   The trick to installing Metasploit is to disable your antivirus or make exceptions to what your antivirus finds.   You should truly install the software inside of a VM (Virtual Machine) so that your computer remains protected.

You can use Metasploit to protect your network by ‘seeing’ what a hacker or malicious person would see.  Truly for network professionals and auditors, this software can help you identify services, ports and weaknesses in your network.

There are several versions of Metasploit – Community, Pro, Express and Framework (Compare Editions)

Metasploit     Metasploit Two

Metasploit Scan Complete     metasploit Hosts

Metasploit Services After Scan

The above scan was in a controlled lab.  Malicious scanning of networks may be illegal.  Read  Penetration Basics on Metasploit’s website.

Tutorials (Videos)

Best IT Professional sites on the web

It’s hard to find great quality information that can be used by IT professionals.  One of the best sites on the web is GEGeek.  This site offers information that is updated often and covers a wide range of IT resources and troubleshooting.  This versatile site offers answers to IT questions covering a plethora of topics from legacy to modern day resources.

No where on the net can you find this amount of information.



Rick over at What’s On My PC has another site that is one of the most resourceful sites on the web.
Bookmarks 4 Techs links to over 700+ sites and blogs on the web.  The site offers links, RSS Feeds, news and hundreds of other links.


The life of a file

The life of a file…

8:00 a.m.  The executive secretary begins writing a credit memo for several clients.  The file has sensitive data.

8:15 a.m.   The file is saved to the documents folder on the secretary’s desktop.   The document is truly on a domain server in her profile folder.   There is one copy of the file.

8:17 a.m.   The secretary opens her email and attaches the file.   The secretary emails the document to ten recipients.

8:17:30 a.m.  The file goes to ten different email servers.

8:18: a.m.  The file now sits on eleven computers- ten email servers and on the company’s domain server.

8:19 a.m. The file gets downloaded onto three tablets and one notebook.   The file is now on 16 devices.

8:19 a.m. The file received by two of the email recipients above is synchronized to a cloud backup service.  The file is now on 19 devices.

8:20 a.m. The file is received by the above tablet and is synchronized onto a cloud backup service and synchronizes with the end-user’s phone and their home desktop computer.  The file is now on 22 devices.

8:20:45 a.m. The file on the above recipient is copied to a third party storage solution from their phone.  The file is now on 23 devices.

8:21 a.m.  The file now synchronizes from the one of the above tablets above and is forwarded to a private email.  The file is downloaded to their phone.  The file is now on 25 devices.

8:29 a.m.  The file is received by the remaining six recipients and is synchronized to five cloud servers, lands on four laptops and three smartphones.   The file is now on 43 devices.

8:30 a.m.  The corporate server synchronizes to a backup drive and shots the secretary’s file to an offsite backup.  The file is now on 45 devices.

8:35 a.m.  The secretary copies the file to a USB drive and prepares for a business meeting at another location.  The file is now on 46 devices.

9:05 a.m. One of the email recipients copies the file to a flashdrive and gives the file to an associate.  The file is now on 47 devices.

9:07 a.m. The secretary arrives at the off-site location and gives the flashdrive to a co-worker.  The co-worker prepares for a presentation and copies the file to a presentation laptop.  The file is now on 48 devices.

9:08 a.m.  The flash drive is placed into the pocket of the co-worker.   One of the email recipients copies the file onto a server and shares the file to 8 co-workers.   Six of the co-workers download the file to their tablets.  The file is now on 55 devices.

9:10 a.m.  The presenter at the offsite location  jogs to an out building to get supplies for the meeting.  The flashdrive falls through a hole in his pocket.

9:12 a.m.   An archiving program on the second server copies the file into a data warehouse server.  The data warehouse server makes a copy of the file and backs up the file.  There is now 57 devices.

9:15 a.m.  One of the email recipients cannot open the file on his tablet.   The email recipient copies the file to a flash drive and moves the file to a company laptop.   The file is now on 58 devices.

9:20 a.m.  An email recipient forwards the email to a wrong address and to three correct addresses.   The file goes to four email servers and is downloaded to three laptops and onto a desktop of one user.   The file is now on 67 devices.

9:21 a.m. The email is synchronized to other devices for the last group of recipients.   The file lands on an addition nine devices.   The file is now on 76 devices.

9:30 a.m. The email servers backup the files for the recipients.  The file is now on now on 90+ devices.

9:31 a.m.  The meeting starts at the offsite location.

9:32 a.m.  A stranger finds the flashdrive that was dropped outside of the building.   Another stranger downloads the email that was wrongfully sent to them.

In today’s world, your one file grows as though it were a microorganism.   It is held by many corporations and can be seen by many individuals…in the first hour.


Great Networking tools to analyze your network

ICSI Netalyzer is an excellent online tool that measures over 100 areas of your internet connectivity.  Use this to troubleshoot your internet connectivity.  Hosted by the University of Berkeley, this online tool is a must have when optimizing your network.

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NANO Project – “NANO identifies performance degradations that result from network neutrality violation by an Internet service provider (ISP), such as, differential treatment of specific classes of applications, users, or destinations by the ISP.”   (Currently available for Linux only – Windows coming soon)

HostView -“HostView is an end-host measuring tool to collect network performance data annotated with users’ perceived quality of the network. Traces collected with HostView will be invaluable for us to design algorithms that automatically diagnose performance problems in individual applications as perceived by end-users.  (Currently for Mac)

HomeNet Profiler – gives a look at your network around your home – results are uploaded and a private link is given (research only)

A Search Engine that shows devices on the web

Secure your devices.  Bottom-line, there are malicious users on the web that can find your device (webcams, IP cameras, routers, SCADA and other devices).  Change the default passwords and update software/firmware when it is available.  Disable UPNP and look for vulnerabilities that may affect your device.


CNN’s Money on “Hacking anything connected to the internet



CIT Continues Advanced Training on Airfiber AF24s

The Computer Information Technology class continues to receive advanced training on the Ubiquiti AF24 Airfiber.  The Ubiquiti AF24 Airfiber is a hi-power, linear 2X2 MIMO radio with enhanced receiver performance and reliability.  The AF24 has a breakthrough speed of 1.4+ Gbps real data throughput.

These devices are specifically designed for outdoor Point to Point bridging between buildings and provide hi-performance network backhauls.  These dual-independent 2×2 MIMO 24GHz hi-gain reflector antenna systems, can operate in FDD and HDD  modes providing speed and spectral efficiency in the 24GHz band.

Students learn how to configure advanced wireless devices for real world information technology and hands-on experience.

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429478_10200791244321655_297120865_n    527862_10200791246441708_100458323_n


Justin, Josh and Theo’s results during a configuration of the AF24s.

Students also participate in a wireless shoot-off.   This contest challenges the students to design an antenna that will make an association between a standard access point and a laptop that will connect at extreme distances.  The contest will start the second week of April.

(L-R) Jay Matlock, Jonathan Laine, Scott Hess (designer of a parabolic dish with a helical transceiver), Tyler Clift and Kenny Cooper.

  Photo by D. Babian

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Great details about building the Airfiber below (from 03:17 forward)

049 050 100_3064  100_3066  100_3068 100_3069

Quad Quad

Photos above (D. Babian)

IMAG0443  IMAG0445 IMAG0447  IMAG0450 IMAG0451 IMAG0452 IMAG0454 IMAG0455 IMAG0456 IMAG0457 IMAG0458   IMAG0465 IMAG0466   IMAG0469



Photo Credit: (Wil McKamey)

Apple Takes Tool offline After New Security Hole Surfaces

“Less than a day after Apple announced a new two-factor authentication to better protect Apple ID and iCloud accounts, the company was scrambling to fix another major security hole with its own password reset tool.”

AddThis ThreatPost

Apple Takes Tool offline After New Security Hole Surfaces.

How long will it take to crack your password?

Mickey found a great site that gives the approximate time it will take to break your password.  The site, gives the  approximate time and a background color that indicates how secure your password is.  There are other things to worry about.  One of the things people don’t realize is that the code in your website may reveal even the most complex passwords.  It is up to the webmaster of your site to keep you secure.



Surface Pro vs. iPad vs. Android

So we played with the Surface Pro and the iPad and measured each for productivity.   What did we find?

After using an iPad for a year and having the Surface Pro for just under a week, the Pro far out shines the iPad tablet and our Android we’ve had for two years; no comparison.  Why?  Here’s what we found.

With the Surface Pro 128 Gb,  you have a stylus, USB and every application that a laptop has.   The critics say the 128 Gb is wrong because you get less than you pay for.   Part of this is used by the OS.     Have you ever purchased a laptop?  The Pro can be used with every application you ever had and with the VGA adapter, you can hook it to a full size monitor ($39.99).   The USB can be hooked to a cheap USB hub ($1.99) and guess what?  External hard drives can be used for storage (and don’t forget you have an SD slot), flash drives, external DVDs, a full size keyboard and 127 other USB accessories including printers.   The same as Windows 7.   The speed is much faster and the reliability and new features are an excellent addition to this OS compared to Windows 7.  Why aren’t critics looking at that?  Another great mystery of American consumerization.  So there you go.  You can have a full desktop by laying your tablet on your desk and plugging in two things.   When you are ready to go, just disconnect and you have a tablet or with the keyboard, a laptop.   So the $900+ price tag is a bargain.

Also navigation is NOT hard.   All you have to do is remember corners…touch any corner and you have menus.  Is that really hard?  Nope.  Are we overlooking a great OS?  I truly think so.  Thanks Kenny for bring the Pro to school.  Mine’s on order.

Surface Pro

The Surface Pro and what Microsoft is not telling you – it can replace your laptop and desktop.

For the IT Professionals – join it to a domain and use the policies you have to further control this device on your network.

Setting the optimal MTU inside of your router

How you find the optimal MTU settings is truly a matter of opinion.  Here is what we do…remember setting firewalls, routers and your computer will truly tweak out your connection.  Start on the outside and change your router or firewall first and then each computer (Use TCPOptimzer for computers).  Don’t forget access points and other devices.

  • Find an ISP or a website you can ping.
  • Ping the website from the command prompt (Windows) using the following command
  • ping -f -l 1472   (the -l is an “L” that is a lowercase and there is a space between each command and switch)
  • Hit the enter key
  • If you receive the message of fragmentation, reduce by 10 or 20 until you get responses.  Increase the number by 1 until you are 1 less away from getting a fragmentation message (midpoint – between high and low)
  • Now add 28 to this number.  (Why? This is because you specified the ping packet size – and did not include the header which is 28bytes)
  • This will give you your MaxMTU size.  (Enter this into your devices and into your OS)

Other Operating Systems

Linux users

ping -s 1472

Apple users:

ping -D -s 1472

Linux and Apple commands are case sensitive.

Here’s a quick example where I ran all the way down to 1400.  Therefore I would add 28bytes and the MaxMTU would be 1428.

C:\Users\x2370>ping -f -l 1450 http://www.somewhereoverthere  (use your ISP here)

Pinging http://www.somewhereoverthere [ IP Address] with 1450 bytes of data:
Reply from Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set.
Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set.
Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set.
Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set.

Ping statistics for  IP Address:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 1, Lost = 3 (75% loss),

C:\Users\x2370>ping -f -l 1400 www.somewhereoverthere  (use your ISP here)

Pinging http://www.somewhereoverthere IP Address] with 1400 bytes of data:
Reply from IP Address: bytes=1400 time=161ms TTL=110
Reply from  IP Address: bytes=1400 time=80ms TTL=110
Reply from  IP Address: bytes=1400 time=60ms TTL=110
Reply from  IP Address: bytes=1400 time=124ms TTL=110

Ping statistics for  IP Address:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 60ms, Maximum = 161ms, Average = 106ms

Always test your internet before and after.  Use a true speed test such as has been around since 1996 and uses real world speed test. also is NOT owned by an ISP so there isn’t a chance of inflated scores or speeds.

Give it a try and use the Download and Upload link from the menu.

One in four wireless networks are still unsecure

Annually our class studies wireless technology and its implementation into homes and industry.   Surveys are conducted to analyze security used, transmit power and geographic location of wireless technology.  According to, Security has improved over the last nine years.  Home users are still setting up their wireless wrong by not providing a WPA2 (AES) form of encryption.  Approximately 23% of home users still have open internet that neighbors or anyone passing by can use.   (22 million are secure and 9 million remain unsecure!)  Vendors have tried to make setting up wireless easy and secure by providing WPS and/or a setup utility disk that walks the user through step by step.  Once you have secure wireless, you should change the password periodically to prevent users from learning what your passphrase is.

Wigle provides a map of wireless throughout the globe.  As users find wireless, they upload their data to Wigle and the database is free to the public.

With GPS technology today, anyone including malicious wardrivers can map out coordinates of unsecured wifi.  Make sure you secure your wifi.

See our other articles on wireless technology

Note:  During a survey we do not use packet analyzers or methods to see data on the wireless networks.