Pentest Lab Setup on Memcached

In this article, we are going to learn about pen-testing in Memcached lab setup in Ubuntu 18.04. Memcached server is used by corporations in order to increase the speed of their network as it helps to store frequently used data. This helps to take the load of the hardware and decrease the time taken.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Memcached.
  • Memcached Installation.
  • Memcached Configuration.

Introduction to Memcached

Memcached is a distributed memory object caching system. It’s an open source and without any cost tool. It is used to speed up web applications by using a database from the cache memory. It is an in-memory key-value store for little bits of self-assertive information (strings, objects) that is extracted from database calls, API calls, or page rendering. Memcached is basic however capable of advancing speed arrangement, ease of advancement, and understands numerous issues confronting expansive information caches. Its API is accessible for most prevalent languages.

Memcached Installation

To install, boot up your Ubuntu machine and open the terminal.

Note: Apache2 should be installed before installing Memcached. You can easily install Apache2 by just typing in a simple command.

Now that we are all done, let’s setup Memcached by typing the commands shown below.

After installing Memcached add ppa:ondrej/php PPA in your Ubuntu system’s repository to

download and install the latest version of PHP available. Follow the commands as shown below.

After adding the repository, update the system by typing in the following command.

Now, install PHP by executing the command shown below :

Now that PHP has been installed successfully in our system, we will go ahead and install the PHP Memcached module by executing the below command:

Once the installation is complete, restart the Apache2 service.

Now check whether the PHP extension is working fine or not by creating an info.php by using the code mentioned below with nano or any text editor you like.

Now save the file in /var/www/html

Once the file is saved, access it from your web browser by typing in the following URL.

You should see the results as shown in the image below.

Memcached Configuration

Now, here we are going to configure the Memcached Server. To do so, we have to edit its configuration file. You will find this configuration file through /etc/memcached.conf path. Open the memcached.conf file using nano or any other text editor. The commands that are shown below will be given and activated by default. The purpose of this mentioning is to let you know that where you can find it; along with why and how to make changes to it., if necessary. Following are the said commands which are important for low-level Memcached Server configuration:

-m 64

Here,

m: specifies the maximum memory limit which is used by Memcached daemon. By default, this limit is 64 MB

-p 11211

Here,

p: specifies the port number. By default, it’s 11211.

-u memcache

Here,

u starts the daemon tool as root.

After this, uncomment “-l 127.0.0.1” by simply adding # as shown in the image, as it will not be so by default. By uncommenting, it will stop binding the IP address of Memcached listener to the loopback IP. Hence, traffic can come from any IP over the internet.

Now once you saved the configuration file after making the changes, restart the service by using the following command :

Then use the following command to confirm whether Memcached configurations are working are not :

Once you are done with the above commands, connect Memcached through telnet and do a version check by typing in “version” command:

Now, you can use nmap to check if the Memcached service is running on the server.

Conclusion

To conclude, we can say that Memcached is a distributed memory caching system. It uses expiration timeouts i.e. if the server has no memory left, it will evict items to replace them with the new ones. The items it chooses to replace are the ones which have not been requested for a long period of time. And so, in the above article, we have provided a basic guide to set up the Memcached penetration testing lab.

Author: Benoy Naskar is a Certified Ethical Hacker, Researcher and Technical Writer at Hacking Articles on Information SecurityContact here

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