Empirical study of the impact of metasploit-related attacks in 4 years of attack traces

E. Ramirez-Silva, M. Dacier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


For several years, various projects have collected traces of malicious activities thanks to honeypots, darknets and other Internet Telescopes. In this paper, we use the accumulated four years of data of one such system, the Leurré.com project, to assess quantitatively the influence, in these traces, of a very popular attack tool, the Metasploit Framework. We identify activities clearly related to the aforementioned exploitation tool and show the fraction of attacks this tool accounts for with respect to all other ones. Despite our initial thinking, the findings do not seem to support the assumption that such tool is only used by, so called, script kiddies. As described below, this analysis highlights the fact that a limited, yet determined, number of people are trying new exploits almost immediately when they are released. More importantly, such activity does not last for more than one or two days, as if it was all the time required to take advantage of these new exploits in a systematic way. It is worth noting that this observation is made on a worldwide scale and that the origins of the attacks are also very diverse. Intuitively, one would expect to see a kind of a Gaussian curve in the representation of the usage of these attacks by script kiddies over time, with a peak after one or two days when word of mouth has spread the rumor about the existence of a new exploit. The striking difference between this idea and the curves we obtain is an element to take into account when thinking about responsible publication of information about new exploits over the Internet. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

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