Downgrade HTTPS connections to HTTP using Ettercap filters

Ettercap is a great tool for MITM poisoning and sniffing. Everyone on Infosec should have played with it (or Cain) at least once.


MITM attacks are pretty easy to perform on a local network but the tools tend to crash a LOT. Cain (Windows) is a little more stable than Ettercap but I prefer it over Cain because it doesn’t spoof SSL that I consider too loud depending on the attack. NOTE: Ettercap runs better on text mode.


Well, another nice feature of Ettercap are its filters. You can do lot of stuff while playing with them. The nicest toy I’ve found to play around so far is content rewriting (but I think custom packet injection can be even funnier). Irongeek has played with Ettercap Filters in the past to rewrite img tags.

Sniffing while MITM

Sniffing plaintext passwords are just easy. Either Cain and Ettercap are built to detect common strings containing passwords but SSL has made this kind of sniffing impossible and many sites are using it at least for the login processes.

So while we wait for the super-quantum-computers to break 256-bit AES encryption, we may consider avoiding SSL for the period we’re sniffing so I’ve thought that filters could be perfect for that.

What would define where the login form data will be sent? The form‘s action field. So if I can interfere in the HTTP response I can send the login data ANYWHERE.

I’ve decided to just downgrade the SSL because I always tend to make the least noise I can (because we don’t want to get caught by the forensics, do we?). I could redirect the request to a specially crafted site or so but it would be much more noticeable.

What if SSL is required on server-side

No problem, SSL on server-side can be a requirement but by the time the server complains, data was already sent over in plain-text. :)

Getting things done

You can get my filter on my github page.

Just run the attack with the filter (assuming router is and victim is

You should see the following output:

And your victim will no longer receive (nor send) any https string anymore.

Quick note about request / response filtering

Sometimes you may have to comment one leg (request / response) out of the filtering or you will get redirection loops (like while tampering Facebook connections). Also, if the request is already under https, you won’t be able to filter it. The beauty of this attack is disallowing your victim to escape your domain to a secure zone.


Kentuckiana ISSA’s Metasploit Class videos available at Irongeek

These presentations from May 8th, 2010 performed on the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. on exploiting with the Metasploit framework has an tremendous value. Its from this month, still fresh! Its 7 hours of presentations, it takes a while to finish (I took almost a week! phew!) but its totally worth it!

It starts with Adrian “Irongeek” Crenshaw introducing Metasploit exploiting a Windows box via msfweb and msfconsole. Pretty neat.

Pwrcycle shows a good SYN scanning configuration on nmap with best practices for stealth using Decoys and taking advantage of fragmentation over IPS/IDSs. He also describes database (sqlite) integration on MSF and importing nmap scan results (XML). Pwrcycle also talks a little about db_autopwn that automatically exploits the target based on their open ports (from nmap scan). Quite kiddie and stealthless (as pwncycle itself mentions on the video), but funny tough.

Another great topic handed by pwncycle is Pivoting, the technique of jumping through machines to escalate your privileges. You go from a restricted environment to a more-featured on, on the compromised machine network and account privileges.

One that is very very exciting is Elliott “Nullthreat” Cutright that introduces stack overflow on a live demo (that was really cool) of a step-by-step basic example using an outdated version of tftpd for Windows (plugged on a debugger) while spawning the calc.exe.

On a great overview on the Meterpreter, Metasploit’s meta-interpreter payload, Martin “PureHate” Bos shows the advanced features you can easily achieve without tons of Assembly hacking like file transfers, hash dumping, and forth. It also mentions the capability of restoring de MAC (access, more specifically) times from a file. Forensics experts, go crazy! He also talks about psexec and event log clearing. Excellent!

This video introduces lots of concepts on post-exploitation like process migration, trace cleanup and even injecting the encoded (shikata ga nai polymorphic encoding, to avoid detection from AVs) meterpreter into executables to create backdoors (the creation of a persistent meterpreter backdoor is also covered). Martin also briefly shows Metasploit Experss, that is a portable Metasploit version.

David “ReL1K” Kennedy opens his talk showing how language packs may influence the exploit since it changes memory locations and then proceeds to the opensource python-driven metasploit-integrated Social-Engineering Framework that exploits our weakest link in security: the human element.

Exploitation is done by spoofing (cloning) websites (that is excelent paired with Ettercap’s dns_spoof), spoofing Meterpreter Java Applet signature or by exploiting serious browser flaws like the Aurora Memory Corruption (used as example in video) within the Metasploit integration.

David also talks about using commom services’ ports to bypass egress filtering and exploiting SQL Server vulnerabilities with Metasploit and FastTrack.

Videos can be watched online at Adrian’s website. The videos can also be downloaded in a better quality (files ~ 500MB).