Having built my CommandoVM in a previous post, now I am going to look at what’s installed, and what else I might want to add to the distribution. I’ll start with some tweaks I made to get the box into shape, check out what tools are present, and add some that I notice missing. After this, in I’ll use the VM to work a HTB target, and report back on in a future post.


I probably should have addressed this in the opening post. Since I’m using this machine exclusively to work on HackTheBox and other CTF challenges, I’m going to take a similar approach as I did with Kali where I run as root, and run a single user in the Administrators group. If I were a PenTester dealing with customer or other sensitive data, I would look into running as a non-privileged user and increasing my operational security.

Getting Connected - OpenVPN

I’ll needed to connect to the HackTheBox vpn. In Kali, I’d simple run openvpn [my config file] in a terminal window. In Windows, it’s different.

First, I enabled the OpenVPN service. I hit windows key and then typed services, and opened it. Then I scrolled down to OpenVPNService, right clicked, and hit run. I did the same with the OpenVPN Interactive Service. I then double clicked on both, and changed their startup type to Automatic:


Then I opened OpenVPN from the start menu. It’s important to run this as an Administer, as only an admin can add the interfaces necessary to complete the connection. The first thing I got was a popup saying that there were no config files found:


I also noticed the OpenVPN icon appears in the notification icons:


I right clicked on it, and selected “Import file…”. I found 0xdf.ovpn, and it imported successfully. Now I can right click on the status icon and say “Connect”. The status window pops up, and after a minute, goes away. The icon is now green:


And I can ping htb hosts:


Pinging with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=63
Reply from bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=63
Reply from bytes=32 time=17ms TTL=63
Reply from bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=63

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% los." | relative_url }}),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 17ms, Maximum = 20ms, Average = 18ms



When I opened cmd and tried to ping something to check my VPN connection, I got a strange result:

Use: C:\Python27\Scripts\ping.py <src ip> <dst ip>

If I try ping.exe, it works as expected:


Pinging with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=63
Reply from bytes=32 time=21ms TTL=63
Reply from bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=63
Reply from bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=63

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% los." | relative_url }}),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 18ms, Maximum = 21ms, Average = 19ms

Looking at the path shows me why:

C:\Users\0xdf>echo %PATH%
C:\Python37\Scripts\;C:\Python37\;C:\Python27\;C:\Python27\Scripts;C:\Program Files (x8." | relative_url }})\Common Files\Oracle\Java\javapath;C:\ProgramData\Boxstarter;C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32\Wbem;C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH\;C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\bin;C:\Program Files\Git\cmd;C:\Program Files\Microsoft VS Code\bin;C:\Go\bin;C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin;C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_201\bin;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\Client SDK\ODBC\130\Tools\Binn\;C:\metasploit-framework\bin\;C:\Program Files\dotnet\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files (x86)\GNU\GnuPG\pub;C:\Users\0xdf\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps;C:\tools\Cmder;C:\Users\0xdf\go\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\Nmap;C:\Users\0xdf\AppData\Local\Programs\Fiddler;C:\Tools\ADOffline;C:\Tools\CredNinja;C:\Tools\demiguise;C:\Tools\Get-ReconInfo;C:\Tools\Grouper2;C:\Tools\Inveigh;C:\Tools\Invoke-CradleCrafter;C:\Tools\Invoke-DCOM;C:\Tools\Invoke-Obfuscation;C:\Tools\KeeThief;C:\Tools\mimikittenz;C:\Tools\PoshC2;C:\Tools\PowerLessShell;C:\Tools\PowerPriv;C:\Tools\PowerSploit;C:\Tools\PrivExchange;C:\Tools\PSAttack;C:\Tools\PSReflect;C:\Tools\ruler;C:\Tools\SpoolerScanner;C:\Tools\vssown;C:\Tools\WMImplant;C:\Tools\zBang;C:\Users\0xdf\.dotnet\tools;C:\Tools\Covenant\Covenant;C:\Tools\Elite\Elite

I’m sure it makes sense to have all those things in the path, but I’d like to have system32 at the front of that list. I’ll hit Windows key, and type “This PC”, then right click and select “Properties”. –> “Advanced System Settings” –> Environment Variables”. I’ll find “Path” in System Variables (the bottom window) and click edit:


I’ll select C:\Windows\System32 and click “Move Up” until it’s at the top. Then hit ok, and ping works again.


I almost always want Burp open when I’m using this VM, but for some reason, Windows doesn’t like pinning shortcuts to jar files to the taskbar. I overcame this by creating a copy of the shortcut onto my desktop. Then I edited the “Target” from C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\burp-suite-free-edition\tools\app\burpsuite.jar to %SystemRoot%\System32\cmd.exe /C "C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\burp-suite-free-edition\tools\app\burpsuite.jar". I could right click on that shortcut, select “Pin to taskbar”, and now I had it handy. I can also delete the shortcut on the desktop and the pinned shortcut still works.


But that shortcut launches a cmd window that just waits for Burp to close. That’s annoying:


I’ll change the target again to %SystemRoot%\System32\cmd.exe /C "start ^"^" ^"C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\burp-suite-free-edition\tools\app\burpsuite.jar^". Now it starts Burp and then cmd window pops for a flash, but then goes away.

7zip > WinRar

All archive formats are set to open in WinRar by default. I don’t love WinRar, and much prefer 7zip, so I want to change 7zip to be the default. I’ll open 7zip by hitting Windows key and starting to type it out. When I see it, I’ll run it as admin (necessary to change default extension handling). Under “Tools” –> “Options…” the first thing to pop up is the “System” tab, which has a list of types to associate 7zip with. I’ll click on each until it is how I want it:


Interesting Tools

General Tools

On the desktop there’s a shortcut called “Tools”. It points to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Tool List. In it is an organized folder structure of tools:


This directory is worth exploring to get a feel for what’s there.


The recommended shell in CommandoVM is cmder. It can run cmd, powershell, or bash in panes and tabs. Here’s an example with bash on top and cmd on bottom:


I’ve played around with it a bit. I can Ctrl+t to create a new tab, and Ctrl+Tab to switch between tabs. When I create a tab, a pop up asks me what it should be, and I can choose various shell types:


I can also give a directory to start in, the user to run as, if it should be a new tab or split window:


I can also tell it to create a new window, and then I can Alt+Tab between them.

There’s not enough keyboard shortcut support built in for my liking off the bat, but I might be able to get used it it, and it looks like there’s a powerful macro language that might allow me to define tmux-like shortcuts.


GreenShot is pinned in the taskbar by Commando-VM, and is a pretty slick screen capture tool that I was previously unfamiliar with.

When I click it, no windows open, but rather a Greenshot icon shows up in the System Tray: 1554908025326

Once it’s running, I can use the PrintScreen button to get a crosshairs. I can then click and drag out the area to capture. When I let go, it prompts me as to what to do to.


I use tcpdump all the time on Kali, and it seems that WinDump.exe will do basically the same thing. There’s also Wireshark on the box, but I like to work command line. WinDump takes basically the same arguments as tcpdump, so if I want to watch for pings, I can do something like this and see the pings:

λ windump.exe -i3 -n icmp
C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\windump.fireeye\tools\windump.exe: listening on \Device\NPF_{FA0211FF-7A30-48BA-954A-3B4D4C14D909}
01:36:02.716853 IP > ICMP echo reply, id 9443, seq 1, length 64
01:36:03.719388 IP > ICMP echo reply, id 9443, seq 2, length 64

I did have to adjust my windows Firewall to allow the pings in bound by enabling these rules:


That’s a state I’ll want anyway, so that if I’m trying to test for RCE by pinging myself, I can see the pings.


PayloadsAllTheThings, SecLists, and FuzzDB all install by default. SecLists was actually failing to install when I originally built this VM, but that has been fixed. You can find shortcuts starting from the Tools shortcut on the desktop, in Tools\Wordlists.


The full list of tools is on the Commando-VM GitHub Page. So others that I found worth mentioning were Subline Text as an editor, both Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio development environments and Wireshark. SysInternals, a handful of C2 frameworks and obfuscation frameworks, and other interesting PowerShell scripts can be found just surfing through the Tools List directory. There’s a stand-alone copy of CyberChef, HxD, and KeepPass. Like I said earlier, once you install, it’s worth taking a minute to look through the tool-set.

Additional Tools


FoxyProxy is indispensable for me as I send most of my web traffic to target through Burp, but don’t want my Google searches to go there. I’ll head to the FoxyProxy website and click “+ Add to Firefox” and after a few clicks it’s installed. I see it in the top right of Firefox:


Now I’ll set up Burp. I’ll click on the FoxyProxy icon shown above, and select “Options”. In the page that comes up, I’ll select “Add”. I’ll set the Type to HTTP, call it Burp, and point it to localhost:8080:


Now I’ll hit “Save & Edit Patterns”. I’m going to set it up so that traffic to hackthebox targets goes through Burp, and the rest does not. I’ll start by using the 1554904371319 to delete all the rules that are already there. Then I’ll hit “New White” and create my first rule. I’ll name it htb, and the pattern will be *10.10.10.*. This should direct all traffic going to a address to Burp. I’ll hit new-rule again and add one with pattern *.htb* to get domain traffic as well.


Now I can hit save and close that page. I’ll click on the Foxy icon again, and select “Use Enabled Proxies by Patterns and Priority”:


Now, I can visit http: and get the Vault page through Burp (and see the green Burp on the FP icon):


And without changing the settings, open another tab and go to google.com and it doesn’t go through burp:



The distribution already has x64dbg (and x32dbg) for Windows debugging and dnSpy for dotNET reversing and debugging. Those are both tools I would add if they weren’t there.

I want to add IDA and Ghidra. I’ll grab each from their sites. IDA installs by running the installer.

For Ghidra, I’ll open the archive and drop the ghidra_9.0.2 folder into C:\Program Files, and drop a shortcut to ghidrarun.bat somewhere useful, like in the tools directory with all the shortcuts. I’ll also need to get the latest JDK installer and run it.

Dirbuster Lists

I regularly use the dirbuster wordlists for web enumeration. I created a directory in \tools\ and used wget to get them:

C:\Tools\dirbuster-lists>wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-2.3-medium.txt
--16:51:22--  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-2.3-medium.txt
           => `directory-list-2.3-medium.txt'
Resolving raw.githubusercontent.com...
Connecting to raw.githubusercontent.com[]:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 2,200,599 [text/plain]

100%[====================================>] 2,200,599     --.--K/s

16:51:22 (27.26 MB/s) - `directory-list-2.3-medium.txt' saved [2200599/2200599]

C:\Tools\dirbuster-lists>wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-2.3-small.txt
--16:51:30--  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-2.3-small.txt
           => `directory-list-2.3-small.txt'
Resolving raw.githubusercontent.com...
Connecting to raw.githubusercontent.com[]:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 813,102 [text/plain]

100%[====================================>] 813,102       --.--K/s

16:51:30 (25.85 MB/s) - `directory-list-2.3-small.txt' saved [813102/813102]

C:\Tools\dirbuster-lists>wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-lowercase-2.3-small.txt
--16:51:47--  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-lowercase-2.3-small.txt
           => `directory-list-lowercase-2.3-small.txt'
Resolving raw.githubusercontent.com...
Connecting to raw.githubusercontent.com[]:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 758,408 [text/plain]

100%[====================================>] 758,408       --.--K/s

16:51:47 (15.72 MB/s) - `directory-list-lowercase-2.3-small.txt' saved [758408/758408]

C:\Tools\dirbuster-lists>wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-lowercase-2.3-medium.txt
--16:51:54--  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/daviddias/node-dirbuster/master/lists/directory-list-lowercase-2.3-medium.txt
           => `directory-list-lowercase-2.3-medium.txt'
Resolving raw.githubusercontent.com...
Connecting to raw.githubusercontent.com[]:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 2,057,312 [text/plain]

100%[====================================>] 2,057,312     --.--K/s

16:51:54 (31.65 MB/s) - `directory-list-lowercase-2.3-medium.txt' saved [2057312/2057312]


I prefer gobuster for website path enumerations (and more). I grabbed the latest install from the releases page and dropped it at C:\Tools\gobuster\gobuster.exe. Then I added that directory to my path. I tested it on vault:

C:\Users\0xdf>gobuster -u -w \Tools\dirbuster-lists\directory-list-2.3-small.txt -t 50

Gobuster v2.0.1              OJ Reeves (@TheColonial)
[+] Mode         : dir
[+] Url/Domain   :
[+] Threads      : 50
[+] Wordlist     : \Tools\dirbuster-lists\directory-list-2.3-small.txt
[+] Status codes : 200,204,301,302,307,403
[+] Timeout      : 10s
2019/04/10 17:29:45 Starting gobuster
/design (Status: 301) (0.53%)
2019/04/10 17:30:50 Finished

This version seems to work fine, though I did submit a feature request to get it installed by default.


Installing wfuzz should be as simple as pip install wfuzz. However, there is a curveball. On Linux, python and python3 are typically different binaries. On windows, both are named python, and both are in my path:

C:\Users\0xdf>where python

And the one that runs is python3:

C:\Users\0xdf>python --version
Python 3.7.3

C:\Users\0xdf>pip --version
pip 19.0.3 from c:\python37\lib\site-packages\pip (python 3.7)

I had a hard time getting pycurl to install using python3’s pip, but when I switched to python2’s pip, it worked instantly:

C:\Users\0xdf>\Python27\python.exe -m pip install wfuzz
DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 will reach the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Please upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 won't be maintained after that date. A future version of pip will drop support for Python 2.7.
Collecting wfuzz
  Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/1a/72/05b7a91322092a2b99edfab8e1fb4bcbd2c957e6cb8ec1304adab6563028/wfuzz-2.3.4.tar.gz (81kB)
Requirement already satisfied: pycurl in c:\python27\lib\site-packages (from wfuzz) (
Requirement already satisfied: pyparsing in c:\python27\lib\site-packages (from wfuzz) (2.4.0)
Requirement already satisfied: future in c:\python27\lib\site-packages (from wfuzz) (0.17.1)
Requirement already satisfied: six in c:\python27\lib\site-packages (from wfuzz) (1.12.0)
Collecting configparser (from wfuzz)
  Using cached https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/ba/05/6c96328e92e625fc31445d24d75a2c92ef9ba34fc5b037fe69693c362a0d/configparser-3.7.4-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Requirement already satisfied: chardet in c:\python27\lib\site-packages (from wfuzz) (3.0.4)
Collecting colorama (from wfuzz)
  Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/4f/a6/728666f39bfff1719fc94c481890b2106837da9318031f71a8424b662e12/colorama-0.4.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Installing collected packages: configparser, colorama, wfuzz
  Running setup.py install for wfuzz ... done
Successfully installed colorama-0.4.1 configparser-3.7.4 wfuzz-2.3.4

It runs… poorly. It won’t run beyond a crawl in cmd or powershell. It prints each line, and then removes it if hidden very slowly. But I got it to run in cmder. The text updating is clearly optimized for Linux. And it seems to run a little slow. That said, it still works:

λ wfuzz -w \Tools\dirbuster-lists\directory-list-2.3-small.txt -u --hw 32 -t 50
* Wfuzz 2.3.4 - The Web Fuzzer                         *

Total requests: 87664

ID   Response   Lines      Word         Chars          Payload

000370:  C=301      9 L       28 W          323 Ch        "design"
000680:  C=404
Finishing pending requests...

I put in a feature request to see if they can get it working better and bring it by default, and they said it has been added to the roadmap.


That’s all for my initial overview. There’s a ton I didn’t cover. Leave a comment with your favorite thing I didn’t talk about that people should know about, or what you changed or would change in your VM.

Up next, I’m going to try to do a box through this VM, and report back on what worked and what I struggled with.