FireEye today released Commando VM, a first of its kind Windows-based security distribution for penetration testing and red teaming.

If you are wondering why there is no popular Windows-based operating system for hackers? First, because Windows is not open-source and second, manually installing penetration testing tools on Windows is pretty problematic for most users.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye today released virtual machine (VM) based installer for Commando VM—a customized Windows-based distribution that comes pre-installed with useful penetration testing tools, just like Kali Linux.

“Penetration testers commonly use their own variants of Windows machines when assessing Active Directory environments,” FireEye says. “Commando VM was designed specifically to be the go-to platform for performing these internal penetration tests.”

Both Commando VMs include more than 140 tools, including Nmap, Wireshark, Remote Server Administration Tools, Mimikatz, Burp-Suite, x64db, Metasploit, PowerSploit, Hashcat, and Owasp ZAP, pre-configured for a smooth working environment.

windows hacking tools

According to one of the authors of Commando VMs, the following are the top three features of the tool that make it more interesting:

  • Native Windows protocol support (SMB, PowerShell, RSAT, Sysinternals, etc.)
  • Organized toolsets (Tools folder on the desktop with Info Gathering, Exploitation, Password Attacks, etc.)
  • Windows-based C2 frameworks like Covenant (dotnet) and PoshC2 (PowerShell)

“With such versatility, Commando VM aims to be the de facto Windows machine for every penetration tester and red teamer,” FireEye says.

“The versatile tool sets included in Commando VM provide blue teams with the tools necessary to audit their networks and improve their detection capabilities. With a library of offensive tools, it makes it easy for blue teams to keep up with offensive tooling and attack trends.”

Installing Commando VM is pretty easy. Just download the Commando VM, decompress it and then execute the PowerShell script available in the package to complete the installation.

The remaining installation process will be done automatically, which may take between 2 to 3 hours to finish depending upon your Internet speed.

“The VM will reboot multiple times due to the numerous software installation requirements,” FireEye says. “Once the installation completes, the PowerShell prompt remains open waiting for you to hit any key before exiting.”

After the completion of the installation process, you’ll be presented with Commando VM, and all you need to do is reboot your machine to ensure the final configuration changes take effect.

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