I pentest a Metasploitable 2 through VPN.

I can login with rlogin as msfadmin, but I can't as a root.

I've installed the rsh-client on my kali. And the exploit works on my local VM Metasploitable 2 too.

What could be the problem?

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You can read about this exploit here:

https://community.rapid7.com/docs/DOC-1875 (search rlogin)

I checked the .rhosts file on the target (with a different exploit):

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


First, we have to find out what is the problem. Because we can access the target machine we can check the logs of authentication after a failed login attempt:

root@metasploitable:~# cat /var/log/auth.log
Jun 27 01:08:25 metasploitable rlogind[8491]: pam_securetty(rlogin:auth): access denied: tty 'pts/0' is not secure

I don't know what is pam securetty, so let's check it: http://linux.die.net/man/8/pam_securetty

"pam_securetty is a PAM module that allows root logins only if the user is logging in on a "secure" tty, as defined by the listing in /etc/securetty. pam_securetty also checks to make sure that /etc/securetty is a plain file and not world writable."

Okay, next step: Let's check this file:

root@metasploitable:~# cat /etc/securetty
# /etc/securetty: list of terminals on which root is allowed to login.
# See securetty(5) and login(1).
# General

Okay, the problem is that, there is no pts/0. But we are lucky because pts/1 is allowed to login.

So the trick is this: 1) Open 2 kali terminal 2) Try to login from them at the same time:

# rlogin -l root <IP>

3) profit


Look ip of both vms.. the metasploit and kali They should be in same network If they are not then before starting these vms in Virtual box, go into settings > network > chose host-network-adapter in both. Then start and retry.

  • I could reach the machines, VMware makes it easy. You can see the login prompt on the picture too, why did you think they cant reach each other, I also answered the solution...
    – BlackCat
    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:15

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