The Metasploit Project is an open-source computer security project which provides information about security vulnerabilities and aids in penetration testing and IDS signature development. Its most well-known sub-project is the Metasploit Framework, a tool for developing and executing exploit code against a remote target machine. Other important sub-projects include the Opcode Database, shellcode archive, and security research.
The Metasploit Project is also well known for anti-forensic and evasion tools, some of which are built into the Metasploit Framework.
Metasploit was created in 2003 as a portable network game using the Perl scripting language. Later, the Metasploit Framework was then completely rewritten in the Ruby programming language. It is most notable for releasing some of the most technically sophisticated exploits to public security vulnerabilities. In addition, it is a powerful tool for third party security researchers to investigate potential vulnerabilities. On October 21, 2009 the Metasploit Project announced that it had been acquired by Rapid7, a security company that provides unified vulnerability management solutions.
Like comparable commercial products such as Immunity's CANVAS or Core Security Technologies' Core Impact, Metasploit can be used to test the vulnerability of computer systems in order to protect them, and it can be used to break into remote systems. Like many information security tools, Metasploit can be used for both legitimate and unauthorized activities.
Metasploit's emerging position as the de facto vulnerability development framework has led in recent times to the release of software vulnerability advisories often accompanied by a third party Metasploit exploit module that highlights the exploitability, risk, and remediation of that particular bug. Metasploit 3.0 (Ruby language) is also beginning to include fuzzing tools, to discover software vulnerabilities in the first instance, rather than merely writing exploits for currently public bugs. This new avenue has been seen with the integration of the lorcon wireless (802.11) toolset into Metasploit 3.0 in November, 2006.