Cobalt Strike is a powerful tool for adversary simulation and red team operations. It allows you to emulate the tactics and techniques of an advanced threat actor in a network, using a post-exploitation agent called Beacon and covert channels to communicate with it. Cobalt Strike can help you test your security posture, train your blue team, and conduct realistic cyberattacks.
But how can you get Cobalt Strike for free Is there a way to download it without paying the hefty license fee In this article, we will explore some of the options and risks involved in obtaining Cobalt Strike for free.
Option 1: Use a Trial License
The official way to try Cobalt Strike for free is to request a trial license from the vendor, Fortra. Fortra is the new face of HelpSystems, which acquired Cobalt Strike in 2020 and added it to its Core Security portfolio. To request a trial license, you need to fill out a form on their website and provide some information about yourself and your organization. You will also need to agree to their terms and conditions, which include not using Cobalt Strike for malicious purposes.
If your request is approved, you will receive an email with a link to download a Cobalt Strike distribution package for your operating system (Linux, MacOS X, or Windows). The distribution package contains the Cobalt Strike launcher, supporting files, and the updater program. It does not contain the Cobalt Strike program itself. To install Cobalt Strike, you need to run the updater program and enter your trial license key. The updater will then download the Cobalt Strike product and perform the final installation steps.
The trial license is valid for 21 days and allows you to use Cobalt Strike on up to 10 machines. You can also connect to a team server hosted by Fortra and collaborate with other trial users. However, you cannot host your own team server or use any third-party plugins or extensions with Cobalt Strike.
Option 2: Use a Cracked Version
Another way to get Cobalt Strike for free is to use a cracked version that bypasses the license check. Cracked versions of Cobalt Strike are often distributed by hackers or cybercriminals on underground forums or websites. They may claim to offer the latest version of Cobalt Strike with full functionality and no limitations.
However, using a cracked version of Cobalt Strike is very risky and not recommended. First of all, it is illegal and unethical to use software without paying for it or obtaining permission from the vendor. You may face legal consequences if you are caught using a cracked version of Cobalt Strike. Second, cracked versions of Cobalt Strike may contain malware or backdoors that can compromise your system or network. You may unknowingly expose your data or credentials to malicious actors who can use them against you or your organization. Third, cracked versions of Cobalt Strike may not work properly or be compatible with the latest updates or patches. You may encounter errors, bugs, or crashes that can affect your operations or results.
Option 3: Use an Alternative Tool
A third option to get Cobalt Strike for free is to use an alternative tool that offers similar features or capabilities. There are many open-source or free tools that can perform adversary simulation and red team operations, such as Metasploit, Empire, PoshC2, Covenant, Merlin, Sliver, etc. These tools may not have all the functionalities or integrations of Cobalt Strike, but they can still help you achieve your objectives.
To use an alternative tool, you need to download it from its official source or repository and follow its installation and usage instructions. You also need to make sure that the tool is updated and maintained by its developers and that it does not contain any malicious code or vulnerabilities. You may also need to learn how to use the tool effectively and efficiently, as each tool has its own syntax, commands, modules, plugins, etc.
Cobalt Strike is a popular and powerful tool for adversary simulation and red team operations. However, it is not free and requires a license fee to use it legally and ethically. If you want to try Cobalt Strike for free, you can request a trial license from Fortra or use an alternative 061ffe29dd