HTTP Beacon and HTTPS Beacon

The HTTP and HTTPS beacons download tasks with an HTTP GET request. These beacons send data back with an HTTP POST request. This is the default. You have incredible control over the behavior and indicators in this payload via Malleable C2.

HTTP(S) Listener Setup

To create a HTTP or HTTPS Beacon listener select Cobalt Strike -> Listeners on the main menu and press the Add button at the bottom of the Listeners tab display.

The New Listener panel displays.

figure 26 - HTTP Beacon Options

Select Beacon HTTP or Beacon HTTPS as the Payload type and give the listener a Name. Make sure to give the new listener a memorable name as this name is how you will refer to this listener through Cobalt Strike’s commands and workflows.

Manual HTTP Proxy Configuration

The (Manual) Proxy Settings dialog offers several options to control the proxy configuration for Beacon’s HTTP and HTTPS requests. The default behavior of Beacon is to use the Internet Explorer proxy configuration for the current process/user context.

A screenshot of a cell phone  Description automatically generated

figure 28 - Manual Proxy Settings

The Type field configures the type of proxy. The Host and Port fields tell Beacon where the proxy lives. The Username and Password fields are optional. These fields specify the credentials Beacon uses to authenticate to the proxy.

Check the Ignore proxy settings; use direct connection box to force Beacon to attempt its HTTP and HTTPS requests without going through a proxy.

Press Set to update the Beacon dialog with the desired proxy settings. Press Reset to set the proxy configuration back to the default behavior.


The manual proxy configuration affects the HTTP and HTTPS Beacon payload stages only. It does not propagate to the payload stagers.


A redirector is a system that sits between your target’s network and your team server. Any connections that come to the redirector are forwarded to your team server to process. A redirector is a way to provide multiple hosts for your Beacon payloads to call home to. A redirector also aids operational security as it makes it harder to trace the true location of your team server.

Cobalt Strike’s listener management features support the use of redirectors. Simply specify your redirector hosts when you setup an HTTP or HTTPS Beacon listener. Cobalt Strike does not validate this information. If the host you provide is not affiliated with the current host, Cobalt Strike assumes it’s a redirector. One simple way to turn a server into a redirector is to use socat.

Here’s the socat syntax to forward all connections on port 80 to the team server at on port 80:

socat TCP4-LISTEN:80,fork TCP4:


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