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Day 6 was another text parsing challenge, breaking the input into groups and then counting across the users within each group. Both parts were similar, with the first counting if any user said yes to a given question, and the latter if every user said yes to a given question. Python makes this a breeze either way. Unbalanced starts with a Squid proxy and RSync. Looking at the proxy stats, I can find two internal IPs, and guess the existence of a third, which is currently out of order for security fixes.
Day 4 presented another text parsing challenge. In the first part, I just needed to validate if each section contained a specific seven strings, which is easy enough to solve in Python. For part two, I need to now look at the text following each of these strings, and apply some validation rules. But then I realized I could just write a regex for each validation, and use the same pattern.
Advent of code always dives into visual mapping in a way that makes you conceptualize 2D or 3D space and move through it. Day 2 was about processing lines that contained two numbers, a character, and a string which is referred to as a password. How the numbers and character become a rule is different in parts 1 and 2. There are 25 days to collect 50 stars. For Day 1, the puzzle was basically reading a list of numbers, and looking through them for a pair and a set of three that summed to SneakyMailer starts with web enumeration to find a list of email addresses, which I can use along with SMTP access to send phishing emails.
One of the users will click on the link, and return a POST request with their login creds. From there, the exploit script returns an administrator shell. Intense presented some cool challenges. Tabby was a well designed easy level box that required finding a local file include LFI in a website to leak the credentials for the Tomcat server on that same host.
That user is a member of the lxd group, which allows them to start containers. Just looking at main, it looks like a simple comparison against a static flag. The effectively prevents my debugging the parent for first child, as only one debugger can attach at a time. It also dropped and installed another DLL, a credential helper. I used kernel debugging to see how the second driver is loaded, and eventually find a password, which I can feed into the credential helper to get the flag.
I spent over two of the six weeks working crackinstaller. Instead of having the decision logic of the computer in the program, it drops an ELF binary to act as the computer, and communicates with it over a unix socket, all of which is possible on Windows with the Windows Subsystem for Linux WSL.
Fuse was all about pulling information out of a printer admin page. RE Crowd was a different kind of reversing challenge. This exploit uses alphanumeric shellcode to run on success. The host then sends another encrypted blob back to the attcker. It really was just a AutoIt script wrapped in a Windows exe. TKApp was a Tizen mobile application that was made to run on a smart watch. NET dll that drives the application, so I can break it open with dnSpy.
Four variables are initialized through different user actions or different aspects of the files on the watch, and then used to generate a key to decrypt a buffer. In analyzing the VBA, I see more and more hints that something odd is going on.
The game was written in Nim lang, and had a lot of complex functions to manage the game. It was a long way to go, so I patched it to just let me run through blocks and not worry about under vs over. Flare-On 7 got off to an easy start with a Windows executable that was generated with PyGame, and included the Python source. That made this challenge more of a Python source code analysis exercise than a reversing challenge. Initial access requires finding a virtual host with a.
One cracks, providing access to the web dashboard. This user has instructions to send a url over the messaging queue, which will cause the box to download and run a cuberite plugin. Some version enumeration and looking at releases on GitHub shows that this version is vulnerable to a bypass of the bruteforce protections, as well as an upload and execute filter bypass on the PHP site.
Cache rates medium based on number of steps, none of which are particularly challenging. That RCE provides a shell. From there, I can read the current source, and get a password which works for SSH access. Multimaster was a lot of steps, some of which were quite difficult. It truly is a short path to domain admin.
Travel was just a great box because it provided a complex and challenging puzzle with new pieces that were fun to explore. JuicyPotato was a go-to exploit whenever I found myself with a Windows shell with SeImpersonatePrivilege, which typically was whenever there was some kind of webserver exploit.
The only exploit on the box was something I remember reading about years ago, where a low level user was allowed to make a privileged Kerberos ticket. The database has domain credentials for a user. Quick was a chance to play with two technologies that I was familiar with, but I had never put hands on with either. In that system, I will exploit an edge side include injection to get execution, and with a bit more work, a shell.
The user path to through the box was relatively easy. Some basic enumeration gives access to a page that will run arbitrary PHP, which provides execution and a shell. People likely rated the box because there was an unintended root using lxd. The intended path was a contrived but interesting pwn challenge that involved three stages of input, the first two exploiting a very short buffer overflow to get access to a longer buffer overflow and eventually a root shell. Magic has two common steps, a SQLI to bypass login, and a webshell upload with a double extension to bypass filtering.
From there I can get a shell, and find creds in the database to switch to user. These scripts are run by root whenever a user logs in. Rooting Joker had three steps. The first was using TFTP to get the Squid Proxy config and creds that allowed access to a webserver listening on localhost that provided a Python console. I also added a cheat sheet since I reference this post too often. I learned about Chisel from Ippsec, and you can see his using it to solve Reddish in his video.
Fatty forced me way out of my comfort zone. The majority of the box was reversing and modifying a Java thick client. First I had to modify the client to get the client to connect. One of the new functions uses serialized objects, which I can exploit using a deserialization attack to get a shell in the container running the server. Escalation to root attacks a recurring process that is using SCP to copy an archive of log files off the container to the host.
I recently ran into a challenge where I was given a Java Jar file that I needed to analyze and patch to exploit. I was recently talking with some of the folks over at HackTheBox, and they asked my thoughts about Pwnbox. The system is actually quite feature packed. That way, if you should find yourself in need of an attack VM, you have it, and you might even just switch there. This box forced me to gain an understanding, and writing this post cemented that even further.
Lazy was a really solid old HackTheBox machine. That access provides an SSH key and a shell. Cascade was an interesting Windows all about recovering credentials from Windows enumeration. From there, I get a shell and access to a SQLite database and a program that reads and decrypts a password from it. That password allows access to an account that is a member of the AD Recycle group, which I can use to find a deleted temporary admin account with a password, which still works for the main administrator accoun, providing a shell.
Shrek is another HackTheBox machine that is more a string of challenges as opposed to a box. Credentials for the FTP server are hidden in a chunk of the file at the end. Sauna was a neat chance to play with Windows Active Directory concepts packaged into an easy difficulty box.
Tenten had a lot of the much more CTF-like aspects that were more prevalent in the original HTB machine, like a uploaded hacker image file from which I will extract an SSH private key from it using steganography. I learned a really interesting lesson about wpscan and how to feed it an API key, and got to play with a busted WordPress plugin. Getting a foothold on Book involved identifying and exploiting a few vulnerabilities in a website for a library.
Bank was an pretty straight forward box, though two of the major steps had unintended alternative methods. I can either find creds in a directory of data, or bypass creds all together by looking at the data in the HTTP redirects. ForwardSlash starts with enumeration of a hacked website to identify and exploit at least one of two LFI vulnerabilities directly using filters to base64 encode or using XXE to leak PHP source which includes a password which can be used to get a shell. Blocky really was an easy box, but did require some discipline when enumerating.
PlayerTwo was just a monster of a box. With creds and backup codes, I can log into the site, which has a firmware upload section. The example firmware is signed, but only the first roughly eight thousand bytes. Some enumeration will lead to a torrent hosting system, where I can upload, and, bypassing filters, get a PHP webshell to run. From there, I will exploit CVE, a vulnerability in the linux authentication system PAM where I can get it to make my current user the owner of any file on the system.
ServMon was an easy Windows box that required two exploits. I can use a directory traversal bug in a NVMS web instance that will allow me to leak those passwords, and use one of them over SSH to get a shell. Endgame XEN is all about owning a small network behind a Citrix virtual desktop environment. For the third week in a row, a Windows box on the easier side of the spectrum with no web server retires. Monteverde was focused on Azure Active Directory. From there, I can abuse the Azure active directory database to leak the administrator password.
Endgame Professional Offensive Operations P. Endgame labs require at least Guru status to attempt though now that P. Next was unique in that it was all about continually increasing SMB access, with a little bit of easy.
NET RE thrown in. With access as C. Smith, I can find the debug password for a custom application listening on , and use that to leak another encrypted password. When this box was first released, there was an error where the first user creds could successfully PSExec. The attack starts with enumeration of user accounts using Windows RPC, including a list of users and a default password in a comment.
That password works for one of the users over WinRM. From there I find the next users creds in a PowerShell transcript file. Grandpa was one of the really early HTB machines. With Metasploit, this box can probably be solved in a few minutes. Rope was all about binary exploitation. From there, I can use a format string vulnerability to get a shell. Arctic would have been much more interesting if not for the second lag on each HTTP request.
There are two different paths to getting a shell, either an unauthenticated file upload, or leaking the login hash, cracking or using it to log in, and then uploading a shell jsp. Patents was a really tough box, that probably should have been rated insane. In that section, there is a directory traversal vulnerability that allows me to use log poisoning to get execution and a shell in the web docker container. I spent a lot of time trying to get socket reuse shellcode to work, and if I had just tried a reverse shell payload, I would have gotten there a lot sooner.
But getting the connection back to me seemed hard. But I never really looked into how it worked or how I could use it, and it turns out to be super handy and really dead simple. Obscuirt was a medium box that centered on finding bugs in Python implementions of things - a webserver, an encryption scheme, and an SSH client.
Two involve an SSH-like script that I can abuse both via a race condition to leak the system hashes and via injection to run a command as root instead of the authed user. I focused much of my efforts on a section named CovidScammers. It was a really interesting challenge that encompassed forensics, reverseing, programming, fuzzing, and exploitation. Still, I really enjoyed the challenge and wanted to show the steps up to that point.
OpenAdmin provided a straight forward easy box. The database credentials are reused by one of the users. The biggest trick with SolidState was not focusing on the website but rather moving to a vulnerable James mail client. But I will also show how to exploit James using a directory traversal vulnerability to write a bash completion script and then trigger that with a SSH login.
Control was a bit painful for someone not comfortable looking deep at Windows objects and permissions. I can use the webshell to get a shell, and then one of the cracked hashes to pivot to a different user. Still, there were some really neat attacks. Once I had the users and passwords from the database, password reuse allowed me to SSH as one of the users, and then su to the other.
Traverxec was a relatively easy box that involved enumerating and exploiting a less popular webserver, Nostromo. After I put out a Lame write-up yesterday, it was pointed out that I skipped an access path entirely - distcc. Yet another vulnerable service on this box, which, unlike the Samba exploit, provides a shell as a user, providing the opportunity to look for PrivEsc paths.
It does throw one head-fake with a VSFTPd server that is a vulnerable version, but with the box configured to not allow remote exploitation. As www-data, I can access the Restic backup agent as root, and exploit that to get both the root flag and a root ssh key. Sniper involved utilizing a relatively obvious file include vulnerability in a web page to get code execution and then a shell.
The first privesc was a common credential reuse issue. The second involved poisoning a. Most of the time, this is managed by the package management system. When you run apt install x, it may do some of this behind the scenes for you. But there are times when it is really useful to know how to interact with this yourself.
Forest is a great example of that. Then I can take advantage of the permissions and accesses of that user to get DCSycn capabilities, allowing me to dump hashes for the administrator user and get a shell as the admin. Postman was a good mix of easy challenges providing a chance to play with Redis and exploit Webmin. That same password provides access to the Webmin instance, which is running as root, and can be exploited to get a shell.
BankRobber was neat because it required exploiting the same exploit twice. I can overwrite that myself to get a shell. Scavenger required a ton of enumeration, and I was able to solve it without ever getting a typical shell. The box is all about enumerating the different sites on the box and using an SQL injection in whois to get them all , and finding one is hacked and a webshell is left behind.
Json involved exploiting a. NET deserialization vulnerability to get initial access, and then going one of three ways to get root. Still, it got patched, and two unintended paths came about as well, and everything turned out ok. This has now been patched, but I thought it was interesting to see what was configured that allowed this non-admin user to get a shell with PSExec. AI was a really clever box themed after smart speakers like Echo and Google Home.
Player involved a lot of recon, and pulling together pieces to go down multiple different paths to user and root. I can use that information to get credentials where I can SSH, but only with a very limited shell.
However, I can use an SSH exploit to get code execution that provides limited and partial file read, which leads to more credentials. Those credentials are good for a Codiad instance running on another of the virtual hosts, which allows me to get a shell as www-data. It all takes place at the second annual Kringle Con, where the worlds leading security practitioners show up to hear talks and solve puzzles.
While last year really started the trend of defensive themed challenges, had a ton of interesting defensive challenges, with hands on with machine learning as well as tools like Splunk and Graylog. Bitlab was a box centered around automation of things, even if the series challenges were each rather unrealistic.
In the reversing challenges, there was not only an iPhone debian package, but also a PS4 update file. The medium levels brought the first reverse enginnering challenges, the first web hacking challenges, some image manipulation, and of course, some obfuscated Perl. Hackvent is a fun CTF, offering challenges that start off quite easy and build to much harder over the course of 24 days, with bonus points for submitting the flag within the first 24 hours for each challenge. This was the first year I made it past day 12, and I was excited to finish all the challenges with all time bonuses!
The first is the easy challenges, days , which provided some basic image forensics, some interesting file types, an esoteric programming language, and two hidden flags. Day 14 is all about stacking requirements and then working them to understand the inputs required to get the output desired. Like the first Smasher, Smasher2 was focused on exploitation.
It starts with finding a vulnerability in a compiled Python module written in C to get access to an API key. This challenge was awesome. Day 12 asks me to look at moons and calculate their positions based on a simplified gravity between them. My robot will walk around, reading the current color, submitting that to the program, and getting back the color to paint the current square and instructions for where to move next.
This challenge gives me a map of asteroids. More computer work in day 9, this time adding what is kind of a stack pointer and an opcode to adjust that pointer. Now I can add a relative address mode, getting positions relative to the stack pointer. After spending hours on day 7, I finished day 8 in about 15 minutes.
It was simply reading in a series of numbers which represented pixels in various layers in an email. Wall presented a series of challenges wrapped around two public exploits. The first exploit was a CVE in Centreon software. But to find it, I had to take advantage of a misconfigured webserver that only requests authenticatoin on GET requests, allowing POST requests to proceed, which leads to the path to the Centreon install.
Once I have that, I can get a shell on the box. This was a fun challenge, because it seemed really hard at first, but once I figured out how to think about it, it was quite simple. This was the first time I brought out recurrisive programming this year, and it really fit well.
I solved day 4 much faster than day 3, probably because it moved away from spacial reasoning and just into input validation. I always start to struggle when AOC moves into spacial challenges, and this is where the code starts to get a bit ugly. In this challenge, I have to think about two wires moving across a coordinate plane, and look for positions where they intersect.
This puzzle is to implement a little computer with three op codes, add, multiply, and finish. In the second part, I need to brute force those values to find a given target output. This puzzle was basically reading a list of numbers, performing some basic arithmetic, and summing the results. One of those usernames with one of the original passwords works to get a WinRM session on the Heist.
There was something a bit weird going on with Chainsaw from HackTheBox. I have no idea. Big thanks to jkr for helping me get started in this rabbit hole the good kind , and to h0mbre for his recent blog post about these rootkits. Chainsaw was centered around blockchain and smart contracts, with a bit of InterPlanetary File System thrown in. Networked involved abusing an Apache misconfiguration that allowed me to upload an image containing a webshell with a double extension.
With that, I got a shell as www-data, and then did two privescs. The first abused command injection into a script that was running to clean up the uploads directory. Then I used access to an ifcfg script to get command execution as root. Jarvis provide three steps that were all relatively basic. From there, I have access to the LogStash config, which is misconfigured to allow a execution via a properly configured log as root.
Safe was two steps - a relatively simple ROP, followed by cracking a Keepass password database. Ellingson was a really solid hard box. Once sshed in as margo, I will find a suid binary that I can overflow to get a root shell. The first breaks the privesc from hal to margo, resetting the permissions on the shadow. The second looks like a hint that was disabled, or maybe forgotten.
Writeup was a great easy box. Neither of the steps were hard, but both were interesting. That code has a layer of unpacking based on a binary implementation of tabs and spaces in the doc strings. Once I get to the next layer, I need to calculate the hash of the text segment for the currently running binary, and use that as a key to some equations.
Using a solver to solve the system, I can find the input necessary to return the flag. It was challenging, yet doable and interesting. NET executable. That executable is used to hide information in the low bits of the image. The file given is a demoscene, which is a kind of competition to get the best visual performce out of an executable limited in size.
To achieve this, packers are used to compress the binary. In the exe for this challenge, a 3D Flare logo comes up and spins, but the flag is missing. Ghoul was a long box, that involved pioviting between multiple docker containers exploiting things and collecting information to move to the next step. From there, I can access a third container hosting the self hosted git solution, gogs.
That provides access to a git repo that has a password I can use for root on the second container. DNS Chess was really fun. Once I find that, I can get the flag. Overlong was a challenge that could lead to complex rabbit holes, or, with some intelligent guess work, be solved quite quickly.
From the start, with the title and the way that the word overlong was bolded in the prompt, I was looking for an integer to overflow or change in some way. That, plus additional clues, made this one pretty quick work. The first is an authentication bypass that allows me to add an admin user to the CMS. RCE leads to shell and user. Memecat Battlestation [Shareware Demo Edition] was a really simple challenge that really involed opening a.
NET executable in a debugger and reading the correct phrases from the code. It was a good beginner challenge. Kryptos feels different from most insane boxes. The website gives me that ability to return encrypted webpage content that Kryptos can retrieve. Luke was a recon heavy box. In fact, the entire writeup for Luke could reasonably go into the Recon section. Holiday was a fun, hard, old box.
The path to getting a shell involved SQL injection, cross site scripting, and command injection. The root was a bit simpler, taking advantage of a sudo on node package manager install to install a malicious node package. Bastion was a solid easy box with some simple challenges like mounting a VHD from a file share, and recovering passwords from a password vault program. It starts, somewhat unusually, without a website, but rather with vhd images on an SMB share, that, once mounted, provide access to the registry hive necessary to pull out credentials.
These creds provide the ability to ssh into the host as the user. Once I break out the administrator password, I can ssh in as administrator. OneTwoSeven was a very cleverly designed box. There were lots of steps, some enumeration, all of which was do-able and fun. Users rated Unattended much harder than the Medium rating it was released under.
So the trick was knowing when to continue looking and identify the NGINX vulnerability to leak the source code. From there, it was injecting into some commands being taken from the database to move to the next user. And in the final step, examining an initrd file to get the root password. Helpline was a really difficult box, and it was an even more difficult writeup.
It has so many paths, and yet all were difficult in some way. It was also one that really required Windows as an attack platform to do the intended way. I got lucky in that this was the box I had chosen to try out Commando VM. But it is still a great box. Fortune was a different kind of insane box, focused on taking advantage things like authpf and nfs. Instead of just using the php functions to find the certificate and key needed to read the private members https page, Alamot uses Chankro to bypass the disabled execution functions and run arbitrary code anyway.
I had to try it. LaCasaDePapel was a fun easy box that required quite a few steps for a 20 point box, but none of which were too difficult. The file is not writable and owned by root, but sits in a directory my current user owns, which allows me to delete the file and then create a new one.
CTF was hard in a much more straight-forward way than some of the recent insane boxes. It had steps that were difficult to pull off, and not even that many. But it was still quite challenging. Once I do, I can run commands, and find a user password in the php pages.
FriendZone was a relatively easy box, but as far as easy boxes go, it had a lot of enumeration and garbage trolls to sort through. By far. Without question. I remember vividly working on this box with all my free time, and being the 5th to root it 7th root counting the two box authors in the 6th day. This interface gives up some domain names for fake phishing sites on the same host, which I can use to find an admin interface which I can abuse to get file system access via log poisoning.
I can however upload reGeorge and use it to tunnel a connection to WinRM, where I can use some creds I find in a config file. And I found Darwin. The host presents the full file system over anonymous FTP, which is enough to grab the user flag. Querier was a fun medium box that involved some simple document forensices, mssql access, responder, and some very basic Windows Privesc steps.
I can use that limited access to get a Net-NTLMv2 hash with responder, which provides enough database access to run commands. For privesc, running PowerUp. FluJab was a long and difficult box, with several complicated steps which require multiple pieces working together and careful enumeration. Information in the database credentials and new subdomain, where I can access an instance of Ajenti server admin panel. That allows me to identify weak ssh keys, and to add my host to an ssh TCP Wrapper whitelist.
Then I can ssh in with the weak private key. Help was an easy box with some neat challenges. As far as I can tell, most people took the unintended route which allowed for skipping the initial section. Alternatively, I can use an unauthenticated upload bypass in HelpDeskZ to upload a webshell and get a shell from there.
I loved Sizzle. It was just a really tough box that reinforced Windows concepts that I hear about from pentesters in the real world. From there I can create a certificate for the user and then authenticate over WinRM. Choas provided a couple interesting aspects that I had not worked with before.
After some web enumeration and password guessing, I found myself with webmail credentials, which I could use on a webmail domain or over IMAP to get access to the mailbox. In the mailbox was an encrypted message, that once broken, directed me to a secret url where I could exploit an instance of pdfTeX to get a shell. After pulling apart an Emotet phishing doc in the previous post , I wanted to see if I could find similar docs from the same phishing campaign, and perhaps even different docs from previous phishing campaigns based on artifacts in the seed document.
With access to a paid VirusTotal account, this is not difficult to do. I decided to do some VT roulette and check out some recent phishing docs in VT. I searched for documents with only few detections, and the top item was an Emotet word doc.
The Emotet group continues to tweak their strategy to avoid AV. In this doc, they use TextBox objects to hold both the base64 encoded PowerShell and the PowerShell command line itself, in a way that actually makes it hard to follow with olevba. It actually blows my mind that it only took 7 hours for user first blood, but then an additional Lightweight was relatively easy for a medium box.
The biggest trick was figuring out that you needed to capture ldap traffic on localhost to get credentials, and getting that traffic to generate. The box actually starts off with creating an ssh account for me when I visit the webpage. From there I can capture plaintext creds from ldap to escalate to the first user. BigHead required you to earn your 50 points.
The enumeration was a ton. There was an really fun but challenging buffer overflow to get initial access. Then some pivoting across the same host using SSH and the a php vulnerability. And then finding a hidden KeePass database with a keyfile in an ADS stream which gave me the root flag.
The primary factor that takes this above something like a basic jmp esp is the space I have to write to is small. I got to learn a new technique, Egg Hunter, which is a small amount of code that will look for a marker I drop into memory earlier and run the shellcode after it.
Irked was another beginner level box from HackTheBox that provided an opportunity to do some simple exploitation without too much enumeration. First blood for user fell in minutes, and root in That password gets me access as the user.
Teacher was point box despite the yellow avatar. At the start, it required enumerating a website and finding a png file that was actually a text file that revealed most of a password. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. In fact, only once on this box did I need to fire up my Kali workstation.
Because the target was Windows, there we parts that were made easier and in one case made possible! RedCross was a maze, with a lot to look at and multiple paths at each stage. This post is focused on getting up and running. I suspect additional posts on how it works out will follow.
Vault was a a really neat box in that it required pivoting from a host into various VMs to get to the vault, at least the intended way. This was another really easy box, that required some simple web enumeration to find a python panel that would run python commands, and display the output. From there, I could get a shell and the first flag. Then, more enumeration to find a python script in a hidden directory that contained the root password.
With that, I can escalate to root. Curling was a solid box easy box that provides a chance to practice some basic enumeration to find a password, using that password to get access to a Joomla instance, and using the access to get a shell. It happens that I can control that file, and use it to get the root flag and a root shell. October was interesting because it paired a very straight-forward initial access with a simple buffer overflow for privesc.
Frolic was more a string of challenges and puzzles than the more typical HTB experiences. Enumeration takes me through a series of puzzles that eventually unlock the credentials to a PlaySMS web interface. With that access, I can exploit the service to get execution and a shell. Carrier was awesome, not because it super hard, but because it provided an opportunity to do something that I hear about all the time in the media, but have never been actually tasked with doing - BGP Hijacking.
On of the challenges in Ethereal was having to use a shell comprised of two OpenSSL connections over different ports. And each time I wanted to exploit some user action, I had to set my trap in place, kill my shell, start two listeners, and wait. Things would have been a lot better if I could have just gotten a shell to connect back to me over one of the two open ports, but AppLocker made that nearly impossible.
I wanted to play with it myself, and get some notes down in the form of this post. Bastard was the 7th box on HTB, and it presented a Drupal instance with a known vulnerability at the time it was released. The privesc was very similar to other early Windows challenges, as the box is unpatched, and vulnerable to kernel exploits. Ethereal was quite difficult, and up until a few weeks ago, potentially the hardest on HTB.
Still, it was hard in a fun way. The path through the box was relatively clear, and yet, each step presented a technical challenge to figure out what was going on and how I could use it to get what I wanted. These were associated with a program called PasswordBox, which was an early password manager program.
But what if I had needed to brute force it? The program was not friendly to taking input from stdin, or from running inside python. So I downloaded the source code, installed the FreeBasic compiler, and started hacking at the source until it ran in a way that I could brute force test passwords in 5 seconds.
It would have been possible to get through the initial enumeration of Ethereal with just Burp Repeater and tcpdump, or using responder to read the DNS requests. But writing a shell is much more fun and good coding practice. Another one of the first boxes on HTB, and another simple beginner Windows target. I can upload a webshell, and use it to get execution and then a shell on the machine. There was a box from HackTheBox.
Zipper was a pretty straight-forward box, especially compared to some of the more recent 40 point boxes. The main challenge involved using the API for a product called Zabbix, used to manage and inventory computers in an environment. I had an opportunity to check out Wizard Labs recently. The box called Dummy recently retired from their system, so I can safely give it a walk-through. Seems popular to start a service with a Windows SMB vulnerability. This was a Windows 7 box, vulnerable to MS The top of the list was legacy, a box that seems like it was one of the first released on HTB.
I thought Giddy was a ton of fun. It was a relateively straight forward box, but I learned two really neat things working it each of which inspired other posts. The box starts with some enumeration that leads to a site that gives inventory. A local privilege escalation exploit against a vulnerability in the snapd server on Ubuntu was released today by Shenanigans Labs under the name Dirty Sock. The entire thing was about protocols that operate on any environment.
There I find an SSH key that gets me a user shell. Dab had some really neat elements, with a few trolls thrown in. After cracking twelve of them, one gives me ssh access to the box. That beautiful feeling of shell on a box is such a high. But once you realize that you need to pivot through that host deeper into the network, it can take you a bit out of your comfort zone. Reddish is one of my favorite boxes on HTB. Reddish was initially released as a medium difficulty 30 point box, and after the initial user blood took 9.
Later, it was upped again to insane SecNotes is a bit different to write about, since I built it. The goal was to make an easy Windows box that, though the HTB team decided to release it as a medium Windows box. It was the first box I ever submitted to HackTheBox, and overall, it was a great experience. Either way, after gaining SMB credentials, it allowed the attacker to upload a webshell, and get a shell on the host.
Privesc involved diving into the Linux Subsystem for Windows, finding the history file, and getting the admin creds from there. The Sans Holiday Hack is one of the events I most look forward to each year. This conference even has a bunch of talks , some quite useful for completing the challenge, but others that as just interesting as on their own. If can get a Windows machine to engage my machine with one of these requests, I can perform an offline cracking to attempt to retrieve their password.
In some cases, I could also do a relay attack to authenticate directly to some other server in the network. Oz was long. There was a bunch of enumeration at the front, but once you get going, it presented a relatively straight forward yet technically interesting path through two websites, a Server-Side Template Injection, using a database to access an SSH key, and then using the key to get access to the main host.
The first is another method to get around the fact the su was blocked on the host using PolicyKit with the root password. The second was to take advantage of a kernel bug that was publicly released in November, well after Mischief went live.
From there, I can use those creds to log in and get more creds. The other creds work on a website hosted only on IPv6. That site has command injection, which gives me code execution, a shell as www-data, and creds for loki.
Hackvent is a great CTF, where a different challenge is presented each day, and the techniques necessary to solve each challenge vary widely. Like Advent of Code, I only made it through the first half before a combination of increased difficulty, travel for the holidays, and Holiday Hack and, of course, winning NetWars TOC all led to my stopping Hackvent mid-way.
Still, even the first 12 challenges has some neat stuff, and were interesting enough to write up. And if you want to become a full on jq wizard, all the better. Advent of Code is a fun CTF because it forces you to program, and to think about data structures and efficiency. It starts off easy enough, and gets really hard by the end. After the first 20 people solve and the leaderboard is full, people start to post answers on reddit on other places, and you can see how others solved it, or help yourself when you get stuck.
Active was an example of an easy box that still provided a lot of opportunity to learn. The box was centered around common vulnerabilities associated with Active Directory. Adding it to the original post. Beyond the enumeration I show here, it will also help enumerate shares that are readable, and can ever execute commands on writable shares. Hawk was a pretty easy box, that provided the challenge to decrypt a file with openssl, then use those credentials to get admin access to a Drupal website.
Credential reuse by the daniel user allows me to escalate to that user. It starts with an instance of shenfeng tiny-web-server running on port There was so much to write about for Smasher, it seemed that the buffer overflow in tiny deserved its own post. In fact, it was rooted in just over 6 minutes!
I wanted to take a minute and look under the hood of the phishing documents I generated to gain access to Reel in HTB, to understand what they are doing. Reel was an awesome box because it presents challenges rarely seen in CTF environments, phishing and Active Directory. Most people are aware of the. But did you know that the PowerShell equivalent is enabled by default starting in PowerShell v5 on Windows 10?
This means this file will become more present over time as systems upgrade. Dropzone was unique in many ways. Right off the bat, an initial nmap scan shows no TCP ports open. Initial shell provides access as an unprivileged user on a relatively unpatched host, vulnerable to several kernel exploits, as well as a token privilege attack.
First, the issue of a bash if statement, and how it evaluates on exit status. Next, how Linux handles permissions and ownership between hosts and in and out of archives. TartarSauce was a box with lots of steps, and an interesting focus around two themes: trolling us, and the tar binary. Moving files to and from a compromised Linux machine is, in general, pretty easy. Windows, is another issue all together. This may be less realistic in an environment where you have to connect from a victim machine back to your attacker box over the public internet where SMB could be blocked , but for environments like PWK labs and HTB where you are vpned into the same LAN as your targets, it works great.
Sunday is definitely one of the easier boxes on HackTheBox. It had a lot of fun concepts, but on a crowded server, they step on each other. Touch Of Blue. Grizzly Peak Explicit. Chemicals EP. Fluttering In The Floodlights. Change The Locks. Entangled Routes. Songs For The M8. Worlds Within Worlds, Pts. No Saviors. Slight Disconnects. Brittle Bones. But Still We. American Football LP3. PREV 2. Everybody Is Somebody. Red Snapper. PREV 1. Various Artists. PREV 3. African Prayers.
PREV 4. Live in Praha Krzysztof Komeda Quintet. PREV 8. PREV Electric Piano Remastered Nils Frahm. PREV 5. Tomorrow's Yesterdays. Little Boots. PREV 6. Live from Chicago Blues Festival PREV 9. Glass Raspberry. Staff Listens. Purity Of Essence. Hoodoo Gurus. The Prats. Believe In Nothing. Paradise Lost. Shake Off Your Troubles. The Little Kicks.
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