Hack The Box — Academy

Hey folks! Today we have a new EASY machine from HackTheBox. Let’s take a look at its info before we get started.

What we will do ?

As usual, we have some steps which we follow to pwn any machine, our steps are:

  1. Recon / Information gathering
  2. Scanning
  3. Gaining Access
  4. Maintaining Access
  5. Reporting / Analysis

After finishing our steps we will have these informations, stay calm and follow reading :)

1. Information Gathering

In this step we aim to collect all these informations, which we can collect on a specific target like its open ports, security mode of login systems, directories, OS version, services versions, etc

We will start with nmap to check the upper requirements

nmap -A -T4

We have 2 open ports 22/80 so let’s check what we have on port 80

Note that we have 2 functions register/login so we need to check them and know how they are working in the next step “scanning”, but at first let’s check the hidden directories using gobuster

gobuster dir -u -w /path/to/wordlist -l

We have admin.php which requires admin credentials to let you login to the admin portal

2. Scanning

In this step we aim to scan all collected info from the previous one.

We need to check:

  1. Login function arguments/behavior
  2. Register function arguments/behavior

After registering new user and used it to login

Unfortunately! I don’t have anything useful here! So let’s try to register the new user and intercept the request using burpsuite

Note that we have roleid parameter which have 2 values by default 0 > user priviliges and 1 > admin priviliges

So if I change it to 1 it will create an admin account, so create it and try to login to the admin portal

At the admin panel we have a domain dev-staging-01.academy.htb. Add it to the /etc/hosts

echo " dev-staging-01.academy.htb" >> /etc/hosts

After opening the new domain…

We have laravel_log which contain sensitive data like APP_KEY and database username and password

After searching for laravel log exploit github I’ve found this CVE-2018–15133 “RCE with API_KEY”

3. Gaining Access

After checking its usage method, I tried to get a shell from it using the APP_KEY

For now, we have a shell, but with user www-data which have low privileges, so we need to scan all the machine to escalate our privileges or maintain our access

4. Maintaining Access

In this step we aim to find any information which may be leaked or not handled well to use to and get new privileges, so you can use linpeas or linenum or even check manually.

After checking the directory /var/www/html/academy by scan its hidden directories and files

ls -la /var/www/html/academy

We have .env file which contain a password

let’s try to use it with user cry0l1t3 and it success! And we have the user.txt

Let’s try to escalate our privileges again with searching for the users log in /var/log/audit we have 4 files.

After searching for multiple words like pass/root/mrb3n/su/tty I’ve found this string with TTY process, so it seems that it’s password for a user, but I don’t know its type

So, After checking its type with CyberChef I’ve found that it’s HEX

The password is mrb3n_Ac@d3my!. for the user mrb3n

After checking the user permissions by sudo -l

I can execute composer command as root without asking me for a password

After searching for composer priviliges escalations I’ve found this great resource

And if you execute these 3 commands, it will get a root shell

TF=$(mktemp -d)echo '{"scripts":{"x":"/bin/sh -i 0<&3 1>&3 2>&3"}}' >$TF/composer.jsonsudo /usr/bin/composer --working-dir=$TF run-script x

If you speak Arabic, you can watch my walkthrough which I’ve explained all these steps from here

If you find it helpful, Kindly give me a respect from here eslam3kl — HTB

Stay in touch

LinkedIn | GitHub | Twitter



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Eslam Akl

Eslam Akl

Penetration Tester, Bug Hunter, Author of 10 CVEs, Author of multiple security tools, and more :) You can find me on Twitter @eslam3kll