Sunday 2 May 2021

Vulnhub Writeup: Prime Series 1

Vulnhub - Prime Series 1

Vulnhub Writeup - Prime Series 1



This machine is designed for those one who is trying to prepare for OSCP or OSCP-Exam.

This is first level of prime series. Some help at every stage is given. Machine is lengthy as OSCP and Hackthebox’s machines are designed.

So you have a target to get root flag as well as user flag. If stuck on a point some help are given at a level of enumeration. If any extra help needed

Visit our website and

Some extra improvement needed to my VM please contact me on my email- suraj at hnpsecurity dot com.

You can download the box from vulnhub here.

Initial Scans

nmap -sn

Server is up on IP

sudo autorecon

Open Ports

22/tcp open  ssh     syn-ack ttl 64 OpenSSH 7.2p2 Ubuntu 4ubuntu2.8 (Ubuntu Linux;
80/tcp open  http    syn-ack ttl 64 Apache httpd 2.4.18 ((Ubuntu))


gobuster dir -w /usr/share/seclists/Discovery/Web-Content/directory-list-2.3-big.txt -x txt,html,bak,php -u

gobuster results


Looks like you have got some secrets.

Ok I just want to do some help to you.

Do some more fuzz on every page of php which was finded by you. And if
you get any right parameter then follow the below steps. If you still stuck
Learn from here a basic tool with good usage for OSCP.

//see the location.txt and you will get your next move//

Based on the above, it wants us to fuzz on the available php files. Using the Arjun tool, it’s possible to find hidden HTTP parameters on a given php file.

Arjun for image.php doesn’t find anything, but index.php finds the file parameter

python3 -u


File parameter confirmed with wfuzz

wfuzz -w /usr/share/seclists/Discovery/Web-Content/burp-parameter-names.txt -u --hh=136

wfuzz file parameter

After tyring several names in the file parameter, I tried the location.txt hinted at from secret.txt which gives some more details.

next parameter given

After running the following wfuzz command I realised this is now a true Local File Inclusion (LFI) as secret.txt is a valid result.

wfuzz -w /usr/share/seclists/Discovery/Web-Content/directory-list-2.3-big.txt -u{test}.txt --hh=BBB

wfuzz results show secret.txt

Grabbing the /etc/passwd file there is a hint included in saket’s user description.

saket's hint in passwd

So let’s get /home/saket/password.txt

victors password


Now we have some credentials we can try SSH & WordPress. The password doesn’t work for saket or victor on SSH, but we can login to WordPress with victor:follow_the_ippsec at /wordpress/wp-login.php.

Once logged in, there is a single file that is writeable in the theme editor - secret.php

Theme Editor

Paste in a simple php reverse shell

Reverse Shell

Set up a listener on your machine

nc -lvnp 1998

And activate it “



In saket’s home directory we have the user.txt and an executable

home directory files

The executable is not readable so we can’t disassemble or run strings against it for clues.

www-data can run the executable as root, but we need a password

sudo as www

There is an interesting file in /opt

opt file

It responds with “good” and it looks like it dropped a couple of files in saket’s home.

files dropped

we can get the “real form” md5 hash of ippsec by running

www-data@ubuntu:/home/saket$ echo -n ippsec | md5sum
366a74cb3c959de17d61db30591c39d1  -

enc.txt seems to contain something that resembles Base64

www-data@ubuntu:/home/saket$ cat enc.txt 

So we somehow have to decode the encrypted string, probably using 366a74cb3c959de17d61db30591c39d1 as the key.

I found this site which allows you to encrypt and decrypt AES. I tried a few different options, it looks like ECB with 256 bit key works.

AES Decrypted

And now it can be decoded with base64 command

Base64 Decoded

This password now works to log in to the box as saket using ssh.

saket -> root

Once logged in, sudo -l shows saket can run a non standard binary /home/victor/undefeated_victor as root.

saket sudo

It shows an error saying /tmp/challenge not found. Presumably it’s trying to call another script?

So let’s try:

echo "/bin/sh" > /tmp/challenge

permission denied

And now we get permission denied. Let’s try making it executable

chmod +x /tmp/challenge

And now the box is rooted


Final thoughts

I had some real difficulty finding the password for the enc binary. Always remember to check /opt as it’s used quite often by admins for additional software and files. If that’s useless try searching the filesystem by date / filename etc. for interesting files.

Here’s some helpful commands

find all files modified between the following dates

ls --full-time
find / -type f -newermt "2018-09-09 12:00:00" ! -newermt 2018-09-12 -ls 2>/dev/null

or with better time output

find / -type f -newermt "2015-11-13 06:00:00" ! -newermt "2015-11-13 08:50:00" -printf "%CY-%Cm-%Cd %CH:%CM %M %u\t%g \t%p\n" 2>/dev/null | sort

find files with password in the name

find / -name '*pass*' 2>/dev/null | sort | less

find files newer than lsb-release (or when OS was installed), named pass

ls --full-time /etc/lsb-release 
find / -type f -newermt "2019-08-01 00:00:01" -name "*pass*" -printf "%CY-%Cm-%Cd %CH:%CM %M %u\t%g \t%p\n" 2>/dev/null | sort

Find all files containing “string” excluding binaries

grep -InHrw '/' -e "string" 2>/dev/null

Probably better to include files with known extensions

grep --include=\*.{c,h,txt,sh} -InHrw '/' -e "string" 2>/dev/null

and/or exclude /bin /proc /run etc.

grep --exclude-dir={bin,sbin,dev,proc,run,sys} -InHrw '/' -e "string" 2>/dev/null

Written with StackEdit.

1 comment:

  1. I was impressed how you solve the "enc" puzzle unlike most that uses kernel exploit.


Please be nice! :)

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