• Vosman


A nice easy little box. With XML Entity Injection attack to gain the initial foothold on the box and little bit of Python script abuse to escalate to root, this box is ideal for anyone looking for a quick challenge or for newer people to learn something new. Let's dive in and see how it's done.



# Nmap 7.91 scan initiated Sat Aug 21 20:48:05 2021 as: nmap -sCV -v -n -oA nmap/nmap_Initial
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.017s latency).
Not shown: 998 closed ports
22/tcp open  ssh     OpenSSH 8.2p1 Ubuntu 4ubuntu0.2 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey: 
|   3072 d4:4c:f5:79:9a:79:a3:b0:f1:66:25:52:c9:53:1f:e1 (RSA)
|   256 a2:1e:67:61:8d:2f:7a:37:a7:ba:3b:51:08:e8:89:a6 (ECDSA)
|_  256 a5:75:16:d9:69:58:50:4a:14:11:7a:42:c1:b6:23:44 (ED25519)
80/tcp open  http    Apache httpd 2.4.41 ((Ubuntu))
|_http-favicon: Unknown favicon MD5: 556F31ACD686989B1AFCF382C05846AA
| http-methods: 
|_  Supported Methods: GET HEAD POST OPTIONS
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.41 (Ubuntu)
|_http-title: Bounty Hunters
Service Info: OS: Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

Read data files from: /usr/bin/../share/nmap
Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at https://nmap.org/submit/ .
# Nmap done at Sat Aug 21 20:48:13 2021 -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 7.79 seconds

OK, two ports open:

22 - SSH: Probably not going to use this right now but does let us know this is a Linux Ubuntu box.

80 - HTTP: Looks like this will be where we start on this box. We also know it's an Apache web server too.

I'll also run a full TCP port scan too, just in case.

# Nmap 7.91 scan initiated Sat Aug 21 20:52:09 2021 as: nmap -p- -v -n -oA nmap/nmap_FullTCP
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.026s latency).
Not shown: 65533 closed ports
22/tcp open  ssh
80/tcp open  http

Read data files from: /usr/bin/../share/nmap
# Nmap done at Sat Aug 21 20:52:24 2021 -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 14.59 seconds

Nope, nothing else to find here. If there's nothing to find on the web server I may also run a UDP scan too but I doubt that will be needed for this box.

Web Server - Port 80

So the "About" and "Contact Us" links only go to ID's on the main page however looking at the hovering over the "Portal" menu item we can see it goes to portal.php. This is useful to know as we can do some extra enumeration and search for .php extensions too.

Let's get a GoBuster going and then go look at the "Portal" page.


gobuster dir -u -w /usr/share/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/raft-small-words.txt -x php -o gobuster_root

Gobuster v3.1.0                                                                                                                                                       by OJ Reeves (@TheColonial) & Christian Mehlmauer (@firefart)                                                                                                         ===============================================================                                                                                                        [+] Url:                                                                                                                                 [+] Method:                  GET                                                                                                                                        [+] Threads:                 10                                                                                                                                        [+] Wordlist:                /usr/share/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/raft-small-words.txt                   
[+] Negative Status codes:   404                                                                                                                                  
[+] User Agent:              gobuster/3.1.0                                                                                                                          
[+] Extensions:              php                                                                                                                                      
[+] Timeout:                 10s                                                                                                                                      
2021/08/21 20:59:29 Starting gobuster in directory enumeration mode                                                                                                  
/.html                (Status: 403) [Size: 277]                                                                                                                      
/.php                 (Status: 403) [Size: 277]                                                                                                                      
/.html.php            (Status: 403) [Size: 277]                                                                                                                     
/js                   (Status: 301) [Size: 309] [-->]                                                                                        
/index.php            (Status: 200) [Size: 25169]                                                                                                                    
/css                  (Status: 301) [Size: 310] [-->]                                                                                        
/.htm                 (Status: 403) [Size: 277]                                                                                                                      
/.htm.php             (Status: 403) [Size: 277]                                                                                                                      
/db.php               (Status: 200) [Size: 0]                                        
/assets               (Status: 301) [Size: 313] [-->]    
/resources            (Status: 301) [Size: 316] [-->] 
/.                    (Status: 200) [Size: 25169]                                    
/portal.php           (Status: 200) [Size: 125]

db.php stands out here as a zero length file. As it's a .php file it probably has PHP code in the file but that isn't presented here as PHP code is processed before the page is rendered in the browser or web request. Let's keep this in the back of our mind for now as this may become a target for us once we have access to the box.

Most of the other directories are redirected and forbidden so we can't easily get into those but they may not contain anything we need anyway as the titles suggest things like JavaScript, CSS, and Assets which are usually images.


OK this just provides a link to another page log_submit.php:

Let's give it a quick test and see what happens in the page:

OK, so it just returns what we enter into the fields. This might be interesting as anytime you process user input and return it to the user there is potential for abuse. We'll give this a very quick test to see if there's a