Tuesday, February 7, 2017

[VulnHub] Lord Of The Root Privilege Escalation Walkthrough

I completed the "Lord Of The Root VM" awhile ago (though I never posted it here), however I Dirty Cow'd my way to root after losing my patience with the buffer overflow path due to ASLR being enabled. A few days ago, a user on Twitch livestreamed his solution through the VM (short of the buffer overflow) which inspired me to take another crack at it.

The file in question is tucked away in the "/SECRET" directory in the root directory. This time, I decided it might be easier if I place the file on my Kali VM so I could diagnose the problem easier. I loaded the file in gdb and quickly found the spot EIP was overwritten using "pattern arg 300" and "pattern search" respectively.


I see EIP is overwritten 171 bytes in, so I send a new string to confirm my control over EIP.


So far so good. However, here it's important to note ASLR is turned off within gdb, though once I load up the final exploit outside of the debugger, it will be enabled. I also see ESP contains the NOPs I sent in my python script. Now I'm ready to create a python script that will brute force the program aiming for the correct address with my "/bin/sh" shellcode. I chose "0xbffff2ea" just to be "safe." Also, while reading up on ASLR exploitation, I learned a larger NOP sled is ideal in this case. Basically, by creating a large NOP sled, you increase your chances of hitting your shellcode. Since ESP allows me to create a large NOP sled, I'm going to take advantage of it to make a more reliable exploit. I chose 32,000 NOPs which produced fairly consistent results.


So after running 1258 times, the exploit worked and I get a shell. With my PoC, I decide to switch to the "Lord Of The Root" VM and continue my work there. I send the same python script through gdb and take note of the ESP address. 


Now that I have a sample ESP address, I create a quick python script to automate the exploitation process. It should be noted that I chose an address slightly after ESP once again to be safe (0xbffff640 instead of 0xbffff620). It automatically finds the correct door since there is a script that runs every few minutes that changes the correct file location.


After running nearly 3000 times, a shell finally drops with root privileges.


This was a tough challenge for me as I've never attempted to bypass ASLR before, so I learned some new concepts that should aid in my future exploitation of buffer overflows.