Hack the Box: Sunday Walkthrough

Hello friends!! Today we are going to solve another CTF challenge “Sunday. Sunday is a retired vulnerable lab presented by Hack the Box for making online penetration practices according to your experience level; they have the collection of vulnerable labs as challenges, from beginners to Expert level.

Level: Easy

Task: find user.txt and root.txt file in victim’s machine.


Since these labs are online available therefore they have static IP. The IP of Sunday is

Let’s start off with scanning the network to find our target.

So here, we notice very interesting result from nmap scan, here it shown port 79 is open for Sun Solaris fingerd.  So I Goggled for its exploit and found metasploit exploit “Finger Service User Enumerator”.

Then I load metasploit framework for Identify valid users through the finger service using a variety of tricks and therefore, use following module.

So, basically it reviled so many username which it has found, now make a dictionary of the obtain username and password that will be helpful in SSH login brute force. 

Here we have used “patator” for SSH login to launch brute force on port 22022 and execute following command.

Finally we found the following the password of the user “sunny”.

Password:  sunday

But when we try to login into ssh by using above credential, it gave “no matching key exchange method found” error and also put some hint and drop the connection request.

Then with little more research I edit the following key to connect SSH and luckily obtain tty shell access.

Then I check sudo right for user sunny and notice he can run /root/troll as root without password.

Lol!! Executing /root/troll was a troll. Further I check the list for available list and directories, luckily I found shadow.backup inside the /backup directory.

Inside shadow.backup, I found hashes for users Sammy and Sunny.

So we try to crake these hashes by using john the ripper and fortunately obtained the password in plaintext format “cooldude!” of user sammy.

Privilege Escalation Techniques

There are multiple ways to escalated root privilege in this lab, in this article we have applied 4-ways to escalated root privilege to get root.txt file.

Now let’s switch from Sunny to Sammy and figure-out assigned sudo permission for him.

Great!! We found that he has right to download any file as root by using wget command. Now let’s also enumerate system binaries having enable SUID bit.

There so many binary files having SUID bit enabled, let’s exploit some of them to gain root privilege.

Method 1

Now let’s generate a payload using msfvenom, thus you can execute following command and run php server to transfer this file.

Let’s download above raj.elf through wget inside /tmp directory and replace it from rsh binary.  Then start netcat listen in a new terminal to spawn tty shell of root privilege.

Now when you will execute /usr/bin/rsh command, you get root privilege shell access as shown below in the image.

And as you can observer the euid=0 for root, therefore, now let’s grab the root.txt file.


Method 2

The  pfexec  program  is  used to execute commands with the attributes specified by the user’s profiles in the exec_attr(4) database. It is invoked by the profile shells, pfsh, pfcsh, and pfksh which are linked to the Bourne shell, C shell, and Korn shell, respectively.

From https://www.unix.com/man-page/all/1/pfexec/

Now execute following command to obtain root privilege shell.

So, in this lab challenge we obtain root.txt file through four types of privilege escalation and there might be other ways also available to get root.txt file. Try it yourself!!

Happy Hacking J

Method 3

As we know that the sudo permission is available for the wget, thus we can use post-file option method to send the contents of any file for example /etc/password or /etc/shadow files.

Therefore we execute following command to post shadow file content on our local listening machine.

And in the terminal where netcat listener is activated you will get the content of shadow file.

From the given image, you can observe that we have obtain the hash value of the root user. Either you can crack the hash value or can modify it.

So we have copied the above content in a text file and so that we can replace the hash value of user: root from the hash value of user: sunny.