Traverxec HTB

Updated:November 3, 2021 pm


First I visit port 80/http I see a static website, nothing special. Before trying to run gobuster, I visit /robots.txt and I get a error, but I see that the server is not apache nor nginx.
The web server is nostromo version 1.9.6. I use searchsploit nostromo and find that there is a rce. Using metasploit I get a reverse shell. Then I run another command to get a proper reverse shell.
Inside /var/nostromo/conf I have the configuration files of the web server. The nhttpd.conf contains the path to the homedirs and other configurations regarding the web server. I read the manual and get a overview of the config. The homedirs_public is public_www which means there is a folder public_www inside the users home directory. I visit the home directory and see that there is david folder. I cd into the folder, but I can’t list any files. Now I cd again into public_www and there I can list files. I download the gzip archive inside protected-file-area. I extract the archive and get a /home dir with .ssh folder inside containing the public and private ssh key. The private key is encrypted so I use ssh2john and find the password. Using the password I can ssh into the server, and grab user.txt


Nothing of much interest returned from Manually I find a shell script located at /bin on my home dir.


cat /home/david/bin/server-stats.head
echo "Load: `/usr/bin/uptime`"
echo " "
echo "Open nhttpd sockets: `/usr/bin/ss -H sport = 80 | /usr/bin/wc -l`"
echo "Files in the docroot: `/usr/bin/find /var/nostromo/htdocs/ | /usr/bin/wc -l`"
echo " "
echo "Last 5 journal log lines:"
/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/journalctl -n5 -unostromo.service | /usr/bin/cat

At the last line of this script I see a command running as root, showing last 5 lines of log, as comment also says. And then is piped to cat. I go to GTFOBins and see If I can do something with journalctl but, the script executs and then ends, so I can’t enter !/bin/sh and get shell as root. From GTFOBins I read This invokes the default pager, which is likely to be less, other functions may apply.

What is a pager?

A pager is a piece of software that helps the user get the output one page at a time,by getting the size of rows of the terminal and displaying that many lines.

But In my case the less which is the default pager isn’t executed. I read the man page of journalctl and find out that If no pager implementation is discovered no pager is invoked. Setting this environment variable to an empty string or the value "cat" is equivalent to passing --no-pager. So the reason for not getting less work is because it is disabled because the command is piped to cat. I now copy the script to another file and remove | /usr/bin/cat, so the pager is set back to less. But when I run it I get no less working. Again from man pages I found out that The output is paged through less by default, and long lines are "truncated" to screen width. The hidden part can be viewed by using the left-arrow and right-arrow keys. Paging can be disabled; see the --no-pager option and the "Environment" section below. So I need to resize my terminal so less get executed. After that I run the script again and get less executed, and then use !/bin/sh to get a shell as root.