Fork me on GitHub

ch4inrulz: 1.0.1 Vulnhub Walkthrough

ch4inrulz: 1.0.1Vulnhub Walkthrough

WARNING: There will be spoilers to ch4inrulz: 1.0.1 VM from Vulnhub. This is your warning! If you wish to penetration test this machine, do not scroll down much further.

The ch4inrulz: 1.0.1 Vulnhub VM was rather fun to dissect. There were some tricks embedded into the VM to throw one off which certainly got me for quite a bit.

The ch4inrulz: 1.0.1 Vulnhub VM download can be found here:,247/

Date Released: July 31, 2018
Author: Askar
Series: Ch4inrulz

Here's the basic description taken from Vulnhub:

Frank has a small website and he is a smart developer with a normal security background , he always love to follow patterns , your goal is to discover any critical vulnerabilities and gain access to the system , then you need to gain root access in order to capture the root flag.

This machine was made for Jordan’s Top hacker 2018 CTF , we tried to make it simulate a real world attacks in order to improve your penetration testing skills.

The machine was tested on vmware (player / workstation) and works without any problems , so we recommend to use VMware to run it , Also works fine using virtualbox.

Difficulty: Intermediate , you need to think out of the box and collect all the puzzle pieces in order to get the job done.

The machine is already got DHCP enabled , so you will not have any problems with networking.

Happy Hacking !

v1 - 25/07/2018 v1.0.1 - 31/07/2018 *Fixes DHCP Issue* 

1. Service Enumeration

Using the following nmap command: nmap -O -A -sT -sV -p- -T5 -vvv

We get the following output:

ch4inrulz nmap screenshot

2. FTP Enumeration

There wasn't anything to do here. Misleading service.

3. Web Enumeration

Port 80 Findings

Started this off with a Nikto scan. Here were the results:

ch4inrulz Nikto

The were a few interesting things in here. Specifically looking at the index.html.bak file.

Viewing the index.htm.bak file we get the following contents:

ch4inrulz index.html.bak

Using John the Ripper we were able to get the password as frank!!! 

The development page:

development page

This time I used the dirb scanner to find the uploader page as nitko was not of much use here:
ch4inrulz dirb

From there I crafted an "image" file with embedded PHP code. I found a PHP shell online and created a new file called shell.gif. After creating the file, I pasted the code and added a line to the file to trick file uploader into thinking it is infact a GIF file:

ch4inrulz shell.gif

Successful upload:

ch4inrulz upload

There wasn't much else to do from here. I did not know where the file was uploaded path wise. That's where the Port 8011enumeration comes into play.

Port 8011 Enumeration

Nikto did not provide anything useful for this part. So I ran another dirb scan and got something interesting related to an internal API:

ch4inrulz dirb api

The API page had a number of pages or calls to make. However, 75% of the calls/pages were not created or incomplete. The one call/page that we were able to utilize was a files_api.php page:

ch4inrulz files_api

So we know two things from this now. The PHP page expects a parameter called "file" and that the data needs to be passed in raw format. From here I used curl to see if a Local File Inclusion (LFI) was possible by calling /etc/passwd: 

ch4inrulz local file inclusion

At this point I know I can call my embedded PHP gif file using a LFI but still was unsure of the location. I ran numerous tools like nikto, dirb, and dirbuster to see if it was possible to brute force the name of the upload directory. Then I remembered that Frank likes to use patterns. Frank even said he likes to use them. So I tried a number of different combinations with the word upload in it until I found the designated folder upload path of /var/www/development/uploader/FRANKuploads/

4. Establish a foothold

On my Kali attacking machine I started a netcat listener. In another terminal I used the following command to call my embedded shell code which creates a reverse TCP shell:

root@kali:~/Desktop# curl -X POST -d "file=/var/www/development/uploader/FRANKuploads/shells.gif"

ch4inrulz reverse shell

Using Python I generated a more interactive shell 

python -c 'import pty; pty.spawn("/bin/bash")'

In Frank's home directory there is a key:

www-data@ubuntu:/home/frank$ cat user.txt
cat user.txt

5. Privilege Escalation

From here I tried to run the unix-privesc-check tool that comes with Kali by hosting the file via Apache on my Kali machine and downloading it to the target. Nothing interesting was returned here. 

One of the things anyone should do is a check on the kernel and OS version. Of course, I did not immediately do this upon obtaining limited shell access. If I had done this sooner I would've been able to find one of the few Linix Kernel 2.6.35 privilege escalation exploits on Explot-DB / Searchsploit CLI.

I hosted the code on my attacking Kali box and downloaded it on the target machine:

ch4inrulz exploit download

The 15285 exploit correlates to:

Linux Kernel 2.6.36-rc8 - 'RDS Protocol' Local Privilege Escalation | exploits/linux/local/15285.c

I then compiled the code and ran it to obtain a root shell:

ch4inrulz root shell

And of course grabbed the last key under the root directory:

ch4inrulz root key