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Hack The Box – Swagshop Writeup

Last updated on November 4, 2019



  • Target OS: Linux
  • IP:
  • Owned on: 09/24/2019

Reconnaissance and Scanning

I started conducting basic enumeration on the target.

 root@kali:~# nmap -A -sC -sV
     Starting Nmap 7.80 ( ) at 2019-09-26 13:56 EDT
     Nmap scan report for
     Host is up (0.12s latency).
     Not shown: 998 closed ports
     22/tcp open  ssh     OpenSSH 7.2p2 Ubuntu 4ubuntu2.8 (Ubuntu
     Linux; protocol 2.0)
     | ssh-hostkey:
     |   2048 b6:55:2b:d2:4e:8f:a3:81:72:61:37:9a:12:f6:24:ec (RSA)
     |   256 2e:30:00:7a:92:f0:89:30:59:c1:77:56:ad:51:c0:ba (ECDSA)
     |_  256 4c:50:d5:f2:70:c5:fd:c4:b2:f0:bc:42:20:32:64:34 (ED25519)
     80/tcp open  http    Apache httpd 2.4.18 ((Ubuntu))
     |_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu)
     |_http-title: Home page
     No exact OS matches for host (If you know what OS is running on
     it, see ).

Awesome! SSH and HTTP services are available. After a bit of password guessing attacks, nothing fruitful over SSH. Let’s move on to the HTTP service, starting with dirbuster the server. While that is running, let’s visit the website.

I encountered Magento, an e-commence webapp. Poking for SQL Injection on the search fields, login boxes, but nothing worked. Let’s look at what dirbuster discovered.

In these directories, I encountered installation scripts that wouldn’t run and a config.xml containing credentials and an encryption key but we don’t know the algorithm used. However, I found the version of Magento at Next, I searched for exploits available at using searchsploit

root@kali:~# searchsploit  magento
 ---------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
  Exploit Title                    |  Path
                                   | (/usr/share/exploitdb/)
 ---------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
 Magento eCommerce - Remote Code E | exploits/xml/webapps/

Initial Access & Execution

Found a RCE exploit python script, which I modified to work on the target and changed the default credentials to prevent conflicting with others using the same exploit. Let’s run the exploit… And we got admin credentials! 

root@kali:~# python 

I used the new credentials at the Admin Dashboard @ with the credentials hax:hax

Inside the Admin section, I started looking for vulnerable areas where I could open a shell session with the host, added my own php backdoor code into one of the pages but Magento comments them out, preventing them from running. What I found of interest is that I could edit an existing Product from the Catalog and allow custom file uploads from a customer. I will use this to upload my custom php backdoor.

I visited the homepage again, and selected the Product that allows file uploads. I configured my reverse shell php payload with my IP address. Once again, changed default port number, avoided common ports, and low/restricted ports (<1024). 

I have now uploaded the payload and started looking for the php payload file in the directories dirbuster discovered. Found it under /media, and clicked on the link to execute the payload on the host. Now, I have a shell.

User Privilege Escalation

Got a shell running as www-data. I checked the history to see if there is anything interesting but history file variable was unset. Then, I ran “sudo -l” to see if I have sudo rights, and I find that I can run “sudo /usr/bin/vi /var/www/html/test.html” without being prompted for credentials. This will be useful to get the root flag, let’s begin with getting user.

I proceed to navigate to the /home/haris/ directory and cat flag.txt.

$ cat user.txt

Root Privilege Escalation

Next, I used the command “sudo /usr/bin/vi /var/www/html/test.html” to get a vi session as root. vi allows to execute command from its command-mode. Because vi is running as root, we can execute commands with root privileges.

 :!cat /root/root.txt

    ___ ___
  /| |/|\| |\
 /_| ´ |.` |_\           We are open! (Almost)
   |   |.  |
   |   |.  |         Join the beta HTB Swag Store!

                    PS: Use root flag as password!

We got root!


Lastly, I cleaned all the files uploaded and revert changes done to the system to leave little to no evidence that I was there (and avoid other players from piggybacking from my work).

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