HackTheBox | Editorial

In this walkthrough, I demonstrate how I obtained complete ownership of Editorial on HackTheBox
HackTheBox | Editorial

Initial Foothold Hint

  • There are only two ports open on the target — HTTP and SSH. You likely know that SSH is almost never the first way in, so you're going to need to lean on your web app skills.
  • When you land on the web page, click around. You should find a form on one of the pages. One of the fields of the form should particularly standout to you.
    • What kinds of vulnerabilities might be present on the target that accepts input of this specific variety?
    • If you're having difficulty...
      • You may notice the server responds two distinct ways depending on what you've asked for
      • Don't limit yourself just to files. Could there be an alternate web server that you can read from?

Privilege Escalation Hint

  • You need to pivot to one of the other system users before you can become root
    • To do this, you really only need a solid post-exploit enumeration methodology — enumerating usernames, internal ports, interesting files and directories, cron jobs, processes, etc.
    • You should be able to find an interesting directory owned by your current user. You could use a specific tool or default binaries on the operating system to grep through the directory and find some information for your next move.
  • Once you pivot to the next user, again, simple post-exploit methodology should lead you to a specific privilege this user has
    • Look carefully at the specific privileged program path. You should find a specific CVE regarding the contents of a specific file (Google keywords from the file contents).

Nmap Results

# Nmap 7.94SVN scan initiated Tue Jun 18 11:01:56 2024 as: nmap -Pn -p- --min-rate 2000 -sC -sV -oN nmap-scan.txt
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.017s latency).
Not shown: 65533 closed tcp ports (reset)
22/tcp open  ssh     OpenSSH 8.9p1 Ubuntu 3ubuntu0.7 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey: 
|   256 0d:ed:b2:9c:e2:53:fb:d4:c8:c1:19:6e:75:80:d8:64 (ECDSA)
|_  256 0f:b9:a7:51:0e:00:d5:7b:5b:7c:5f:bf:2b:ed:53:a0 (ED25519)
80/tcp open  http    nginx 1.18.0 (Ubuntu)
|_http-server-header: nginx/1.18.0 (Ubuntu)
|_http-title: Did not follow redirect to http://editorial.htb
Service Info: OS: Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at https://nmap.org/submit/ .
# Nmap done at Tue Jun 18 11:02:12 2024 -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 16.16 seconds

Note the redirect to http://editorial.htb in the tcp/80 output. Let's go ahead and get that added to our /etc/hosts file.

echo -e '\teditorial.htb' | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

This box is still active on HackTheBox. Once retired, this article will be published for public access as per HackTheBox's policy on publishing content from their platform.

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