I am working on a certain CTF trying to gain root privileges in it, I found a vulnerable program to buffer overflow vulnerability with Non executable stack security level (NX), I developed an exploit to first bypass NX and then run a shellcode the issue is I only can trigger the vulnerability by gdb (debugger) and I need to trigger it in the actual environment to get root,

The vulnerable program:

#include <time.h> 
#include <stdio.h> 
#include <stdlib.h> 
#include <unistd.h> 
#include <fcntl.h>
#define USIZE 12
#define ISIZE 4

  struct f {
    char user[USIZE];
    //int user;
    int secret;
    int admin;
    int session;

void flushit()
char c;
while (( c = getchar()) != '\n' && c != EOF) { }//flush input

void printmaps() {

  int fd = open("/proc/self/maps", O_RDONLY);
if (fd==0) exit(1);
 unsigned char buffer[3000];//should be enough

memset(buffer, 0, sizeof buffer);
  read(fd, buffer, 2990);
for(int i=0;i<3000;i++)
if (buffer[i]>127){buffer[i]=0;break;}  //dont print too much

  printf("\n%s\n\n", buffer);


void copy(unsigned char * src, unsigned char * dst,int length) {

  FILE * ptr;

  ptr = fopen(src, "rb");
  if (ptr == 0) exit(1);
  fread(dst, length, 1, ptr); /*
HTB hint: yes you can read every file you want,
but reading a sensitive file such as shadow is not the 
intended way of sovling this,...it's just an alternative way of providing input !
tmp is not listable so other players cant see your file,unless you create a guessable file such as /tmp/bof !*/



void createusername() {
//I think  something's bad here
unsigned char for_user[ISIZE];

  printf("\nFilename:  ");

  char fn[30];
  scanf(" %28s", & fn);

  copy(fn, for_user,USIZE);



char print() {

  char action = 0;

  printf("\n\n\t-----MENU-----\n1) leave message to admin\n2) print session ID\n3)login (admin only)\n4)change user\n5)exit\n\n action: ");
  scanf(" %1c", & action);
  switch (action) {

  case '1':
    return '1';

  case '2':
    return '2';

  case '3':
    return '3';

  case '4':
    return '4';

  case '5':
    return '5';

    printf("\nplease type a number between 1 and 5\n");
    return 0;



void printdeb(int deb) {
  printf("\ndebug info: 0x%x\n", deb);

void debug() {

  printf("\nthis function is problematic on purpose\n");
  printf("\nI'm trying to test some things...and that means get control of the program! \n");

  char vuln[64];

  printf("vulnerable pointer is at %x\n", vuln);
  printf("memory information on this binary:\n", vuln);


  printf("\nFilename:  ");

  char fn[30];
  scanf(" %28s", & fn);
  copy(fn,vuln,100);//this shall trigger a buffer overflow



void attempt_login(int shouldbezero, int safety1, int safety2) {

  if (safety2 != safety1) {
  if (shouldbezero == 0) {
    printf("\naccess denied!\n");
  } else debug();


void printstr(char * s, int c) {
  printf("\nparam %s is %x\n", s, c);


int main(int argc, char * argv[]) {
"push $0x00000001\n"
"push $0x0003add6\n"
"push $0xb7e1a000\n"
"call 0x37efcd50\n"
"add $0x0c,%esp\n"

"push $0x00000005\n"
"push $0x0003a000\n"
"push $0xb7e1a000\n"
"call 0x37efcd50\n"
"add $0x0c,%esp\n"


 int sess= rand();

  struct timeval tv;
  gettimeofday( & tv, NULL);

  int whoopsie=0;
  int protect = tv.tv_usec |0x01010101;//I hate null bytes...still secure !

  hey.secret = protect;
  hey.session = sess;
  hey.admin = 0;


  while (1) {
    char action = print();

    if (action == '1') {
      //I striped the code for security reasons !

    } else if (action == '2') {
    } else if (action == '3') {
      attempt_login(hey.admin, protect, hey.secret);
      //I'm changing the program ! you will never be to log in as admin...
      //I found some bugs that can do us a lot of harm...I'm trying to contain them but I think I'll have to
      //write it again from scratch !I hope it's completely harmless now ...

    else if(action=='4')createusername();
    else if (action == '5') return;



also I would like to add this it might be helpful to know

 john@ubntu:~$ find / -perm -u=s -type f
    /home/john/application/goodluck <- which has the local BOF vuln
  • You're on mark ;) You're literally there dude, you just need to figure out how to get into the debug menu. Try fuzzing the application itself with different things you'll notice something strange when you do. Try to really understand what the code is doing, line by line. I know this doesn't go with a general answer on stack-exchange as I'm not really answering your question, but I don't want to take away from your experience with the CTF or leave an answer in the open here for other people to find and deprive themselves of the great challenge that is this box. So I'll unfortunately have to lea Sep 24, 2017 at 1:14


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