Vulnhub Write-up #1 : Stripes

4 minute read

I made a little break from HTB to try out a boot2root machine that a friend of me recently released on Vulnhub. Stripe is a easy to medium linux machine with a little OSINT in the beggining and escalating to user by first escaping a shell. The second user is allowed to run a sudo command which gives us root access…


  • Enumerate the webpage to grab the credentials
  • Escape the jail shell
  • Escalate to the second user through reused password
  • Abuse a bash script that we can run as root


Nmap :


From the initial nmap scan I could notice only 2 ports open : 22 (ssh) , 80 (http) . In this case the web page should be the initial recon for this machine.

I visited the webpage and it seemed a little ugly and the redirections didnt work :


While trying to click some buttons I got redirected to http://stripes/ . In this case we have to add it to our hosts and fully navigate the site. After adding it to /etc/hosts under the local ip the website started to look complete :


So far I could notice 2 blog posts from different users. While enumerating them I noticed the post from wp-admin was a little usseles so I focused more on the post from the other user (Joe Maldonado) :


There is some clues about his preferences , favourite words and his birthday too which makes it look like an OSINT game. Being it a wordpress site , my first guess was to grab the marked words and create some wordlists or guess the password for joe , but first I would have to grab both usernames to check for a valid login.

I could simply do that by navigating into each user’s profile and check the url path :

users user2

  • wp-user
  • joem

I verified both usernames through admin login page and both returned to be valid :


So far, I tried to manually guess the password from the clues I had and try against both users but no results.

After a lot of attempts I did by trying to login to the wordpress site , I went to try against ssh by simply using one of joe favourite words + birthday as a password…

Both combinations didnt seem to work :

  • 1. joem:tigris1963
  • 2. joem:exotic1963

However I decided to only use joe as username and … We have results :


joe:tigris1963 worked fine with the ssh client !

After some little enumeration I did , I could notice there was another user named carole , but before that I noticed we are in a jail. Joe’s shell is very restricted and I could run just few commands which could help me escape :


But I see 2 very good clues here :

  • export
  • busctl

I can probably export the shell to /bin/sh and abuse busctl to launch an interactive shell :


So as seen above I was able to export the shell and drop one through busctl as it uses less pager to display info and we can abuse it to spawn a shell. After getting a full shell as joe my first guess was checking at the wordpress site config and the database to gather some information for the other user .

User Escalation

From some researching in google I found out that wordpress files are usually stored undes /srv folder and I was able to dig in.


By looking around config I can see the database password and the user which seems to be wp-user . I tried to dump the mysql database but returned with nothing interesting so I returned to the first blog from wp-user which seems to be Carole :


So I can maybe login in machine using the same database password ? :


Yeah I could , and from here I can grab the user flag :


Root Escalation (Unintended)

Simple enumerating returned with interesting information :

Under Carole folder there seems to be a bash script sending a message to joe !

Using sudo -l returns that I can also run it as sudo :


We can edit the script so my guess was to simply edit the bash script to a reverse shell and run as sudo which could return me a root shell in my listener :


I opened a netcat listener in another shell and simply ran the script using sudo because I can do that :


I was able to simply get a root shell and grab the prize (flag) .

While retrying several ways to I also found one more unintended root before finally figuring out the intended root.


While reading the script I could simply play with the message path by adding a symlink to /root/root.txt :


and.. while it executes it reads the root flag as a sending message since I made a symlink of the flag with the message…


Intended Root

After sometime of analyzing the code I saw that I can also abuse the eval function and call system commands through it, which was also meant to be the intended root privesc for this machine … I can edit the msg4joe file and add commands to it :

  • ;'id' >> /tmp/id

We simply inject command id to be executed and send results to /tmp/id :


This was my first time trying a Vulnhub machine and this box learned me some new tricks of escaping shells. Thanks to Kyn, I will now take a closer look to vulnhub machines which seem very interesting too…and as always THANK YOU for reading :)

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