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CTF Challenges

Digitalworld.local: JOY Vulnhub Walkthrough

Today we have another CTF post, one more series of Dgitalworld.local named “joy” and the credits goes to Donavan. This is a boot to root challenge available on vulnhub you can download it from the given below link and the CTF is design for OSCP practices.

Download Link:,298/

Level: Intermediate

Task: Obtain root shell

Penetration Testing  Methodologies


  • Nmap


  • FTP anonymous login


  • Exploit proftpd using Metasploit

Privilege Escalation

  • Sudo right



Let’s start off with the scanning process. This target VM took the IP address of automatically from our local wifi network.

Then, as usual, we used our favourite tool Nmap for port scanning. Here we found that so many ports were opened but port 21 for ftp looks more interesting to me as anonymous login was allowed on the running machine for two directories /upload /download.


So, we connect to ftp where here I find two directories /download and /upload. The upload directory has read and write permission whereas the /download has read permission.  So, we try to access /download directory and found a file within its named “directory”.

Thus, we copied the file named as directories in our local machine.

So, by reading directory file, you will evaluate that, this file gave a brief idea about Patrick’s directory where Patrick should be the user account. In this, we look at a file name “version_control”  it could be considered as a suspect. 

Since the version_control exist inside Patrick’ s directory so we cannot grab the file directly, therefore, I try to transfer version_control file inside /upload directory because it has read/write permission through ftp anonymous login.

Hence you can observe with the help of above command we had copied “version_control” inside /upload folder.

Further, we navigate to /upload/version_control and found a version of ftp service running on host machine moreover we obtained the path for webroot i.e. /var/www/tryingharderisjoy.


So, we search for an exploit for proftpd and found a Metasploit module thus we execute the following command to get a session of the host machine.

We successfully obtained the command shell of the remote machine, now it was time for post enumeration to step towards privilege escalation. Thus, we import python one-liner to access proper tty shell and start with directory traversing.

It feels good when we dig-out credential of Patrick from inside the /ossec/patricsecretofjoy.

credentials for JOY:

Privilege Escalation

Without wasting time, we switch as Patrick and check for its sudo rights if assigned for him. Here we found that Patrick can run /home/patrick/script/test as sudo user. So, when we run the test script, it gave nothing useful as it was a demo to test working bash script thus the file “test” was useless but it own by root user which was doubtful for us.

So we decided to replace /test script with other malicious script but there was no writable permission on /script directory.

Thus, again we decided to use FTP anonymous login for replacing genuine /test file with bogus /test file which will be a backdoor to provide higher privilege shell.

Therefore, we created a malicious file to get bash shell with the help of command given and named as “test” then try to upload it inside /upload directory since it was a writable folder.

Once again with the help of telnet let’s connect to ftp service running on the host machine and execute the following command to inject malicious script “test” inside /home/Patrick/script.

So now we have injected the malicious file inside /script and user Patrick has sudo right to execute the /script/test as superuser. Now let’s escalate the privilege by execute following command and finish the task assigned by the author.

Hmmmmm!! so we have spawn root shell successfully, now let’s move inside /root directory and grab the proof.txt file and secret file.

Author: Aarti Singh is a Researcher and Technical Writer at Hacking Articles an Information Security Consultant Social Media Lover and Gadgets. Contact here

2 thoughts on “Digitalworld.local: JOY Vulnhub Walkthrough

  1. Thanks for the review (probably the first public one)! 🙂

    A shout-out: There are other methods to root the box (just like Bravery). If you want, you could try the other methods and write them in, too!

    Get in touch with me by e-mail.

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